Good Fences

Posted in On Tthe Road on April 14th, 2011 by MadDog
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As you read this I am likely being hurled across the mighty Pacific at a frightful speed on my way to lovely Hawaii. I hope my hair doesn’t catch fire again. Eunie and I had our first big Hawaii adventure in Honolulu with our son, Hans. After our brief island holiday we flew more or less directly to Madang and arrived, tired and bewildered, thirty years ago yesterday, the 13th of April, 1981. That was a lifetime ago.

I certainly do love Hawaii for its multi-culturalness. Hmmm . . . I seem to have coined a new word. If it doesn’t exist, it should. Oahu has provided us much amusement over the three decades we have been stopping there to visit friends and supporters. Kaimuki Christian Church has backed our work in Madang in spirit and cold cash for all these years. I’m going there to show my gratitude and report on the sad events of 2010.

None of this has anything whatsoever to do with today’s subject. I was just leading you down the garden path.

It’s said that “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”. Well, that also has nothing to do with what I’m going to talk about, if I ever get around to it.

On Sunday, I went out to the great Oz bush (actually not far from Gympie) to pretend to work with a group of nice people from the Gympie Rotary Club. I must admit that the whole Rotary thing is a bit mysterious to me, but the folks have their fingers stuck into a lot of very helpful pies. I’ve been to a few meetings in Madang, but never had the energy to join. Really, I’m not much of a joiner. That’s a poor excuse, I know.

The amount of damage done by the floods in Queensland earlier this year is astounding. Thousands of people are still out of their homes and fifteen lives were lost. I believe that nine are still listed as missing. What we were dealing with here is more mundane, but nevertheless a personal tragedy for many farmers. I’m talking about this:

I reckon it’s impossible to say how many kilometers of fencing were destroyed in the floods. I’ve given little thought to fences in the past. If you’re a livestock farmer, I imagine that you care a lot about your fences. Livestock do not tend to stay at home willingly. They naturally prefer to roam and herd more or less randomly. They are like Hollywood actors in that respect. In the shot above you can see Val toiling in the foreground to remove the tangled mess of . . . stuff . . . which had been deposited on the fence by the flood water. In many places the fencing is knocked down completely and in other areas it has been washed away. We were warned not to breathe too much while clearing away the trash. “It’s flood debris.”, we were told, as if this explained it all. I tried not to breathe. I was not successful.

After clearing the mess, we were told which areas needed to be cleared completely so that new posts and barbed wire could be installed. While we were there this truck hauled away several loads of tangled wire. It was a very tricky job to collect the stuff and get it up on the bed of the truck. At first it seemed impossible to me:

After a while I got the hang of it. Barbed wire is scary. It bites!

We came across an entire irrigation system which had been washed down from upstream:

The pipes looked very heavy, but I soon discovered that they are made from very thin aluminium. I could carry an entire length on my shoulder. These too went on a truck to be hauled off somewhere. I have no idea where all this stuff was going.

When we took a break it was all so very rural Australian. I wished sincerely that I had a beautiful, sweaty Akubra hat to suit the mood. Then again, I’m not sure Yanks are allowed to wear them.

As if the barbed wire were not enough to contend with, there were plenty of noxious plants:

We were warned of poisonous snakes also. I think that Australians like to scare each other. I never saw any.

After clearing the old fencing, we had to deal with downed fence lines which had salvageable wire. This required learning a skill which I’d previously never even considered – rolling barbed wire by hand. It is very tricky indeed. I managed to do quite a few rolls, scratching myself in the process only once:

The main problem is that the roll becomes quite heavy as you snake more and more wire into it. You also have to turn your body around as you roll to accommodate the wire as it wraps into the coil. You can’t twist it. It’s a lot like rolling a stiff garden hose, but it’s heavier and it wants to eat you.

In the evening we went to a classic Australian barbecue. I got my last chance to practice eating like an Australian. It’s highly amusing. The fork is held with the tines curving downward instead of up (probably appropriate for Australia) and the knife is used to pile food on top of it. Much care is given to getting the proper mixture of foods onto the fork and carving the pile into a precise shape. I have not quite gotten the hang of this yet. I need more practice. Then the whole conglomeration is shoved into the mouth with little ceremony. Someday I may take some pictures to demonstrate the process for your amusement, if I can find a willing participant. Australians seem to require both hands to eat. If you tied an Australian’s left hand behind his back he would starve.

