Walking along the bike path near her home, Libby and I looked at the gum trees and the Macau and other birds, in the high trees, and the stream near her home. There are many artistically twisted and weathered fallen trees, I’ll be photographing later. We were passed by some other bike riders on “push bikes” and people with their pet dogs saying “G’day!”
Yeh, I am officially here! There was an old Chapel and cottages in which Senior Citizens live. Here, they are called “Third Agers.” They even have a “Man Cave” built for the older gents which is called a “Bloke Shack.” Further on we saw a couple guys, fencing in Renaissance gear. Libby said they are out there ofttimes practicing dressed like that. We walked for a ways and saw three partial rainbows during our walk. Liz and John, unlike their neighbors, have an arched opening between their backyard gardens, and the park. It is winter in July here. It was Sunday. I lost Saturday on my journey here.
The landing was greeted by Qantas, an Australian airline, with a kangaroo symbol on it’s tail. A sign in the entry bragged, “Welcome to Melbourne!!”
I met the off-duty Border Patrol gentleman as he purchased items in a duty-free shop, saying, “I made it!”
Next, lines going through to Australian Customs and Security. I received my second stamp in my Passport, entitling me entry and a stay in Australia. Another serpentine line brought all of us foreigners to a black Labrador retriever hired by security to sniff out drugs from the purses and luggage. Then, we were cleared to go through a doorway. I was visiting with a Danish man which two different guards had assumed we were “traveling together.” He and I parted as it walked to the left opening of the fence of awaiting friend’s and family and he strode to the right. I scanned the faces, as I walked around the fence. Libby and I both recognized each-other at the same time and hugged each-other in an embrace as only long-lost lifelong friends could do. Such happiness! What took us so long! Libby introduced me to her husband, John, and he greeted me with a kiss on the side of both cheeks.
My baggage was placed in the trunk of their Ford, and I sat in the front left seat as John drove sitting on the right. Beautiful land with hills off to the right and houses up on smaller hills to the left. Their home was an hour away. Various sites and current and similar family topics were introduced and discussed. So far from my home, yet our family values and culture match. Some ways do seem more proper and “cultured,” as many Americans are so casual in their manners.
Their home is beautiful! Stone tile floors, large windows, beautiful pictures, photos, and cloth from time and travels. Bookcases of books, a blend of old and new. Many friendly sitting areas, including a central open patio, and a back patio. A great room with a kitchen bar, more leather seating. A long, dining room table accented by a large vase of irises and lilies invited the diners to the “Green Room” where I joined Libby, John, and her sons, Jordan and Zav for some lasagna, after tea-time, and a gift exchange. I brought little items including an ad about nurses and children from the 1950’s, Hardanger fancywork, and a crocheted purse. Also I brought an official American Veterans US flag, which they are going to hang from their open raftered ceiling. Libby gave me some sweet tea-towels and a mug with kucaburros (sp?). A real, lemon tree which grows in their back yard provided freshly picked lemons for my tea.
We went to a gear shop where John and Libby’s youngest son, Jordan, works, for some gear, much like our Scheel’s or Cabbala’s. In the regular season, the pool in front allows customers test-ride their kayaks.
At another stop, Libby ran in to get a “sponge” for me, explaining that it was a speciality, cake shop. Next stop, Wooley’s (Woolworth’s) for a shoulder of lamb, a pumpkin, green beans, cauliflower, and other grocery items for a late dinner.
The lamb was prepared with lamb seasoning and red cooking wine, turned and re-seasoned halfway through the roasting time. It was served with gravy and mint sauce. The pumpkin was cubed and baked with whole potatoes. The cauliflower was “poached” in a white cheesy sauce, and the beans were boiled. A lovely, appetizing dinner shared with Zav’s friend, Bre.(Breanna)
Earlier, Zav, Libby and John’s other son, proudly showed me his 20 year old metallic grey sports-car he had rebuilt, with a finely tuned engine and specially ordered and installed American black leather seats.
Jordan showed me his American themed room, with a flag, US license plates, and a Route 66 sign. Jordan, had already lived in WA state as an exchange student. His American friends keep in touch, and have come to visit. I promised I would send a ND license plate to him.
Some of Libby’s decor alludes to a desire to see Paris. I have also decorated similarly with many Paris street scenes. We both like the colors Orange, Green and Purple.
An added note: The Olympics 2012 started Friday in London. I watched the opening ceremonies on jumbo-troms at the Beijing airport, and now some of the events here in Australia. Also, John and Elizabeth have a favorite Australian rules football team they root for.
Exhausted, I showered and went down for the night, and slept in, resting my 56 year old bones in my “guest” room, enjoying the aroma of a fresh, floral bouquet on a cute, vintage dressing table. Time to get up, stretch, and start my day with a cup of tea.
Guest room and passage in a
book from shelf.