Actually, they are here. Right here in my tiny house, sleeping off their jet lag.
In 1980 and ’81, my former spouse and I hosted a vibrant, funny, beautiful-in-and-out Australian girl as an exchange student. We spoiled her rotten, taking her on trips out of the plains of Indiana to Memphis, Gatlinburg, the Florida beaches and Disney World, to see whatever parts of America we could show her in a short time during the school year.
Happily, we have had the pleasure of her visits many times over the years, as she is a flight attendant with Qantas Airlines. When her boys were old enough, she brought them to visit. Now her boys are taller than I am.
In 2006, my former spouse and I visited her in Australia, and in 2011, when our worlds and lives changed so drastically, Jen wanted to fly around the world to comfort us. She and her two sons did, a year later. How hard it is to have “parents” that need separate visits when one is traveling from so far away. How wonderful it was to have that love and support come to us.
Now, for the third year in a row, (I pinch myself to see if I am dreaming), the Australians are here, the Australians are here! Everyone loves my Australians. My next door neighbors anticipate the visits. My down-on-the-corner neighbors love us stopping in for an introduction. My sister drives over from the next town for her dose of Aussies.
Jen’s vibrant, funny, beautiful-in-and-out boys and I baked pies, walked Hattie, and planned, planned, and schemed my visit to their Down Under neck of the woods in 2015. We have a long list of to dos while they are here: go to Whole Foods, the Farmer’s Market, Air Bound, Dairy Queen, the Fair in Greensboro, Lake Waccamaw, bake more pies, the Mall, Hanes Outlet, and even more.
Life is always good, but it is even better when my Australians come.