Star Date:  March 2004
                                                                  Victoria and New South Wales


Hello Dear Family & Friends!


No worries!



"Give Thanks and

Smile From the Inside Out!!"

(Words that came to me during a morning meditation time)



Most things in life come down to simplicity.  Our life has become very simple and rich.  Remembering to give thanks and to smile are important.  Just the thought of twisting
around and smiling from the inside out makes me smile.  Someone has a sense of humor.
And why not?  Life is too short not to spend a good part of it smiling!


The week before we left Tasmania they had a record rainfall.  Luckily we were high and dry but many roads washed out and rivers flooded.  One guy was stranded as the water flowed across the road in front of his car.  Instead of worrying about it he just threw his fishing
line in and caught two enormous trout –over two feet long each.  He made the front page
of the state newspaper!  When life gives you lemons – go fishing!


We were sitting next to a bridge, built by the convicts in 1885, in the quaint historic town
of Ross.  We noticed a little creature swimming for the shore.  Joseph grabbed a stick
and rescued it.  It was a baby rabbit.  Half dead and looking like a drowned rat, we gave
it “CPR”, wrapped it in a towel and put it in the van until morning.  It was fluffy and
recovered by then and off it hopped. In Ross we also met Kevin who lived there for
74 years, and his old dog, Bob. Kevin’s great grandfather had been brought over as a
horse thief, worked off his indenture service, and made a new life. Many people in
Tasmania are direct descendants of convicts and real down to earth people, proud of
their heritage.


The weather cleared and we had warm sunshine for our last week. We drove back through
the beautiful Hellyer Gorge and camped across from the wayside, in a forest full of kookaburras.  While hiking at dusk we saw two different little platypuses busily catching dinner in the river.  Another of Australia's amazing unique animals.  A billboard in Tassie
said “Now Is The Time.”  Just thought I’d throw that in, in case you had a question to


February 5th found us making our way across the Tasman Sea back up to Melbourne. 
We spent a few days with my 2nd cousins, Vance & Dorothy in Epping, watching 'footie' matches against the New Zealand ('haka' chanting), All Blacks and listening to Vance's
stories about life in S. E. Asia 50 years ago.  We ventured into the heart of the city
and loved absorbing the multicultural mood of the fruit and veggie markets such as
Victoria Market, China town, and the many parks and ethnic districts. After living in
Hawaii, with its rich cultural fusion, we found Tasmania a little
too much “white".   Bring on the rainbows!


The east coast from Melbourne to Sydney was one little quiet cove after another.  Joseph sure is good at tucking the Blue Dragon back in a little private nook for the evening, most always with a good view.  Caravan parks are just too crowded and noisy, and every little
town has a public toilet and often a shower. We followed the Grand Ridge Road through a large 2nd growth forest for a ways and collected apples and blackberries on the many deserted farms we passed on the way back down.  At Deport Bay we came across a
group of kangaroos.  One mother had only a foot and the tip of a tail sticking out of her
pouch, instead of the usual Joey’s head.  It was really funny looking so we went back the
next morning in search of the upside down baby.  Sure enough.  There it was, only two feet sticking out this time.  Either it wasn’t a good fit or it was time for mom to kick the baby
out on its own!  We love the constant show that the animals and birds provide! We circled through the truly Blue Mountains on our way into Sydney. 


Driving our van in a city of 6 million was a challenge to both driver and navigator.  I should have read that book before we left “Why Women Can’t Read Maps and Men Can’t
Listen”.  Actually our relationship survived and once we parked the car and took public transport we were fine.  We stayed and had great discussions with an amazing 82 year old,
self realized woman.  She had a major stroke 7 years ago and though partially paralyzed
she lives by herself in a nice little waterfront apartment in Elizabeth Bay and finished her University degree in Geology just this year.  She is now working on her Masters degree
in Paleontology.  What an inspiration to focus on the important things in life, and to never
give up or quit learning.   Go get ‘Em Barbara!!!


After all our remote travels we were ready to enjoy the big city.  We walked for miles
and saw every area of Sydney.  Highlights were: the Sydney Aquarium, Imax Theatre, the harbor area with the bridge, and the unique Opera House.  We both like to see live performances once in a while and we actually got all done up and enjoyed dinner and a play, Blithe Spirit, by Noel Coward at the Opera House.  A couple of days later we had
parked north of the city and took a ferry back in to explore some more. After having a great talk about history and spirituality, with an Aboriginal guy who was playing a didgeridoo to support his family, we happened on to the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.  What a contrast of cultures.  Later we found some of the best Turkish food in Sydney and after waiting in line
at the Capitol Theater we lucked out to get tickets to the truly spectacular Broadway play “The Lion King.”  It is currently sold out two years in advance in New York and we could
see why.  It captures the color and pulse of Africa.  Afterwards we walked to Chinatown
and had some great noodles with a couple from Madagascar.  Now that was a multicultural day!!!

                                                                                                                                                             And so it goes………………….................................  We think of you often and hope you are happy, healthy and living the life you want. We send you all love.  Thanks for keeping in touch.  It is great to hear from you once in a while.  Try Smiling from the Inside Out!!!



Love, xoxoox  Nancy & Joseph




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