Grace and peace to you at Christmas

“Life is like riding a bicycle”, Albert Einstein said, “To keep your balance you must keep moving.” And we have moved literally this year. We’re renovating our dear little house in South Plympton in anticipation of living out the remainder of our lives here in Adelaide.

That was a big decision. Most of our family and lifelong friends are in South East Queensland and it would have been natural to move back there at some stage. But after all these years we realise we have another big, multi-generational family here in Adelaide; people who took us into their lives and made us part of their families and who are part of ours now too. We’ll always go back and forth to Queensland. But we couldn’t leave Adelaide permanently and still be ourselves anymore.

Isn’t that strange? We still have an accent. We still have no meaningful answer to the crucial local question “What school did you go to?” We still get surprised by who’s related to who. But we belong here nonetheless. Love will do that.

So we’ve moved out while our house is renovated. The picture we’ve chosen for our Christmas card this year is of the lovely little house in the next suburb that we’ve been fortunate enough to move into. The Jacaranda in bloom even gives it an Advent feel.

We are both approaching 30 years of service with our respective organizations; Heather with the University of South Australia, and Andrew with the South Australian Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia. That sounds like stagnation, but in fact it has been 30 years of constant change as we’ve moved through different roles and our organizations have tried to respond to changes in the communities they serve. But 30 years is still a long time. It means you know where the bodies – and the treasures – are hidden.

Andrew’s mother, Beth, passed away in September after a couple of years of very poor health. Heather’s mother, Betty, has declined significantly this year. She continues to live in St Mary’s Aged Care where she receives the constant care that she needs. We’ll be heading to Queensland to have Christmas with Dad in Brisbane and Betty in Caloundra.

We wish you and those you love a very happy Christmas and every blessing in 2019.

Grace and peace

Andrew & Heather

Christmas 2018