If one ever needed a reason to complete assignments as given by professors in the legal education realm, sitting-in on my Crim law class would enlighten you to such a necessary requirement. Two individuals made answering Socratic-type questions equivalent to having all your teeth pulled one at a time without any anesthesia. Please people…take the time and read so that there is no reason for the rest of your class to deem you an imbecile of TITANIC proportions!!!! AND – if you are relatively sure that you will be called on…do additional prep work and once again you might be saved. Shesh!
There is no rhyme or reason that we as mortals can think of for the death of a small child, but today the impact of such a death is rippling through my office. One of my co-workers has a wonderful wife and two beautiful girls. A little after 8:00 this morning the younger of his two children went in for a heart catheterization in her 10th week of life. After beginning the anesthesia, Ella Cate’s heart stopped beating. Her doctors worked for over an hour to revive her, but could not. As I learned of this painful news, I was reminded of my favorite hymn – “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks.” The third and fourth verses especially spoke to me of the promise we have as Christians looking into Cannan’s happy land:
3. No chilling winds nor poisonous breath
Can reach that healthful shore;
Sickness, sorrow, pain and death,
Are felt and feared no more.
4. When shall I reach that happy place,
And be forever blessed?
When shall I see my Father’s face,
And in His bosom rest?
I am bound for promised land.
May we all take a moment in our busy days to realize that the stormy shores on which we stand are but a fleeting moment in our Christian life. We ARE bound, WE are bound, we are BOUND for the promised land.
Franz Kafka may have penned the novel, but folks, I’m here to tell you that my house lives the story. Recently my sweet roommates and I have been fighting an uphill battle of us vs. the roaches. Right now the roaches are putting up a strong front, but little do they know that we are closing in on them from all sides. We have sprayed, we have squashed, we have washed, we have sealed, and we have screamed. Now we are bringing in the Realtor to show him the HUGE cracks in our kitchen wall. There is at least, and I’m really not kidding, a 4 to 5 inch gap between the bottom cabinet and the wall. You can actually see the pipes! The abyss behind the dishwasher should have its own zip code and I believe a cross-eyed two year old could have hammered the back boards to our cabinets closer together.
Last night sweet Caroline pulled out the utensil drawer to retrieve a knife – simply to cut her honeydew – and sitting there on our forks was specimen number 483…the roach. She sprayed…it ran…she followed…it died. A small victory for us, but it had the final word as we had to wash the entirety of our utensil drawer. I feel like every shadow has now metamorphosized into our worst nightmare – Not only are they getting more numerous, but they are growing in size! Pray for our safety and sanity as we battle our unwelcome house pests.
Okay so for those of you who do not know…I have dabbled (emphasis on dabbled) in the realm of golf for about 3 or so years. Do not be deceived by the length of time because in that period I believe I have only played – serious full length games – maybe 10 times. So please feel free to join me as I laugh my head off at the following scenario. I was informed about a month ago that I had been placed on the Wells Marble and Hurst team for a Jackson Young Lawyers Association golf tournament! Yeppers folks, today at 1:00 I will be teeing off (lets pray I can remember how to do that since the past year I have been working simply on my swing at the driving range). I am under the impression that the others in my crew are not so steller themselves. Should be a good time, but I am having flashes of Happy Gilmore run through my brain this morning. (Please don’t let the dude from Price is Right show up…I really just might go ballistic!)
By now most of you will know that Tara and I have made it safely home from Oz. Brisbane was fantastic, although we spent our only day there trying to figure out the public transport system and then successfully were transported to the Koala Sanctuary where we cuddled koalas and kangaroos! We flew out of Brisbane at 11:30 on Sunday the 15th and arrived in L.A. at 7:30 am on Sunday the 15th! After a hilarious and frustrating run to catch our plane to Phoenix we arrived safely in Jackson at 5:30 last night. I am posting some pictures now but have so many more to show if you are interested. Thank you all for your prayers and comments on the postings…we loved them! This weekend I am heading to my best friend’s wedding in Missouri and am sure to have great pictures and stories from that as well.
Today we traveled on a 90 min. gondola ride to the small mountain/rainforest town on Kuranda. After 3 or 4 hours shopping around the markets and dodging rain clouds, we traveled back down to Cairns on a train that twisted through the mountain terrain. The views were absolutely beautiful! We rested for about 2 or 3 min. and then began to plan our next day here in Cairns…unfortunately (or fortunately) we found out that we are leaving on a 10:00 a.m. flight for Brisbane in the morning!! We died out laughing when this hit us! So, we are going to fly to Brisbane tomorrow and then catch a train to Surfers Paradise…yes that is the name of the town on the Gold Coast. We will stay there for one night and hopefully take some surfing lessons before heading back into Brisbane to our bed and breakfast for the rest of our time! I’ll post tomorrow if I can.
Oh yeah and tonight we went to a Tjabuquia aboriginal dinner theater thing! Absolutely fantastic!
