Friday, November 30, 2007

Our Memories...

I love old pictures...

I can vaguely remember this photo being taken but not much beyond that. I could eventually reach the foot pegs on this bike properly and Dad taught me to ride it. It wasn't very fast and I think it would be lucky to do more than 20 kms/hr! But that was still pretty quick to a kid!

Now, to think I'm riding a 900 cc!

It's been a busy couple of weeks here, so haven't had much of a chance to blog. There's plenty to say but I will try and only give the highlights!

This week, for example, I've had a house full of people. Friends from Sydney who are up for the week and friends who were passing through from Brisbane on their way to Sydney! It was good to catch up with them all.

To start the week at work, the coffee machine broke down. A busted element in the boiler has meant that our town has been without decent coffee and I can tell you that the locals have been quite distressed! The boss is doing his utmost to get it fixed but with parts being located in Sydney it has taken time to get them up here.

We've also had some rain! I saw pictures today of water that had filled a friend's dam and was running off as there was so much of it! Wow! It could be a hopeful start to the end of this drought. Now, to try and keep up with the weeds!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Countdown is On.

Well, it is now just under a month until the 1 year anniversary of Mark's accident.

What a strange way to describe the day of someones death! As an anniversary! We normally have such good images associated with anniversaries, this just seems a bit odd in comparison.

Having no clue at first as to what to do and how to deal with it, I seriously thought about going away for the weekend. In the end, I decided that I didn't want to go away as to me, it seemed like running away from it. Rather, I decided that I wanted to spend it with my family and friends. Well, at least those family and friends that also want to spend it with me!

So, on the 9th of December, at around 3pm, folk are going to be gathering at home for afternoon drinks and B.B.Q. Once the sun has set, we'll fire up the surround sound and projector to watch Mark's all time favourite movie, Top Gun on the big screen outdoors! Couldn't get any better than that!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Armidale and A Pair of Boots...

The title to this entry has two meanings to me today! A pair of boots being what I bought for myself when in Tamworth on Monday, as I was passing through back to home. A pair of motorcycle boots to be precise.

The other meaning is that my son has gained the title Lance-Corporal in Cadets. So, he's been wearing a pair of boots too! I was excited to hear that he'd decided to do the leadership course and I think he was excited to have passed the test today to become a Lance-Corporal. Well done, my young man!

Finally, we've had decent rain here. 50mm overnight, which has left the place damp and muddy in places. But I'm sure not complaining! However, you can't please everybody. Those still stripping wheat were stopped from finishing with this bit of rain. But at least they weren't too upset about it. How could you be! It was RAIN!

Well, looks like I've got a lot of mowing coming my way!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

To Ride A Bike is to Ride the Sky...

Well, I've kind of plagarised that saying. It should say to Ride A Horse is to Ride the Sky! But, a bike is up there with riding horses and I've done both!

Putting some photo's away the other day, I happened across one very tiny photo of myself that my mother had passed onto me. I was photographed sitting up on a dirt bike, gripping the handle bars, my feet barely touching the pegs at all of about 5 years of age. Great photo! I can actually remember riding that same bike a few years later all by myself after dad taught me. It wasn't real fast and wasn't all that big a bike but I had fun roaring around on it out at a friends farm near Sofala in NSW.

Now, I am riding that big bike in the above photo. Who'd have thought!? For those of you not in the know, that is a Ducati 900ss. A 1998 model to be precise. The newly reinvented fuel injected model as opposed to carburetted. I could go on but I'd bore the non bike folk out there!

I went out riding again the other day and took that picture. The picture was taken on my crappy camera phone but it speaks volumes to me about riding and the country we live in. It's an awesome photo that speaks of the power and majesty of the bike and the majesty of the beautiful country we live in, even if it is gripped by the worst drought on record. Just look at that sky! It's not called "Big Sky Country" out here for nothing!

I hadn't been out for ages. What with work, school holidays, a trip to Sydney, not to mention a broken part on the bike (how typical for a Duke!) that needed fixing, stopping me from doing it. When I finally got a chance to go, I took my time and enjoyed the experience.

On a Ducati forum, there was a thread started about How Can You Explain Why You Ride A Ducati. Some of the replys were ones that had me nodding my own head in agreeance. There are many reasons why but one of the good ones was because the Ducati chose you not the other way round!

The reason I liked the best however was "Because you ride with your soul and not the throttle." That is what riding a Ducati is. You riding with your soul...

If anyone has in their mind a desire to learn to ride...go and do it. Do it well and do it properly. Learn to ride because you want to ride with your soul...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Catering, Camping and Kids...

