This week that Spouse o' Mine is preparing for his travels to Australia, back to his family home. To explain the whole familial emigration thing is another story in itself, for another day. Maybe next week...
This week we are organizing things. Things, gifts and requests, that he will take to his family. Gifts are fun! We don't exchange Christmas or birthday gifts with that side of the family, but whenever someone from this hemisphere travels to that hemisphere, and of course vice versa, they come/go bearing gifts. We Yanks love receiving Aussie woolen goods. Ginger from Bundaberg. Hairbrushes from Japan. (How is it Goody has not caught on to the $$$ hairbrushes manufactured in Japan?!)
We send books ( books are expensive Down Under.) Red Hots. Maple syrup. "Instant" food like Darn Good Chili (which originally had the moniker Damn Good Chili...) and Ranch Dressing. Cinnamon and pepper.
Inbetween our visits, we are gifted a subscription to the Australian National Geographic. What an amazing thing that our kids - now adults - have had the experience of seeing things that show up in this magazine: dingos on Fraser Island, and platypus in the wild in the Carnarvan Gorge. (We were told few people see them in the wild, and we had to camp and awaken at 5:00 am to hike down to a creek to see them.) Wallabies in their grandparents' yard. 'Roos in the roads. (A BIG hazard.) Almond trees and orange trees, right there in the farmyard. 'Roos n the cornfield. Getting to hold a REAL koala. Seeing goanna roadkill in the driveway. (ok...not so great.)
And omigoodness: The sound of the kookaburras!!! That will wake a person from the jet lag dead, let me assure you, from personal experience. "WHAT THE HELL IS THAT AND WHERE THE HELL AM I??!!??
In addition to the kookaburras in the old gum trees, there are wild cockatiels and colorful galahs. We in Kansas thrill to have hummingbirds, indigo buntings, and the like - let me tell you, the amazing bird life and wildlife of my inlaws' home is tantamount to living in Wild Kingdom.
And so that Spouse o' Mine is preparing to head back to his home, his family. What a nice thing: two parents, four children, six grandchildren, and two great-grand kids will be in attendance for their Aussie family reunion.
Quite a thing, 41 years after they loaded things on a boat bound for Australia.
More to come on that...stay tuned...