Sunday, December 23, 2012
So this is... Christmas?
I've been away for Christmas before. I did it on my exchange in 2005, in Argentina with the Bolado family, who granted me time on a phone to call home. Horrible reception or not, I spoke to my family, and opened the package that I had waited nearly three weeks to open after it's early arrival. This year is a little different. I'm not with a family. I'm not surrounded by decorations or other people that are as wild about Christmas as I am. There's no Christmas tree. Christmas cards and packages haven't arrived yet, and likely won't until after Boxing Day. That all sounds so sad and glum, and it's really not what I'd intended. It's just stating the facts about spending Christmas alone. You really reflect on a lot; what you're thankful for, what you miss, where you wish you could be, or what you could be doing. But! There are positives! There are always positives. It's hot. Sunny. There's a beach nearby. People leave cold Christmases all the time for destinations like where I'm LIVING. Parks. Flowers. GORGEOUS beaches. Colourful birds. Live music. I will have access to skype, and will be able to see my family members' faces - so thankful for internet. I do, also, have one thing arriving via plane, at 7pm on Christmas evening. Mr. Alex Newbould will be flying in, and I can't wait! He'll be my Christmas! Wait... it's August! Right!
Life is still going well here housesitting in Varsity Lakes. Walking Athena continues to be a daily highlight! Today I made my way to Burleigh Heads, to the beach. It was crawling with people, and will be for the next week or so, while families take their vacations and share their time in the sun. There are barbecues available for people to use, and picnic tables scattered all over the parks and along the beach for convenience. Although I applied my sunscreen today, I returned to the house a little rosie! In the first beach picture, you can see the skyline of Surfers Paradise in the distance. I wish the pictures I took did more justice! The second beach picture shows the Burleigh Heads National Park forest that you can walk through - that's on the list of to-dos! (So is watching the sun rise, since now we're on the east coast!) In the third one, you can see the heaps of people in the water wading in the waves. I was in a few times today to cool off. Nothing better than a dunk in the sea! The waves were huge and really strong today, and there were only two areas along this entire stretch of beach that we were able to go into. They had the Surf Aid team on in full force! A little boat and everything! There must have been two or three dozen staff in bright yellow and red shirts on, blowing their whistles and keeping people between the flags.
A day at the beach like today, you sure see a wide variation of "budgie smugglers," let me tell you! All kinds of them. (I can hear my mom laugh at that expression, and I love it!)
I finished off a good chunk of yard work, and did some laundry. You can see a stick bug I found while filling up a wheelbarrow load! What a neat little creature. I haven't come across any snakes yet, which is a good thing. "Joyce from number 9" - aka, the neighbour, has warned me about the snakes. I've seen plenty of little geckos, but no snakes... yet. The cockatoos are still devouring the seeds in the trees! They're quite the entertainment, and boy are they loud. I'm doing my best to keep myself busy while counting down the
now forty four and a half hours until Alex lands. We've got all kinds of things we'll be doing while he's here, before he goes back to Western Australia. He's only had three days off in the last 47 he's worked, so this break will be much needed and very well deserved.
The bottom picture shows four generations of the Lytle family. My beautiful grandma, my Dad's mom, Gladys. My favourite man, (looking very handsome I must say!) my Dad, Wes.
My incredible sister Allison, and her sweet daughter (my favourite martian!!), Kinley.
Merry Christmas everyone! Cherish it! Eat lots. I mean, like put yourselves into food comas and enjoy the couches and company to the fullest!
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!