Today was fantastic!!! We were transported to the marina at 7:00 this morning and caught a tour boat of only 20 people out to the Great Barrier Reef. The water was a little choppy, but we made it to two different dive/snorkel sites with a buffet lunch included. Tara went for her first dive at the second location in the outer reef. I stuck to snorkeling and was rewarded with two views of a reef shark, several beautiful fish, and one really cute sea turtle! I was able to view Tara from above and she looked like she was having fun playing on the sea floor with a giant clam! 🙂 Oh the stories we have. We made it back to shore about 4:30 and proceeded to dinner at an Irish restaurant (YUM!) Tomorrow we will head up to Kurunda to the rainforest via skyrail and the return trip on a train!! Yeepie skippie! I will hopefully post tomorrow with more news! Cross your fingers that the pictures from our underwater camera turn out ok! Stories to come include…sea pineapples, and Tara’s mermaid adventures 🙂
Alright, alright, so I know that you all think we have been captured by Aboriginal peoples, but I assure you that we are doing great! Its just that I refused to pay the $2 per 10 min for Internet in the middle of the outback. We know you are all dying to hear about our adventures but we decided that you should all wait to hear it first hand when we get back (to save time and money 🙂 ) I will tell you that it was hot, the rocks were big, we discussed the social habits of Michael Jackson with mates from Australia, we ate kangaroo, and now are preparing for a fun-filled few days in Cairns where the weather is warm. Here we come Great Barrier Reef and the Karunda Rainforest! Love to you all. If I can post cheaply in the future, I will. Next city is Brisbane.
Christina and Tara
Okay so I am going to apologize for what I know will be an extremely short post, but tonight I am so tired that I can barely keep my fingers moving on the keyboard. This morning we went to the Avis rental place to pick up our car and after all papers had been signed and the navigation system issued, we find out that we are getting a standard transmission vehicle. So Tara looked at me and said “You’re driving.” Tara is great at driving a standard, but hasn’t had as much experience as I have so I nervously took the drivers seat.
Long story short is that we got lost in Sydney (WITH THE NAVIGATION SYSTEM) for an hour, but we finally made it onto the freeway and started our 2 1/2 hour drive into the Hunter Valley. The drive was great and we actually saw some sunlight for the first time since we have been here! We pulled inot the bike shop at a little after 11:45 and started our touring by eating lunch at a cafe by one of the vineyards. Then it was off to three others where we were educated on the finer points of the wines and what to look for in each. The biking was great, but our hinies are tremendously sore 🙂
We drove back into Sydney successfully and dropped the car off at the Airport (it stayed open later) and then caught the train back into town. I know that you all would love more details about the driving experience, and believe me there are TONS, but I am just too tired to put them all into words. Tomorrow we fly to Ayers Rock (pronounced Airs Rock) and will be there for two days. Right now I need to repack my luggage and get some much needed sleep (I only got 3.5 hours last night and with all the pressure, nerves and excitement of driving in Sydney and in the Valley, I am exhausted).
Tune in tomorrow for more tales from the Outback!
Hello all. Today started with some bumps and twists and a headache, but all went well in the end. Tara and I decided to go to the vineyards today in Hunter Valley and were outside at 10:30 awaiting our ride. Around 10:45 Tara called to see if our driver had left yet and found out that the driver had thought we were staying in a different hostel in a town much closer to the valley. The trip into the valley from Sydney is around 2 1/2 hours! So we had to regroup. We decided to go to the Blue Mountains instead, since we could quickly arrange transportation.
We left at 12:30 p.m. on a train bound for Katoomba for a grand total of 11.00 AUD. We arrived 2 1/2 hours later and navigated our way to the visitor information hut around 2:30. After looking at several different hikes we chose a 2 hour one that included SEVERAL stairs down into the rain forest and back up! The hike was wonderful and the vistas – INCREDIBLE! (Pictures do not do justice) Through the mist and rain we saw a few waterfalls and really unique trees and foliage. Around 5:00 the sun began to set and we were deep in the forest. Ok, use your imaginations here…deep in the rain forest…setting sun…a little more than 1/2 way done with the hike. Yeppers folks, we hiked the remaining time with flashlights and moderate rain! Oh the stories to tell. We did arrive safely back at the starting point around 6:00.
We walked back into Katoomba and ate a relaxing meal at quaint cafe near the train station. After spending an hour or two sipping tea, hot chocolate, and a glass of red wine (we really needed to defrost..did I mention that it was about 48 to 50 degrees when we got there??) we caught the 8:24 train back into Sydney. What a wonderful day.
Trying to make plans on the public transportation system for our journey to Hunter Valley tomorrow (or today, since it is 12:30 a.m. right now) proved to be quiet difficult and so we decided to rent a car and drive the 2 1/2 hours into the valley. People…WE NEED PRAYER! Neither of us has driven a European styled car (wrong side of car, wrong side of road) but we are going to attempt it! We will pick up the car at 7:30 tomorrow morning and start our adventure! We are renting a navigation system with the car to help lessen the confusion. Pictures still proving to be a problem to post, but they will come! Love to you all and I will post tomorrow!