Saturday, April 12, 2008

Glorious Thunder and Other Odds and Ends...

I was awoken by the distant sound of thunder this morning. Not note worthy if I was still living in Jakarta during rainy season or still a child being dragged out of bed in Louisiana... but glorious noise when living in the "Bush Capital"!

Canberra is experiencing a serious drought ~ has been for many years. This was one of the main factors in the horrid bush fires of 2003 that burned more than half of the Australian Capital Territory... the State in which Canberra is located. We live under strict water restrictions ~ Stage 4 to be exact. My neighbor could report me to the government if they happen to see me watering my lawn or filling up my fountain (or even running it!!!) in the back yard.

Driving the kids to school or on the short journey to the grocery store ~ I am reminded of the serious nature of the drought each day. The Australian Government has installed computerized signs in many locations in the city, to remind all citizens how precarious the situation is. As of yesterday, the damns that hold the water supply for the country's capital and surrounding areas were at 46.3%... way up from a low of just over 30%. Yesterday's target water use was 112 million liters... the citizens missed the mark by a huge margin, using just over 146 million liters. I have never known so many facts about water in my life. I am wondering if desalinization plants could help here? They worked wonders in California when we lived there.

Another drought fact... if you ever come across an Australian map, look for Lake George. It would be a massive blue area on the map about 1/3 rd of the way from Canberra to Sydney. When we first arrived in Australia, Joe pointed the lake to Daniel (my little fisherman) saying that it would probably be a great place for fishing and so close... they could go all the time! He mentioned this in his office one day to a few Aussie colleagues ~ who instantly went to gather more Aussies ~ all chuckling.... Why? Lake George is bone dry. So dry that it's main purpose is a huge sheep and cattle paddock now. Quite eerie to peak a large hill and see the massive dry lake bed ahead of you ~ a vivid reminder of the current drought situation. My friend ~ who is my age... 29... just kidding ~ he is 29 and a half (which really is 40) remembers water lapping against the sides of the road when he was a child. Can you imagine an entire lake drying up? I think about Lake Ponchatrain between Mandeville and New Orleans ~ bone dry.... that would be STRANGE!

Our grass is brown... our drought resistant trees are barely making it! So the distant rumbling and the grey wet skies that accompanied it were a wonderful way to wake up this morning! I am hoping that we will be stuck inside all day today because of the rain... but as I type, I can see beautiful blue sky over the mountains ~ Maybe next time!

As for my other odds and ends... The kids are on term break from school. They have two weeks to relax and get ready for the next term. We might go to Melbourne... but might just stay home as we are all going to Hawaii during their mid year break in July! YEAH! The littles will become American Citizens! This will be a trip to remember! The older kids are excited to get reacquainted with the Island of Oahu... our home for nearly 3 years! Joey and Holly started school in Hawaii ~ Mililani Uka Elementary School! We all loved Hawaii and all it had to offer it's residents! It was a great place to live! Can't wait to get myself some Kahuku Corn on a Stick from the Northshore! The best corn in the world!!!!

I have a special "auhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" moment to report about the littles....
Abby was crying last night... over nothing in particular... just tired which means she cries at everything! She had some huge tears rolling down her face... and Lilli disappeared. I thought the crying was too loud for her... nope... she ran to the bathroom and grabbed some tissues and returned and wiped Abby's face ever so gently! SO SWEET!!!!

Here are some pictures from the last few days my parents were here in March. I think they need to be posted! Oh how I wish we lived close to them and could see them on a daily basis ~ even once a month would be a vast improvement over once a year!

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