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Saturday, February 20, 1999

13 Years Condensed–Catch Up Time

Firstly I want to say a big “Thanks” to Snookie Quinn for helping me set up my blog.  You can follow Snookies blog which is listed on the right hand side column on this page.  Below is a picture of Snookie taken at our 4th July BBQ here on Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. ( I hope you like it Snookie..I know you are watching)
Let me tell you why I chose “Waltzing Matilda” as the name of my blog, as I am a Aussie after you read it will all make sense to you.
In Waltzing Matilda, an Australian swagman (homeless drifter who wandered between towns and cattle/sheep stations) stops by a billabong, which is a waterhole cut off from the main river or creek. He waits for water to boil in his billy, presumably to make some tea. While doing so, he notices a jumbuck, or male sheep, come to the water. He springs up, grabs the sheep, and stuffs it into his tucker bag (A bag or box to hold food or other other rations). The troopers (Police) come after him, so he jumps into the billabong and drowns, preferring to die than to be carted off to jail.
The actual words about going "Waltzing Matilda" mean having the freedom to come and go as one pleases. Swagmen would toss their swag (Matilda) onto their back and go wandering, not subject to anyone's authority. This particular swagman was also not going to be subject to anyone's authority. He was free to camp wherever he wanted, free to roam, free to steal a sheep if he wanted, and free to take his own life so the troopers couldn't take away his freedom.

Just below the Red Star is where we spent out time while in Australia, it’s a tad below Bunbury. This part of the state is quiet cool considering how hot the rest of the country can get.

A little about Dann ( my husband) and myself (Pat).
As I said above I am a Aussie and my husband is a American. I met my my husband in a chat room on the internet back in 1989. We chatted and video came for about 6 months if I remember rightly. After all that chatting we realized we wanted to meet each other. We decided I would come to the US while I was on holidays from my job. That idea fell by the board real quick. I sold everything I owned, and bought a return ticket to the US.  I arrived on new years eve in 1998 and on the 20th Feb we got married.
We bought a house and lived in Layton, Utah for 8 years. Had all the trimmings to go with it, cat, dog, ferrets. After 8 years I woke up one day and told my husband it was time for us to go to Australia for a while. I wanted to go back for 8 years, the same amount of time I had been in the US. Dann told me he would give  me 5 years. I accepted that but I remember thinking …yeah right..!!! We will See about that !!   Smile 
I had grandchildren I had not met. I was so excited to be going home. My 1st grand child Maddy was just 6 months old when I left Australia.
There was a catch..we couldn’t go back until  Dann retired..so we had to sit it out and wait..About 15 months. !!!
When the time got closer to our departure we put our house up for sale and started to have our many garage sales. I think all up we had 4 or 5 garage sales and just about sold everything. High end nick knacks that I had collected I sold on EBay.           LOVE   EBAY !!
With our house close to being sold we found homes for our pets. Annie  &  Lulu our dogs &  Kitta  who was the best cat in the world.– and my 3 ferrets. Broke my heart to have to send them off  to new homes. Haven’t owned a pet since.
House sold…animals housed in new homes..we left the US and headed for Australia.
We travelled using the Military Space A all the way to Singapore then we bought a ticket into Perth Western Australia
We decided to live, well I decided we would live down south in WA. Its a much cooler climate down south. North in Australia in HOT !!   Busselton is where we decided to put down our roots for the 5 years we were going to be here. Busselton is a really beautiful place, it’s on the coast and you can hear the waves crashing onto the beach as you lay in bed at night.  My old coda Gail ( friend for many years) hired me to work for her cleaning rooms in  the resort she was the boss in. I worked here on and of for the 5 years we were in Australia. Dann did a lot of volunteer  work for the information bureau and the senor citizen computer  club.
             Below is a picture of the Busselton Jetty.
busselton 2
Beautiful Beaches
We spent our time in Australia working and catching up with my family. Quiet a few visits to Kalgoorlie, Kalgoorlie is a Gold Mining Town with the biggest open cut gold mine in the world, this is where David my eldest son  and his family live. Perth is the Capital of Western Australia and this is where my youngest son Matthew and his family live.  Ballidu is where my sister Julie and our parents live. My sister and her fiancĂ©  Roger run a Pub.  It’s the only pub in Ballidu which is a wheat belt town. Below is a picture of me trying to pull a beer in the bar.
       Below A picture of my sister Julie and her fiancĂ© Roger

Julie & Roger
Half way through our 5th year back in Australia I decided it was time to let my husband know I wasn't ready to head back to the States.  I needed more time !! I felt like I had not spent enough time with my family.  I didn't know when I would see them all again. I wasn't sure if I would ever see my parents ever again. They are getting on in age and Mum had a mini stroke while we were back. This left her half the energetic person that she was. That woman could out walk any person I know. Miss you both. Below is  pictures of my parents
portrat of mum and dad
Below is a picture of my eldest son David, his wife Tara and my 2 grandchildren Jaron and Paige.


Below is a picture of my youngest son Matthew and his wife Kristy. I cant find a family picture of them at all. I will post pictures of their kids under this one.


This is Maddy on the left and Chloe on the right goofing around for Nan.
Grandkids Visit 012
And finally Miss Charlotte
Well  all that said and done..back to my panic attack about leaving Australia Sad smile Dann told me he would give me 1 more year , oh yeah !!! I knew I would win, I always do hehehe. One year was better than nothing but once again I went into over drive about when I would ask for more time. I had time on my side !! BUT  about that time the US dollar hit rock bottom and prices in Australia went through the roof. The Aussie dollar went over the US Dollar.  When we first arrived back in Australia we could buy almost 2 Au Dollars for every American Dollar. Now that the AU Dollar is worth more than the US Dollar we could not afford to stay any longer. We started to make plans to return to the US. I was devastated, all my planning was for nothing because of the Dollar.
As were were renting it was a lot easier to get organized to leave. we never bought new furniture so we were able to sell all of it in a one weekend “Garage Sale”. We gave so much away, just to be rid of it.
Once again our lives were reduced to a suitcase each. 20 kilos each to be exact. That's all the weight  that Singapore Airlines would allow. I tried to stash some “Vegemite” in my carry on bag to reduce weight in  my suitcase. The BASTARDS at the check point found it and confiscated it..ALL 4 JARS !!! I was so pissed of it wasn't funny.
So of to America   “The Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave”  we went.