It has been insightful to me to learn what others’ impressions of the U.S. are. Yesterday we took the boys to a local nature centre, took a little walk to see a 400-year-old tree, and enjoyed looking at all the different birds, plants, etc. We had them playing at a little playground and two boys who appeared to be about 12 years old commented that Zach was cute. I thanked them and commented about how hard he was trying to get across the wobbly bridge—probably said four or five words. One of them said “Are you American?” I started laughing and said yes, and they followed me around for the next 20 minutes asking all sorts of questions: Why are you here? Have you ever seen anyone famous? Do you watch the Super Bowl? Do you know rugby here? Where will your boys go to school? Does it snow in CO? And then the sad ones: Are there a lot of murders in America? Have you seen crimes happening?
I have come to realize something pretty sad—whenever I hear on the news about a shocking, violent crime that is not part of the war torn Middle East or Africa, it most likely happened in the U.S. A lot of what people hear over here about the U.S. is the horrible crime in the media. They think we just walk down the street hearing gunshots, and watching people get attacked. While that of course is not true, I continue to get U.S news through Yahoo and there is a lot of violent crime, while when I check into the news here, there is none. Of course, we have a much larger, much more diverse population than Australia at least does. However, we also have the freest gun laws. And we have very divided class systems (people seem to think that division is more noticeable as well than I ever have though). Makes you think…..and it also makes me sad that people think of my beautiful homeland as a scary, crime-ridden place.
As for our life, we have had a much better week and make a lot more progress. All three boys are healthy and we are all getting the rest we need. It cooled down over the weekend. We saw six more houses through the week—spent two more days back on the north side of the river at appointments and during the breaks in between scheduled inspections we took walks and played at parks. On Saturday we turned in three applications, hoping with all our might that one of them will pan out. We have another big disadvantage in that we have no rental history in this country, or utility bills, credit history, etc. We attached all the other documentation we could muster as well as a letter explaining our situation in the hopes that someone will decide to give us a chance. Now, we wait……
We also had a mellow day in between the searches to allow everyone to rest and catch up on some basic errands. Seems the boys really needed that. I got to do yoga, which always centres me, and meet a new friend for dinner and a movie, which was a lot of fun. I get to go to another movie with few ladies tonight. And, we got to meet our friends’ newborn twins—so precious!
On Saturday after we finished faxing in all the rental applications, we took a big break and drove down to the Gold Coast, a very developed, touristy area with lovely sandy beaches, right on the Pacific. We visited our dear friend’s dear Mom briefly and all had a great time playing in the sand and surf. It felt divine! It was overcast but warm, too, so no blistering sun to deal with. I have so many memories of being on beaches just focusing on how I looked, being cool and getting the best tan. It is such a delightful difference to thrill in getting knocked over by the waves and fill up buckets upon buckets of water to try and make a moat for the sandcastle! Of course, finally being a size 4 makes me less self conscious too! Hope I can make that one last!
Steve and I also squeezed in a stay-at-home date night and rented The Change Up (lots of movies for me lately), which was hilarious. We had nice drinks and I had a big dessert craving, so last minute found a recipe for Brownie Pudding Cake—it was SO quick and SO easy, with ingredients that I would always have at home—fun!
Today we had a power morning! I jogged on Friday and could barely do it—could not even make it for 30 minutes—it had been too long! Today I finally felt rested enough and got up early enough to go and it was ‘pissing down rain’ as the locals say. So, I improvised in the lounge room and kicked my own butt. The boys had their 8:30 swimming lessons and then straight after we worked on getting things done! We bought all new bedding for all three beds—mattresses, mattress covers, sheets, comforters, comforter covers, all of it. We also got the grocery shopping done and applied for a credit card. Finally, I had to return to the public health office to get a permanent Medicare card, now that I am a legal resident. It doesn’t sound like much when I put it in writing, but that was a lot of stops with our two boys! SO glad to get all that done—now we just need a place to put it all! Fingers crossed!