Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday '08/Memories/Movie "Australia"

(Computer internet connectivity problems have resurfaced the past several days after several honeymoon weeks when they did not occur for unknown reasons. Has taken me an hour of repeated efforts to publish this post. The future with ease of publishing is a mystery. Thanks for your patience.)

Holiday preparation is upon me and I'm not really doing that much. This preparatory activity is my excuse for not having posted here more frequently this December and I'm sticking to my story. I've been a bit busy with my current part time work. Always when I anticipate my work to be slow the opposite occurs as this month has again confirmed.

This year is calm by comparison when I think of how harried and frantic so many past holidays were. My children and husband were at home contributing their own support, assistance and sometimes frustrating complications. I was helping an ultimately not too well mother living nearby who was striving to remain living independently though she was legally blind, a long term problem to which she had amazingly and successfully adapted. The more recent stroke affecting her balance mechanism thus necessitating she use a walker was more challenging.

An even more unwell mother-in-law was flying across country to be with us. Inevitably she became ill, seriously a couple of times, because she revealed she had eaten a green salad on the plane (remember when they actually served food on planes?) even though she knew she shouldn't because of her gall bladder issues. One year she became immobile in bed partially as a consequence of her morbid obesity. Bless my doctor's heart, he who had long since given up house calls came to our house a few blocks from his office and successfully treated her. Then, when she could get around more she delighted in making homemade noodles, and introducing us to pizzelles – an Italian cookie - all of which we delighted in eating.

Some of those years I was taking classes. All too often classes with needed study preparation had tests scheduled around my busiest at home times with my children's activities. My final graduate school semester I developed compressed neck discs due to wee hour morning studying. I would periodically curl up in an Early American wingback chair deliberately positioned uncomfortably so if I fell asleep in the early A.M. hours I wouldn't drowse long, would arouse and get back to studying. Beginning loss of sensation on my right extremity, certain fingers, arm necessitated long hours daily flat on my back, regular episodes of 'hanging myself' to stretch my neck and some high powered meds that seemed to have some adverse affects. The most challenging aspect was my having to write and type my final thesis standing upright at a draftsman's table.

Other years I was working full time with unpredictable daily changing work sites, especially during my initial supervised work experience year (like a medical internship) to qualify for state licensure and national certification. What seems illogical to me now is that since being by myself I've been less organized personally than I was before. Fortunately, this year I've been making more significant gains in structure than at any time since my husband died. Given the state of the economy, the future uncertainty, the appliance replacements and other expenses I've incurred this year, some of which I've written about in earlier posts, I'm glad to have some work available.

I did take advantage of a regular special "senior" rate and showing of a movie I've anticipated viewing about "the land down under." "Australia," starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. They created credible believable performances of characters who could have been ancestors in their homeland. Awesome colorful film footage featured spectacular views showing the vastness of a country I've often thought I'd like to visit. Excerpts from the movie are seen on the official movie website link above.

The breadth of the film's story compressed a significant historical span integrating social, cultural and political issues indigenous to the nation. The one word that best describes this movie from my perspective is that of extravaganza. This is a film that for me tries to encompass entirely too much in the storytelling.

I was reminded during WWII scenes of how significant the work of our military, especially the U.S. Navy submarine fleet and radiomen were in combating the Japanese onslaught in the South Pacific. Recently, coincidentally, I talked with one of those radiomen who spoke with pride of his service. I've written previously about the men who served then (see Archives May 2008) in reference to Mary Lee Fowler's memoir about her father in her book, Full Fathom Five, that captures details of the WWII South Pacific theatre.

About my holiday preparations -- I am looking forward to some family crossing the country to be with me this year after my having made the trek in the opposite direction last year. At least one of our Southern California activities may be of interest, especially New Year's Day, but I'll share that in a later holiday post. Meanwhile, I do have a few things to do.


  1. Thanks for your perseverance in getting this posted!! I want to see the movie Australia; now I've read 3 reviews, including yours. The scenery alone would draw me in, I'm sure. I have always wanted to go there. Don't work too hard!

  2. You have always seemed like a very industrious person to be Joared...never a wasted moment. That's how I see you.

    I too want to see Australia. It looks like something I'd really enjoy. The scenery would be one of the reasons. Happy Holidays sweetie...enjoy yourself...peace and love to you and yours...

  3. I want to see New Zealand even more than Australia.
    The Internet has been slow here, and some of our neighbors are completely offline.
    Anyway, happy holidays.

  4. You are really to be admired for persevering in spite of extreme difficulties.

    I hope your family arrive safely and that you have a joyous Christmas.

  5. Merry Christmas to you.

    Take a break if you need it and we will see you in the the New Year.