Saturday, December 18, 2021

The year 2021


This time last year I commented on words such as 'unprecedented', as it applied to the COVID 19 pandemic which continues to seriously affect our world's physical and mental health, and the economy.  This year, the word that has surfaced many times in my mind is 'fatigue'.  During a long, cold winter, with restrictions on movements and activities, and unprecedented efforts by our governments to provide vaccination for all, fatigue has been evident in my little world, as well as the big world out there.  And recent changes to the 'rules' do not provide me with assurance or comfort.  We can only imagine what lies ahead.

By way of contrast, I have been encouraged by a phrase in a Christmas hymn, 'The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices' (from O Holy Night).  I encourage you, dear reader, to ponder the hope we each have in our Saviour Jesus, the message of Christmas, and the hope that our weary world will truly rejoice.

This year, as with last, I do not have a photo of all our children and grand-children.  The group photo was taken earlier this year when we met up for lunch with Paul, Emily, and Poppy, Zachy, and Abigail, and Josh and Anna, Eve and Norah. 

Having spent a lot of time at home without visitors, I have enjoyed working on some of our family's history, gathering and scanning old photographs and putting together a book about my grand parents Tom and Jessie Davidson.  With the help of cousins, some of whom I have not seen since childhood, I have prepared a book and distributed it as a digital file so that family members can print out their own copies.  I hope the younger generations will hold onto and treasure the images and stories from previous generations.

Another project has been to help my sister Marion Andrews with desktop publishing of her story, 'All the way to Bamaga'.  This is the story of Jie Jie (Mandarin Chinese for 'big sister') and 'Little me' and our younger siblings and parents, and our time in far north Queensland.  

Enough of my doings.  Noel has kept himself busy with work  in our local church, Gisborne Pres, and as convenor of the Victorian committee of Australian Presbyterian World Missions.  He also takes the lion's share of caring for the livestock in our little piece of country - ponies, chooks, Bingo the dog, and a recent addition - a hive of bees.  We are thankful for the health and strength that we have. 

This year we are planning simple gatherings for festive meals on Christmas day and Boxing day.  We are very conscious of the threat of the current strains of the covid virus, without being fearful as we know that God works in all things for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. (Rom 8:28)

We would like to take this opportunity to send loving greetings to you and your family.

Joy and Noel

reflecting on the year 2020


The year 2020 has brought unexpected and often undesired changes into our lives.  The word ‘unprecedented’ has taken on new meaning not just in our family, but in our world.  In response to the COVID 19 pandemic, we have experienced restrictions to freedoms that, previously, had been taken for granted.  Our freedom of movement was curtailed when ’stay at home’ orders appeared.  Our practice of weekly attendance at Church has been blocked for many months, and substituted with electronic broadcasts.  We have returned to Church, with masks and a sign-in ‘QR Code’ and other restrictions as reminders of the ongoing threat. Our freedom to visit our families in the greater Melbourne area was denied during the months of ’lockdown’, with a ’ring of steel’  that could not be traversed either way without a suitable permit.   Our children’s access to education has been disrupted, and replaced, with varying degrees of acceptability, by Zoom sessions and supervision of home learning by (mainly) mothers.   At the same time mothers and fathers have also been working from home. 

This year there is no ‘all-of-the-family’ photo.  We have not been together at the same time.  We are thankful for the small gatherings that we have been able to enjoy. 

We (Noel&Joy/Dad&Mum/Grandpa&Granny) continue to enjoy our ’lifestyle’, with chookies, ponies, and Bingo to look after; grass to mow; fruit trees and garden to water and tend.   We love the opportunities that we have to care for our precious grandchildren, and each day we pray that God will protect, guide, and strengthen each family. 

[picture:  our new grand daughter, Abigail.]