03 November, 2014

When fun is work.

We spent Saturday at my parents church in Toowoomba, a bit over an hour west of here. David spoke at a men's breakfast and the whole family got involved in the Japan Family Fun night that we ran that evening.

Here I am giving my "hats" presentation. I use labelled
hats to represent the various roles that I have in Japan.
We stayed Friday and Saturday nights at Mum and Dad's. I think I've said before that the boys like being there. It is the one place in Australia that has remained the same for their entire lives. But they were still very slow to pack up and get out of our house on Friday after they got home from school.

Saturday morning (after the breakfast, which only David attended) we spent with friends who have similar aged kids and similar challenges in fitting into mainstream Australian life (they're with the army). I took my cross-stitch and it was a delightful morning. Long-term friends are the best! Our shared history makes conversation easy. There's relaxation in knowing that there's nothing to prove and that they're unlikely to take offence. We know each other well and conversation doesn't stay at the weather-level for long.

We went back to my parents' house for some rest before heading out for the evening. That recharged our social batteries and gave us the stamina to make it through.

Saturday night we had about 26 adults plus children. It was a fun night, though I sensed a heaviness of spirit in the room that I attributed to fatigue and somewhat humid heat. However it could have been a spiritual oppression. I was particularly impressed to see that I've worked myself out of a job. In previous such evenings over the last ten years I've been the one teaching origami. This time our eldest son did it, and did a great job.

Sunday morning we didn't have to do anything in the worship service, because it was a thanksgiving service for school chaplains and we heard from about half a dozen of them. Afterwards my middle son said, "What's a chaplain?" I guess that was assumed knowledge in the service!

The real "work" was after church when we talked to people. This is the work I'm finding the hardest (aside from parenting), I think. But I'll deal with that in another post on another day.

We enjoyed two bring-and-share meals over the weekend, Saturday dinner and Sunday lunch. Always takes me back to growing up years when this was a common thing at our church. 

After lunch we headed for Brisbane to an altogether different meeting. We sat around in the lounge room of friends and talked about the summer camp that we'll be helping at in January (we did this last time too, but with smaller boys). More about that later too.

Finally we arrived home at about 6pm. Tired and very ready to settle in. We're "home" now for 26 straight nights. Something to savour.

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