While at the barbecue I walked out to the obligatory swimming pool and stared into its eerie blue-lit water. Whatever I was looking for, I didn’t find it there. So I took a picture to record the moment of non-enlightenment:

When I saw the image on the screen, I scratched my head, trying to remember why I wasted the pixels. Then I was suddenly overcome by an intense urge to express myself in art. Nothing unusual about that. It would be so much better if I could draw or paint or sculpt or whatever. It is frustrating to have so many beautiful things floating around in my head with no escape route. It’s very crowded in there. I’m left with no option but to fake it, as usual. This is my tribute to nonrepresentational art.

There is a ghost of me in the image. The two dark diagonal bars on the margin of the pool are shadows of my legs.

That’s all there is left of me. I’m gone.

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Me and the Frog – Rampant Miscellanea

Posted in On Tthe Road on April 4th, 2011 by MadDog
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Once again hard up for a subject, yet needing to express myself, I’ll demonstrate my flair for the nonsensical today.

But first, I want to revisit the koalas from yesterday. I don’t usually comment here on readers’ comments, but Ali Raynor came in yesterday with a real charmer. Have you ever heard a lonely (and presumably eager for a cuddle) male koala in full song? Well neither had I until an hour ago and I can’t get that . . . uh . . . noise  out of my head. Please, for pity’s sake, click this link to hear a sound that you would not ever guess could come from a charming little koala. Brace yourself.

Ok, now brace yourself again. I have seldom featured a less flattering or more disturbing image of myself here, but this one seemed somehow necessary to me this peculiar evening. My brain is manufacturing funny chemicals again. I need something to settle my nerves. My toes, after a month in Jamaica on holiday, are tingling again. Today, after I finished mowing Val’s lawn, we strolled down to her frog pond and I foolishly mentioned, for the second time, that it was looking pretty sad and neglected. Val promptly mentioned, also for the second time, that it needed cleaning. Okay, I learned many years ago that one can generally safely let an initial such comment slip past, but the second one requires some sort of action. Today there seemed to be only one appropriate response.

Clean the frog pond:

As any fool can see, I’m up to my shins in green slime. Fortunately, I no longer have any sense of smell, so stink wasn’t a problem, at least not for me. I should also mention, while I’m bemoaning my general decrepit state, that I noticed, when I got this image on the screen, that my beard was getting intolerably bushy. I immediately went to retrieve my whisker whacker and mowed it.

While remaining on the lookout for poisonous snakes, I was startled by a movement in the water and nearly took a slime bath. Then I noticed that it was a frog, which is just about the last thing I expected to find in this frog pond. A rather handsome frog, at that:

I have no idea what species it is. Perhaps a reader will enlighten us. There was also a small cane toad in the pond. Both were put out of their house while it’s being cleaned.

UPDATE: Reader Pvaldes once again nailed an ID for us. The frog is Limnodynastes peroni  an inhabitant of Eastern Australia.

While pond cleaning I was nagged by the thought that I sincerely wished that I had a microscope. I kept wondering what algae species were squishing between my toes. I’ve always been a fan of Spirogyra  algae, of which there are over four hundred species. It is commonly referred to as “pond scum”. However, under a microscope, it is quite elegant. Oddly enough, it is also the name of one my favourite jazz bands, with the slightly different spelling of Spyro Gyra.

I suppose that everybody knows about black swans. I did not know nearly as much as I thought. I saw these at a little park in Gympie:

Black swans are found only in Australia. It’s a different species from the white swans found elsewhere. They loom large in many aspects of Australian culture. I ripped this bit from the Wikipedia article about black swans:

The Black Swan’s role in Australian heraldry and culture extends to the first founding of the colonies in the eighteenth century. It has often been equated with antipodean identity, the contrast to the white swan of the northern hemisphere indicating ‘Australianness’. The Black Swan is featured on the flag, and is both the state and bird emblem, of Western Australia; it also appears in the Coat of Arms and other iconography of the state’s institutions.

While languidly researching black swans I was amused once again by the way one can be led down a long garden path by the ridiculously connected web. I stumbled on the very interesting “Black Swan Theory“. What is that, one might ask (or, more likely one might not, but I’ll explain it anyway).

