Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Suprises of Life.....

May 4, 2015

So much has happened since my last post......  We have had new missionaries come into the mission, we have taken a trip up to the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands with Elder and Sister Mickelsen and I am currently in Alaska helping my daughter who had major back surgery for a herniated disk.  I will be returning to Australia in another week or so.....
Moolooaba Beach

The last comment on the previous blog was about the trip to inspect a couple of flats the mission was closing.  One was about an hour north of our residence.  After we inspected it we drove over to Moolooaba on the coast.  There we found a beautiful long beach.  We took a long walk in and out of the water. 


Beach Dancers
Along the way we came across a group of people dancing on the beach.  They appeared to be having a great time.  I was tempted to join in.  Then we came across a sand Giant taking a nap on the beach.  The beach also has a wonderful boardwalk with many restaurants, clothing shops, souvenior shops, ice cream shops, etc.  It was too late to do much shopping as everything closes down at 5 or 5:30 on Saturdays except the restaurants who open at 5:30 or six.  It was an amazing beach that we want to revisit.  Much more family friendly than the Gold Coast Strip to the South.

Giant Sand Man

No Spring in My Legs
Amazing Companion
 On April 18th Sister Parsons and I took Elder and Sister Mickelson to the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands.  They had never been up to see the Glass Mountains, or Mary Cairnscross Reserve (rain forest).  We drove to Melany first and toured the Botanical Garden (Sister Parsons and I had not visited it before) We saw some amazing plants and flowers plus a beautiful view of the Glass Mountains.  The big purple chair is supposedly the largest chair in Australia and they are in the process of building an even bigger chair.  This garden is privately owned and operated and they have done an amazing job.

Lilly Tomlin Double

Amazing Plant

Ginny Hens
 Next we went to find the Melany creamery which was suppose to have wonderful soft serve ice cream.  They did have ice cream in cups which was really expensive but no cones which is what we were looking for.  Our next stop was the Cheese factory where we were able to taste a number of unusual cheeses.  I found one I really liked called Tuscan.  It is really delicious hope it is still good when I get back.  There menu said they had milk shakes so we ordered four milk shakes to our amazement they were flavored milk which had been beaten in a blender.  Could not identify any ice cream in any of them.  Great disappointment.....

Elder & Sister Mickelsen
 Our next stop was the Mary Cairscross Reserve.  It was my third visit and each one gets better.  Part of the trail was closed because the huge fig tree is in danger of falling and they are trying to figure out a way to protect it and keep it upright.  It will be a shame if they cannot save it because it is hundreds of years old.  Because of this we walked a different part of the path than I had before.  We met some people on the trail who told us there were a number of Pattimelons up the trail.  They are a part of the kangaroo family.  The smallest and have red ears.  We were on the lookout and saw several along the trail and next to the trail.  As we rounded a corner I saw one standing in the middle of the trail and there was a baby beside it.  Mom took off and it took a minute for the baby to follow.  We almost got a picture of it but not quite.  He stopped just off the trail so we got to see him up close but he did not stick around.  He hopped over and climbed into Mom’s pouch.  How amazing was that to watch...... We were really disappointed we did not get his picture.  I was able to get a couple of pictures of one along the side of the trail.  He is really hard to see but he is in the center of the picture.  He is looking to the right......

 The Monday following Easter Sunday is called Smyngus Dingus in Poland.  We decided to bring a little of Poland to Australia and surprise our Office Missionaries.  In Poland it means water day.  You never know when someone might come after you with water in any container.  We forgot to buy balloons so used sandwich baggies filled with water.  Our intention was not to hit them but just throw water in their direction.  They were surprised and some joined in as missionaries came to the office.  Senior missionaries can have fun.......

Smyngus Dingus - a bit of Poland in Australia
Denise hurt her back in March and the last week in April had surgery for a herniated disk.  The surgery went well and she is recovering but I was not staying in Australia while my daughter had major surgery.  I left Brisbane at 10:50 AM on Saturday April 25th arriving at Los Angeles at 6:30 AM on Saturday April 25th.  Denise had arranged a flight from LAX to Juneau for me.  I had about a 5 hour layover in Los Angeles.  I had frozen the whole flight so was hoping to warm up in Los Angeles but no such luck.  It was a cloudy cold day.  I arrived in Seattle in time to get a bowl of Ivar’s Clam Chowder before the flight to Juneau.  It was soooooo good and helped warm me up.

My granddaughter, Kiera was coming home from BYU and we flew to Juneau on the same flight.  It was great to catch up with her.

Classic Queenslander
I have wanted to share the Queenslander homes with you for some time.  This distinctive tradition originated with rough timber huts of early settlement and developed into the multi-gabled bungalows of the 1930s. Buildings continued until, and were adapted after, the Second World War.  The most typical early twentieth century Queensland house is characterised by:

    timber construction with corrugated-iron roof;
    highset on timber stumps;
    single-skin cladding for partitions and sometimes external walls;
    verandahs front and/or back, and sometimes the sides;
    decorative features to screen the sun or ventilate the interior; and
    a garden setting with a picket fence, palm trees and tropical fruit trees.

There are many styles of the famous 'Queenslander', but they share a distinct construction style, internal spaces, furnishing, and gardens. They are now valued as a key element of Queensland heritage and conservation and renovation of Queenslanders is widespread.  I understand they were originally built up off the ground to help keep them cool with the air circulation under the house.  There are so many examples of the Queenslander in and around Brisbane as well as throughout Queensland.  I love the looks of them and the iron work is beautiful around the windows and porches. 

Australia Landscape
While I have been gone I understand Queensland has had some terrible rain with flash floods.   I am glad I missed it but am sorry for those who have been affected by the bad weather.

To close out this blog here are three pictures of Alaska:  the Mendenhall Glacier with the Mendenhall Lake in the foreground,  Mendenhall Lake with icebergs from the glacier, and a creek that runs into Mendenhall Lake.  The beaver have damed the creek so it has backed up and killed the trees.

Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Lake Icebergs

Duck Creek 

I will be forever grateful to the Area Presidency, my Mission President and the Lord for the opportunity to come to Alaska and help my daughter.  I know the Lord loves me, my family and all his children and he does bless us everyday. 

PS:  I am sitting in the Juneau Alaska airport awaiting my flight to Seattle.  It is the beginning of the long trek back Down Under.   Denise is doing very well and will recover fully.  She just needs to take it easy for the next four to six weeks, no bending, twisting or picking up heavy items.   How very grateful I am for a loving Heavenly Father who knows us and our needs....

May the Lord bless each of You........ Until the next Blog from sunny Brisbane......

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