Ever had one of those strange experiences where you wake up and don't remember what time or day it is? I experienced that earlier this evening! I have just got back from two nights out camping and catering for 20 people. Exhausted, I went to have a 15 minute powernap! Famous last thoughts! I woke up several hours later, in the dark. It was a bit disturbing and a little unreal as it was dark and I couldn't recall going to bed at night!

The last couple of years, I have done the catering for our churches youth group camps. We usually go to the local lake, Yarrie Lake, for these camps but due to the drought, sadly, the lake is dried up. So, they decided to go up to Lake Keepit and camp there. The picture is of the setup I had for cooking out of which was a camper trailer. I also had a bbq and used it for some meals as well. Normally we'd have a camp oven dinner but as we couldn't have a big pit fire, we didn't do this meal this time.

The last few days were peppered by storms and last nights one was pretty big. Some of the kids tents didn't prove to be waterproof but they all managed to go to sleep during the storm anyway! I guess they were tired too! This year was also different as two separate youth groups got together, which was good for the kids.

Usually, I'd have Mark to give me a hand and keep the campsite well looked after. He'd usually do all the mundane things like keeping fires going, washing up, rubbish disposal, setting up the tent and the like. There were plenty of willing helping hands but none as good as the one you share your life with! Still, it all came off well and everyone enjoyed the food and the amount that there was. No one could complain about going hungry!

It was a great time really. I did get to have some downtime, read a book, wrote in my journal, that sort of thing. Even had some great chats with another girlfriend who was on the camp with her family, they were there as the house parents. There are times when it is great to get outdoors and enjoy the view!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Random Facts About Me

Random Facts About Me

I've been tagged and so here I am responding to that tag. Again, I am totally new to this world of blogs and so don't really know to much about this sort of thing, so please, bear with me!

1. I have one teenage son.
2. My main job at the moment is as a barista (that's a maker of coffee, not a lawyer!)
3. I have a big indoor screen and an even bigger outdoor screen for watching movies!
4. I drive an American pickup.
5. I own my home on 6 acres in a small country town.
6. I spend a bit of spare time on various internet forums and have met various people from them.
7. I am a bronze level swimming coach.
8. I own 5 horses.
9. I love riding my Ducati!
10. I am a Christian.

Thanks to Johblogs for that!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

An Outlook on Life.

When I get to see Mark again, I hope that when he asks me "So, what did you end up doing with your life, Duchess?" I hope that I can give good account to him as well as to Jesus. I am sure that it would be heartbreaking for him if he knew that I didn't live well after he had gone. I guess that I am fortunate that Mark had a pretty good outlook on life himself. He was definitely full of life and we did live a full on life!

The picture I've put here is of one of the planes he flew and the bike he rode (which I now ride) and I think that it just about sums him up. It was taken at the memorial service, which we held in an aircraft hangar as there was no church big enough! It was completely appropriate anyway as we could be surrounded by the family, friends and things that Mark loved. Hence the bike and plane!

The Bible passage that has probably stuck in my mind the most is Ecclesiates 7:1-2

A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.

It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.

In the few hours after Mark's accident, I called family and friends. Within minutes, I had friends at my home and within hours, friends had booked airline tickets and family were packing cars. I had people everywhere at my home, my neighbours home and everyone's homes that could spare a room or two! We even had three large caravans in my backyard (good thing we have 6 acres!) as well as a camping trailer! There were people everywhere! It was a week long gathering and so many of the locals couldn't believe the "call to arms" that had gone out and been answered. They were very impressed with those who came to be by my side. All great Christian family! I was so proud and so happy that they were there! It really was the most amazing ten days of my entire life! And God really showed us how it was going to be in Heaven because, in my opinion, He let Heaven come to my home for a week!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

So, whats the Story?

They say a picture says a thousand words!

Hopefully, what I'm about to say won't take that many...

The aircraft in the picture is an AirTractor 802 series aircraft. The pilot of the aircraft in that photo is my husband. He was photographed by a client who's field of sorghum he was spraying.

Why start a blog with this image? Well, I guess because that man piloting that plane is why I'm starting a blog.

About 10 months ago, my man was in a fatal aircraft accident that involved that very aircraft. Shocking I know but there's just no other way to put it out there!

His accident has been my motivation to reach out to others who are experiencing the same thing as me.

I'm not here looking for sympathy.

Rather, I'm here looking for others that I can help through their own journey of grief and bereavement due to aviation accidents.

So, if you know someone who is going through this or are someone yourself, I'd be pleased to hear from you. Even if all we do is share and chat together about our stories!

The Story So Far...

Well, here I am in the wonderful wide world of Blogging...

I'm making this foray into the blogging world as a way to test the waters so to speak!

So as I get my blog set up, I'll fill in the blanks about my story so far...