What an exciting few weeks I had!
We flew Home for over a month. Yep, home to Australia.
I was having a very big birthday you see and wanted to be in Oz for it.
|Cake! Yum! I think this was my third or fourth cake.|
Turns out my government wanted to send me a birthday present - it was a bit late for my birthday but hey... My government cares about my innards and doesn't want me to die early.
|Best birthday present EVAH???|
The trip (and the birthday) were most excellent. I caught up with a lot of friends (and missed some but hey, they didn't contact me after I directly contacted them) and got to see family and new family. And I didn't do the screening because I already am being screened.
The US Department of State (which grants us visas to live here as temporary residents) will be very pleased to know that I still call Australia home (gah, can't handle this in any of its versions and when I read the comments, I'm not the only one). It is most definitely Home. This is handy because our visas do make it clear that we need to maintain links with our home country. Well we do. All our family is there and we have property there and friends and everything.
Going Home was like sliding back into a comfortable pair of shoes. Oh there were wobbly moments, like having to do a bit of Oz bureaucracy, driving on the proper side of the road (LOL, glad I was on mostly familiar roads cos they make it much easier to remember which side to drive on, but this doesn't help with mixing up indicators and wipers!) and then having to get new visas (because someone went and got himself a new job) and change our flights (because someone went and got himself a new job and they needed him in the US on a certain date) but it was so nice to be Home.
This greeted us when we went for a walk at a nature reserve near big sister's place:
Kookaburras (that is cook-a-buhras) laughing. So kind of them to say hello!
I think I wandered around with a stupid grin on my face for over a week. Everywhere I looked, there were gum trees (Eucalyptus trees and their cousins). I had forgotten how ubiquitous they are. They are like conifers here in the Pacific Northwest. A view without one of them in it has to be very very urban or a cityscape.
A big thank you to my big sister and her husband and family for welcoming us when we were not sure where we would stay. They gave us our own bedroom suite, fed us, looked after us and loaned us a car even though it inconvenienced them.
But birthday parties and weddings (number 2 nephew) and new babies (new niecelet to add to niecelet) and travels around the state don't last forever and then you have to come back to other home.
Other home is a bit challenging at the moment. Home is nearly in summer, which means the days are long (14 or so hours), the weather is warming up (generally in the 20s C) and the rain is backing off. Other home has 8 hour long days (when it is sunny), is blasted cold (somewhere between freezing and 6C), often is overcast for the whole day, sometimes rains and indeed greeted us with snow two days after we got back. Resetting our body clocks has been massively challenging because it never really gets light. I can't even get good photos on the phone camera because it is so dull. Plus it is not Home home, just current home. It is lovely here in everything bar winter, but coming from almost summer to definitely winter (no matter what the calendar says) is difficult.
Also other home is having a bit of renovation done so there is stuff everywhere to add to the stuff I/we brought home with us and we've got a never ending mountain of washing to do after an incident with some overly perfumed washing detergent whilst in Oz (not at sister's place). We don't have a dryer so everything has to be dried on racks.
I have a gazillion pictures to sort through and share - I might have to do a links post cos there are so many pretty pictures. If I took less than a thousand shots on the phone, let alone on the big cameras, I will be surprised.
But now I have the run up to Christmas. I have stuff to knit and a quilt to make and a house to tidy up and clean and a mountain of never-ending washing so that at least keeps me occupied on these short, dull days.