Taking it in the light of recent events, I think of it as the “We Should Have Thought of That” theory. I speak specifically of the 2011 earthquake in Japan and the subsequent nuclear disaster. (I’ll insert a small disclaimer. I’m not opposed to nuclear power generation. I do, however, think that we have to find a safer way to do it.) Getting back to the theory itself, here is the way I think it works. We’re talking about big, unexpected events and how we react to them.

  1. The event is a surprise (to the observer).
  2. The event has a major impact.
  3. After its first recording, the event is rationalized by hindsight, as if it could  have been expected (e.g., the relevant data were available but not accounted for).

Well, the recent events in Japan seem to fit pretty well. The more I thought of this, the more it intrigued me. Did I mention the funny chemicals? I started to think of Black Swan events. How about the housing loans fiasco. We should have thought of that, eh? Hmmm . . . even the rise of the internet seems to make the grade as a Black Swan. It certainly surprised Bill Gates. I wonder if he ever said to himself, “Duh, I should have thought of that!”

I soon got bogged down in my efforts to find a definitive set of Black Swan events. The financial industry seems to have captured the concept and is currently holding it hostage. Every hiccup of the market is now a Black Swan event. I don’t think they are quite caught up to reality. Hey, guys! The whole system is hopelessly broken. It needs a major overhaul. While they are doing that they might want to think about throwing a few more miscreants in jail.

Okay, enough with the black swans. I’m getting dizzy.

Hmmm . . . how about a hair ball:

I found this dubious object in the vast archives of the Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum, a collection of quaint structures housing a seemingly endless agglomeration of random objects, a few of which have something or other to do with the mostly defunct but one time huge gold mining industry in the area.

This object caught my eye immediately, as I’m a casual fan of old engines of any kind:

Ho, hum. It’s an old petrol engine. But wait! It was made in Evansville, Indiana. Nearly all of the other old engines in the museum were made in England. I wonder if a Hoosier equipment salesman once made his way around Australia.

Here is the strangely disturbing logo of the Hercules Gas Engine Company:

What, precisely is Hercules (it is, presumably, the great god himself) doing to the engine. Producing it? Seems like he could just snap his fingers, eh? Fixing it? Posh, why should an engine made by a god need refurbishing? Why is his loincloth flapping in the breeze? These are important questions.

Ah, life’s little mysteries.

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Ferocious Koalas

Posted in On Tthe Road on April 2nd, 2011 by MadDog
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Ali Raynor, my host while I was at Toogoolawah in Queensland, told me that she thought that it was a pretty rare thing for a tourist to get a chance to see and photograph koalas in their natural habitat. I reckon that she must know what she’s talking about, since she conducts regular trips to the bush for koala spotting.

At first I couldn’t see them at all unless I followed her pointing arm. From the distance we were initially seeing them they looked like black dots in the gum trees. In all we saw about a dozen of them. The place to where she took me is not widely known. In fact, I heard Ali tell one inquirer as to where we were going to see them that, “If I told you, I’d have to kill you.” That seems a bit drastic to me, but the idea is, I guess, not to have a gozillion people tramping through the area scaring the ferocious little beasts.

I do, of course, use the word ferocious in a tongue-in-cheek manner. The very idea of a ferocious koala brings to mind the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  However, later on you’ll see a shot which gives you an idea of the size of their claws. I would not want an angry koala, high as a kite on eucalyptus oil, to land on my face.

The thing koalas do best is to look extremely laid back, comatose, in fact. Here is a nearly comatose koala:

This is the most common pose which I observed. They do notice you walking around. I guess “drowsily observant” would be a good way to describe their natural state. No matter what position they were in, they seem to favour slowly snuggling up to the trunk of the tree to try to blend in. I suppose that they believe they are hiding. It doesn’t work, but it is cute. Cute is a word which keeps popping into your mind like a pesky mosquito buzzing around your ear at three in the morning.

You will quickly bore of sleeping koala images, so I’ll break this up by showing you this sad excuse for a kangaroo picture:

When I took the shot, the kangaroo was so small, even at the full 26X zoom of my Olympus SP-590UZ camera, that I thought that I’d missed it. It wasn’t until I got the image up in Adobe Bridge that I noticed that the kangaroo was still there.

