Autumn – ready for winter?

The month of March in Melbourne, even April, was always a favoured time for our family holidays. The heat of summer, if any, has mostly passed and the weather hasn’t quite moved on to the deeper cold and wetness that comes later on. So, while the weather and coronavirus restrictions allow, I recently decided to take a week’s break. For two reasons: the first is that I just felt ‘jaded’ – that overwhelming tiredness that persists, even after sleep. The second is that I needed to use our timeshare week before it is forfeited after June 30th! So, I am starting this narrative, here at home, on the day before I set off for my ‘retreat’ – a week in a bushland setting in a nearby country Victorian town. To be continued……..

……OK, here I am, back home again, one week later, considerably refreshed. It rained a good deal of the time but with enough breaks for me to go walking each day and for a few short drives to break the monotony of sitting and reading – neither of which are not (yet!) my favourite pastimes. It was a restful, relaxed, and pleasant time for both me and for my companion and my phone calls assured me that Dorothy remained settled.

But, during that time I was saddened by a phone call from one of our sons to tell me about his eldest daughter, a vivacious and active young practising nurse who also lectures in nursing at a local University. Unexpectedly, she has been deeply affected by a rare and serious health disorder for which there is no cure and can only be managed with daily medication for life. She lives at a nearby country town with her loving and caring partner and with her happy disposition and a joy of life, I know she will cope with this affliction better than anyone I can think of. Our son and daughter-in-law (her parents) live not far away from them and will also be available to continue with their love and support, and I am confident our grand-daughter will quickly re-learn to live life to the full. Go girl!

And for me it’s back to reality, too. On return yesterday I visited Dorothy and we had a happy time of reunion as though I hadn’t been away. Now, thinking about our wonderful extended family, my next thoughts are for another granddaughter who is expecting our very first great-grandchild in a matter of days. Her father, our son, has just retired from his working life and with his wife are planning to tour Australia with their caravan…. I guess some babysitting might also be on the horizon before that!

So, you will understand why my prayers are centred not just on Dorothy, but also on our grandchildren, especially those two I have mentioned above, and all those people suffering adversities and particularly those whose lives have been disrupted by the recent flooding rainfalls; then there’s the thanks for all God’s blessings I have, with wonderful family and friends.

Are we ready for winter? Well, as ready as anyone can be, as we travel together through this year’s autumn, and all our other seasons of life.