In Families

School Holidays and Long Weekends (we've had both this month) are wonderful for catching up with family (especially those who live out of town or for organising sleepovers for Adorable Granddaughters), getting outside in nature, seeing some new places, and trying new experiences (the most I stepped out of my comfort zone was to climb into a boat that Son#3 was driving and then sit in a natural hot pool with a lot of strangers - DIL#3 was the wakeboarder).

I love these people to bits (along with all the ones who were lucky enough not to get in photos) and enjoyed immensely the time spent together and the opportunity to share some fine scenery ...

 (Someone else wanted to get in the photo too.)

 (Such beautiful spots right on our doorstep.)

 (Stopped for lunch here. Kicking myself that I didn't get photos of the mountain. Knowing how quickly it can disappear from view, why did I think I'd get a photo on the way home???)

(Yep, this us what I really look like.)
 (Hot Water Beach. Note the steam rising off the water.)
 (Apparently this is news to some! Just walking along the water's edge, you could feel the heat.)

 (Apparently the water was freezing, but we were all able to relax in a hot pool afterwards.)
 (The pretty little cove that was just a few steps away from the hot pool.)

The Bible says that God places the lonely in families. I am so grateful for that. But as I think on this, I can't help but feel sadness that DH and I have been here almost twenty two years yet still our "best friends" are back in Australia. We've been in the same area - even the same church - for all that time, and yet there is no one that we would consider ourselves particularly close to.

At first I blamed it on a cultural difference. I recall how astonished I was when I was told, "I'm sure if you invite the ladies from the church around that they would come." As the newbie, I wasn't used to making the first move. It wasn't how it was done where I came from and I struggled with it. Perhaps that explains why my first friend was an ex-pat (who has since returned to Australia). Funny how two countries with so many things in common can still have such varied customs that are not evident until one is immersed in the culture.

At times, I am aware of an underlying loneliness. It catches me up at times. But mostly I enjoy my own company and that of family ... and am grateful for the move across the ditch which blessed me with these darlings ...