Written from Mars

There sure has been a lot going on.  The day after my pity party my beloved uncle/godfather found out his cancer is back and he’s got a rough road ahead.  I am not going to say much about it—he and my aunt enjoy reading these posts and want to hear what we’re up to, not about cancer.  However, anyone reading this, please send your prayers, positive energy, good vibes, whatever you believe will help, his way!  I mention it because if anything could make it hit home to me how far away I am from the people I love, that does it.  I started thinking about how long it would take me to get home, and have felt for the past few days like I am basically living on Mars.  It also makes you realize how important the people we love are, and that a low day here and there is really not a big deal in the scheme of things. 

A friend emailed me after my Pity Party post and said “Wow, a Smartphone, Skype, a blog—you are connected!”  I certainly am—more connected than I ever thought about being—-and I do it to stay in close touch with people I love.  I am very grateful for technology right now, because it has enabled me to keep in close contact with those close to me and shorten the distance between us.  The way things are now, most of the people I know carry on their business while I am asleep and vice versa.  It is worth it to me to make the effort to stay connected.  I am the one that left, so if I don’t make the effort, people can assume I am not interested, or don’t care.  I have seen families separated by distance that completely write each other off and know hardly anything about each other’s lives.  I have also seen families make the effort to see each other a couple times a year by trading off visits and keep in close contact using technology.  That’s my hope for my family and friends.  We are all learning Skype and having fun using it with friends so far and I am going to send everyone an “instruction email” soon on how to call and text me!   

All that said, here’s our update:  last Thursday morning, the 6th, I was a bit out of sorts after my pity party and had a busy morning home alone with the boys trying to get us all ready to go to a Mommy and Me music class at my in-laws’ church.  My goal had been to drive us there by myself, but I wimped out and had Steve drop us off.  The people were amazingly kind, and I had a great chat with a new Mom whose husband is from England.  Everyone agreed with me that driving myself was a little too ambitious for my third week in the country and that I did well just to be there!  The boys stuck to me like glue—it was a big step for all of us. 

Also, Drew was a different child that day.  It must have been a survival technique on his part because he listened to me, behaved well, used the potty and gave me lovin’ all day!  Of course, he’s been up to his usual tricks since, but he is doing pretty well overall.

While on my afternoon run that day, after learning about my family’s situation, I stopped and touched the sea for awhile.  We are all connected by water, so the water I was touching could also be touched by my loved ones in Florida—amazing to think about and very calming.  When I talked to my aunt she agreed—she said that’s why we all gravitate to water. 

On Saturday, we all laid around during a rainy (rainy!) day and then Steve and I got to enjoy a quick dinner alone for our 6th wedding anniversary and left the boys with our close friends.  I was ,but the boys did great.  Drew was his animated, happy self, and on our way out the door said “Have fun on your date, Mommy!”, threw his arms around me and gave me a big kiss.  Zach apparently looked stunned for the first 30 minutes or so that we were gone and asked for us quite a bit, but never fussed and enjoyed his company.  Thank you Ben and Rachel!  It was special for us to celebrate that day—there were times last year that we weren’t sure we’d make it!   I am really starting to believe that what doesn’t break you makes you stronger.

On Sunday, our friend Michelle brought me the first 5 episodes of Dancing with the Stars—-fun stuff!  She went to great lengths to get it which is so cool—makes me feel special!  We also went to church with the family and Drew went to Sunday school on his own and felt like a real big boy because he was going to school.  I tell everyone our situation, when I think it could help, and people are so amazed and understanding, and the teacher just took his hand when I was leaving him and sat down right with him—she herself moved here from New Zealand awhile back.

Today, Monday the 10th, has been a red letter day for us in many ways:

-Steve got a job!  We’ll know more details soon, but he starts on Monday, the 17th.  This is a full time job working with disadvantaged youth, and he still hopes to switch to teaching in January but this will work for now.  If he keeps it, he will be making literally triple what he made as an American teacher—with no health care premiums!  But we’ll need it, because I get more amazed by the cost of things here as each day goes by! 

-His teaching license was fully approved here and he has spoken to some good contacts that are starting to circulate his resume.

-We found out that our boxes with all the worldly possessions we still own will arrive in Brisbane on the 21st—a week from Friday.

-Steve surprised us all by finding and buying a Halloween pumpkin!  For $18!  I’m hoping to make my favourite holiday a bit bigger of a deal over here!  A wonderful contact that my friend Leila put me in touch with has been an incredible help by email and he put me in touch with the American Australian Association of Brisbane.  They have a family Halloween gathering and we plan to be there!  They also do a Thanksgiving dinner. 

-We had our first experience with the health care system over here as poor little Drew got an ear infection today.  We are not on the public system yet, so he has no official doctor and I was freaking out at first because I couldn’t get him an appointment for today by calling area clinics.  But someone recommended a walk-in clinic about 10 minutes away; we were there and back in less than an hour and a half, including picking up antibiotics.  All went smoothly and cost us $100, which apparently will be partly reimbursed once we get on the public system.  Amazing!  It would not have cost us much less with our private insurance in Colorado, and we most likely would have been at the doctor’s office a lot longer.  Let’s just hope everything was done correctly!  I hope the little guy doesn’t need tubes again—the poor guy is just prone to so much ear, nose and throat junk!  Could explain his mood the past few days……I really need to get him that shark costume he wants!  He really wants a fish, so if any of my U.S. crew sees a cheap one and can ship it over here, I’ll pay you back.  I’m striking out except for the shark I found on Australian e-bay and the little angel (right?!) said he’d be fine with that since it was all I could find at a reasonable price that would get here in time.    


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