Okay, back to the koalas for a while. This was my only shot of a koala on the move:

Truth is, they simply don’t move around that much. This one was climbing a branch at what I’m sure was a breakneck speed for a koala in a vain attempt to run from us.

As a serious amateur photographer, I can’t say that I’m proud of these shots, though I did put a fair amount of effort into making them as good as I could. I was up against a couple of serious problems. First, the light was absolutely ghastly. There is hardly any worse light than a bright grey sky. It washes the colour from everything and makes any sense of depth go as flat as a pancake. If you are shooting upwards, it’s even worse. I took about a hundred exposures, half of which were unusable.

The other problem is the miserable performance of the early super-zoom lenses. My Olmpus was one of the first of the super-zoom consumer grade camera. I don’t buy professional equipment, because I can’t afford to pay thousands of dollars for a high-quality camera and lens. Some things are simply out of my income range. So, I make do with the best I can afford. If I do buy another super-zoom camera, I’ll insist on doing some shooting with it first so that I can check the lens perfomance. It took supreme efforts to get these in shape to put here for your enjoyment. Even with all that, if you click to enlarge them, you will see the effects of stretching the camera beyond its reasonable limits.

Uh, did I mention claws? Imagine these tearing into your flesh. Don’t let that sleepy look fool you:

It’s only a ploy to lure you within range. This is the rare carnivorous variety of koala.

I noticed many trees with power line insulators banged into them. Ali said that is has only been about five years since the practice was abandoned by the utilities company in this area. It seems terribly rustic:

Once in a while you can spot a koala which seems to be uncommonly alert:

I fact, this one looks a bit peevish. Perhaps it found our presence an affront. Maybe it was just curious.

Of all of the poses, I liked the “Nyaa, nyaa, you can’t see me!” the best:

They will try to edge around the tree to become less visible. It’s comical to watch a koala when two people begin to walk around the tree in opposite directions. It will slowly turn its head from side to side while trying to decide which way to go. Then it gives up and hugs the tree harder. It’s too bad they are so fat. If they were flatter against the tree they would be hard to spot, since the camouflage in their fur is quite effective.

I’ll leave you with a shot of the Old Town Hall in Gympie:

It’s about as curious a conglomeration of architectural features as I have ever seen, though the overall effect is not unpleasing. I’d be willing to bet that it was designed by a committee.

Keep in mind that I know absolutely nothing about architecture, except that I love Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house. For me, that’s enough. How wonderful it would be to live in that house.

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Gympie Miscellanea

Posted in Mixed Nuts on March 14th, 2011 by MadDog
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Today I’m off to a place called Teewah. I know there is beach there and a small village. I do not know if there is any wireless data connection. I’m guessing not. I’ll be there for four days unless natural disaster intervenes, so I may be off the air for a little while.

I have little idea what is in store for me, but I know it will be different from the normal routine. I filched this image of the area around Teewah from the web:Looks interesting, eh?

Time is running out this morning. I got up late. Now I have to rush a bit, so I’ll be mercifully brief. My last post contained an image of a Bromeliad similar to this one. This shows what the flowers look like when they come out:

Not long before I left Madang there were severe floods over wide areas of Queensland. Here are a few of Val’s images of the disaster:

Many businesses in Gympie were completely submerged. Even now some stores are still being repaired.

This is one of the more fortunate residents:

This is a Galah or Rose-breasted Cockatoo:

The word galah, in Australian usage means a person who is acting in a silly way.

This is a Morris Cowley, one of the most poorly named automobiles in history:

And, while on the subject of poorly named items, this is the Bellygood restaurant:

Okay, I’m out of time.

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Back to Gympie

Posted in Mixed Nuts on March 11th, 2011 by MadDog
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I may as well say it and get it over with. My last visits to Gympie were during the worst days of my life. Regular readers will know about that. I’m not here today to revisit the past. I’ve done enough of that over the last few months.

I will say that upon entering dear friend Val’s home for the first time since August was a bittersweet experience. I had been wondering how I would handle it. The first couple of hours were very strange and disturbing. What happened was pretty much what I expected. Certain places in the house evoked memories which hit me like a truck. I was determined to control these reactions, because I did not want to live with them for the next few weeks. After a while it dawned on me that the experience was both necessary and healing. I’m going to have to continue to deal with place-connected memories for years to come. Some of them will be very pleasant. Some will not.

