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The Eternal Letter and I promise to not brag about family or children … or tell you too much about illnesses or hospital visits.

Gosh… with that introduction, what is there left for an oldie to talk about?  Death and taxes? 

Life in Australia (Oz) at the moment is pretty well delineated by what Donald Trump is doing and we have a similar situation in our political life. Just today our PM said that if you guys go to war Australia will be there in the foxholes (bet that is an old word not used anymore) with the Americans. 

I am reminded of the shuddering that took place in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis … We are not there yet but could be soon.  Joan and I lived in Korea twice for a total of a bit over two years and we were in N. Korea a number of times and taught on the DMZ at the university there (U. of Maryland). 

We came to understand the Korean (North and South) mental set was toughness and unwillingness to back down. They were good people, strong people and UNBENDING.  It is that same unbendingness we worry about.  Now, however, there is the element of a sociopath being in charge of the OTHER side … namely Trump and, I am afraid, many of our Australian leaders. 

But Oz, being only the 12 largest economy in the world, does not matter diddly doo in the scheme of things such as world wars…we will go along with what America does and we have a treaty with the USA that binds us.  In other words, dear friends and family ….”We have become twins joined at the head and hips”.  My training and education does not give me any wisdom or secret knowledge nor does my advancing years (85 next birthday) evince any new algorhythmia to unlock new data and undisclosed truths. 

We are in the same old situation the world has been into for centuries … we wait for the next shoe to drop … and do not know who is going to drop it or possibly put the shoe back on.  So our overarching concern right now is having a drama being played out in Korea and maybe Guam.  Having lived in both places we feel we have invested quite a bit of emotion in the situation today.

Our family stumbles along from victory to near victory to all of the problems at the end.  Many of my school mates and numerous of our families have either fallen off the perch or hanging precariously on the tender branch of life.  Children/grandkids live all over the world, have whelped about 20 grandkids and we hear enough from them to feel we are not alone.  About eight will be visiting this Christmas and a series of good parties will be had and to you we will send a salute!

It was not easy to pull up the anchor from our last house which we lovingly built (much with our own hands) and farewell our many friends in Northern Tasmania.  However, our cottage by the sea and near the bay is good recompense and we live only 180 kms from the big smoke of Launceston (about 100k people). 

We belong to many environment groups (YES, the ocean is rising and we note it monthly), have quit the Anglican Church because they have been taken over by the extreme political-religious right wing, visit our doctors too regularly and have had an occasional overnight holiday at the local hospital. 

Buck’s eyeball jabs bi-monthly have saved his sight and we bless our medical situation (basically we have full coverage for everything including the ambulance…incidentally, Buck fell and broke his knee so he was flown to the hospital on the local Doctors Flying Ambulance.)  Joan’s recent tumble onto hard sand while in the surf is now a thing of the past and she has had a full recovery.

Our recent book of Martin Cash (Jesse James type convict) has sold well and continues to do so.  We have another book about Tasmanian Victorian history coming out some time this year and we have been taking art lessons as some of the illustrations will be by us … Joan is especially good … I am very good at drawing flies, bugs and mosquitoes! 

Life is good and full and our health is acceptable.  Joan is especially in good health.  I am … well … 85!  But we still miss YOU!  Please put your name in the following space:……………..!  Please write if you still can! (Kidding).  We treasure all of you.

Hugs and regards … Oh yes,  Joan is also studying FOUR languages at the same time … she is following an idea…Norwegian, Spanish, Esperanto and French.  She already knows a bit of English!