While I’m blabbing on with the story I’ll show you some of the amazing flora in Val’s garden. This is a bright red something. I don’t know what it is, but it is certainly impressive:

It is ridiculous how little I know about plants. It doesn’t bother me. I depend on others to tell me what they are. I’m sure I’ll get comments with helpful information. That’s if anybody is still reading. (Val now tells me that it is Antherium . . . whatever . . .)

These struck me as very pleasing. The colour is intense and the white outline seems purposeful:

It looks as if the flowers are coming from the tree, but the blossoms are on a bush behind the tree.

This is an unlikely looking contraption. The white flower extending from the side looks out of place:

I had the usual problems on the trip down to Brisbane where Val picked me up. I broke my sunglasses. There were a few moments when I wasn’t sure my credit cards were working (YIKES! That is a heart-stopper.) As nothing fatal seemed lurking on the horizon, I began to relax a little. It seem that I’ve made it this far unscathed. I know it seems unreasonable to be so satisfied that I made this short part of my journey without mishap, but my confidence level hasn’t been all that great recently. Now I’ll give myself a very small pat on the back and think so far, so good.

Here is another strange one. It looks to me as if it is related to the one above:

On Monday we will be going to Teewah on the Sunshine Coast. I’ve never been there before. Friend Ali Raynor says that there are beach houses there. I’m looking forward to seeing the Australian coast again. The beaches seem to go on forever. The water will probably be much too cold for me. That’s okay. I spend enough time already submerged in brine. I’m partially pickled.

Another stunning something-or-other:

It seems to me that Australia has even stranger plant life than Papua New Guinea. Possibly that’s because I’m so used to seeing the same plants every day at home.

This small tree next to Val’s back door is covered with these beautiful flowers:I have a wireless USB dongle left over from my last trip to Australia. I decided to bring it along to see if I could plug it in to get on the web. I knew that it would not have any credit left on it, but I remember recharging it with my credit card. That was the source of my credit card fright. When I tried to recharge the prepaid plan the web page came back saying that my credit card was “not accepted”. Great! Here in Australia with no money. As it turned out, the company does not accept credit cards issued by US banks. It would be nice if they told travelers that before scaring them out of their wits. They said that I could use my card at their office in Brisbane, which is only a four hour round trip from Gympie. Very helpful, eh? We ended up using Val’s credit card.

I’ll finish up with this outlandish thing. I believe it is a bromeliad of some kind:

I looked in Google Images to see if I could find anything like it – no luck. It appears to have grass growing in the middle at first sight, but closer inspection reveals that it is some kind of spiky stuff. Val says that small flowers grow from it.

So, I am settling in for some relaxation and distraction. I’m going to use the time for attitude adjustment. I can use a lot of that.

Thanks to all who wished me bon voyage.

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A Little Bit of Everything

Posted in Mixed Nuts, Under the Sea on October 7th, 2010 by MadDog
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I do not intend for Madang – Ples Bilong Mi  to indefinitely remain a place where I forever keep going back to the events of the last few months. I need to move on at some point. However, this is  a (more or less) daily journal.  I think of it as an open diary. I cannot escape the present. If I am to continue to be open and honest, I must put down here my thoughts, fears, challenges and successes. This allows me to take these things out of my head and examine them as I write. It allows me to record them as waypoints on my journey. It helps me to gauge my progress and someday, it will allow me to remember the events with the fresh perspective of one who is healed and able to look back with less pain.

So, having said that, I’ll tell you that the plans for the Memorial Service for Eunie at the Chapel at Divine Word University are progressing smoothly. Yesterday, I burned a CD full of Neil Diamond songs to play before and after the service. Later today, I will organise photographs on a flash drive to be displayed on the big LCD screen in the Chapel. These are small tasks which were assigned to me by the little “committee” of friends who are carrying the main load of organising the event. I was glad to have something to do which I probably could not mess up.

Tomorrow will mark one month since Eunie’s death. I think that that is the first time that I’ve used the word – death. Possibly this marks the end of my daily walk with denial.

This is the first sunrise which I have captured since before leaving for Australia:

The mornings have been mostly cloudy. Starting at about 05:30, when the sky begins to lighten, I can tell, by looking out the bedroom window, whether there will be a decent sunrise or not. Though I’m looking west, I can see the general colour of the sky and judge the brightness. If it looks promising, I’ll get out of bed and look out the front of the house. Yesterday, it was worth getting up.

Here is a particularly good image of a Red and Black Anemonefish (Amphiprion melanopus):

Its wholesome goodness comes from its very accurate colours. The conditions were perfect for a good shot. It was taken in about seven metres of fairly clear water with a bright, thin neutral white cloud cover which provided flat and untinted light. I’m quite happy with this one.

While our little troop of was back in Gympie at the home of Val Jerram preparing to scatter back to our own places we found this very amusing lizard under Val’s veranda:

That’s Carol Dover’s hand in the shot to give some scale. It’s not huge by Australian lizard standards, but it does look as if it might inflict some damage if it bit. Dr. Robert Sprackland sent a copy of his new book, Guide to Lizards,  because it has one of my images in it. I could not find this lizard in it. I don’t know what that means. Maybe it’s rare? Seems unlikely.

UPDATE: Reader Madcap Maven left a comment identifying the lizard as a Tiliqua scincoides scincoides,  the Eastern Blue-tongued Lizard. Her ID checks out. I consulted the Ultimate Resource, Wikipedia. You can read her message in the Comments at the end of this post.

Since I’m just rambling here I’ll throw in this interesting image by Lindsay Smith:

It’s a strange, moody piece.

Last, but not least, here is a beautiful shot by Alison Raynor titled Toogoolawah Sunset:

Someday I hope to visit Toogoolawah. It seems a peaceful place.

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Gympie Sunset

Posted in Mixed Nuts on September 17th, 2010 by MadDog
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I have been travelling for a couple of days and also fell into a black hole of no web access at my house, so this is the first time I’ve had a chance to post. A lot has happened. It’s time to catch up.

One thing that I was dreading was the memorial service at the Anglican Church in Gympie. I simply did not see how I could get through it. I’m now reminded that the human spirit is usually stronger than the particular human thinks it is. In other words, you can take a lot more than you think you can.

As it turns out, it was absolutely magnificent. I’d love to tell you the names of all who were in attendance, but I think that might be an invasion of privacy. I was frankly surprised at the number and variety of familiar faces I saw there. If any of the attendees are reading this, please accept again my heartfelt thanks for your efforts to be there to remember Eunie and prop me up.

Carol Dover sang Amazing Grace  is her lovely manner with a mid-southern accent and mountains of soul. Tears flowed like a river. The pastor said that he had never heard singing such as that in that place and I can believe it. It was fitting, comforting and magnificent. It was perfect.

Richard Jones delivered a eulogy which made me proud to know him and count him as a friend. Rich had been chosen as the man on the spot. After what he and Jenn had been through – all of us had been through – it was not an easy task nor one to take lightly. We had all read it when he was finished composing. We knew that the truly hard part would be getting through it. His brief pauses to compose himslef during the reading were both understandable and fitting.

As Val took me to a friend’s house to pick up the mail they had collected for her while we were all in Brisbane, I spied this wonderful sunset:

Throughout this ordeal for those who knew Eunie, so many people have been right where I needed them to be. It’s a testament to someone who radiated love and attracted it back to herself. Here is another shot of the sunset:Once again, the next day – signing a new will, going to the dentist – people were there. Nobody said, “Call me if there’s anything I can do.” and then turned away. They just started doing whatever they saw needed to be done. Somebody once told me a story about “The Guy Who Cleaned Shoes”. This fellow would show up at a house in his neighborhood where there was some sort of death-related gathering and ask people to remove their shoes and line them up in the hallway. Then he would get his shoeshine kit out and polish everyone’s shoes. This is the kind of action I’ve been getting.

Val’s lawyer would not let me pay for drawing up a new will with one day’s notice. Rich and Jenn went to the funeral home to pick up Eunie’s ashes for me, saving me the agony. Carol and Amanda sat quietly with me, holding me when I needed it. I want to mention more examples, but hesitate to open private spaces. If you are reading this, you know who you are. I love you for being there.

Here is a picture of Eunie at her desk – right where she belonged – taken not long after she was elected Director of the Pioneer Bible Translators Papua New Guinea Branch:

It may be a couple of days until I am able to post again. I have no web access at my house – something is broken in my wireless link – and I’m dealing with some emotional issues, as you can imagine.

I’ll be back.

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