Drenched Fete, Used Wheels


Tress and I had an early start – for a Saturday – to a diabolically wet and dirty day. We were up just after 6, and headed out the door by 7am. We stopped at Macca’s for a dirty brekky and (surprisingly pleasant) coffee.

The Manningham Salvos were having their annual fete and Tress and I were there as volunteers. The day was a washout however. It was one of those cold, grey and diabolically wet day where the rain just belted down, dumping up to 30-40mm in some parts of Melbourne. 

At the vast car park of the Manningham Salvos I was about to start the engine of the 12 seater “bus” when I thought I’d better check my phone. True enough there was a text. The student volunteers I was meant to pick up from Blackburn Station were running late. So Tress and I stayed behind to help the others set up. Tress helped in the kitchen to set up meals and snacks for sale, I helped move a barbeque, marquees, and generally cleared space for stalls to be set up.
My principal duties as a volunteer however were around driving. I picked a batch of students at 8.30am. When I dropped them off at the parish it started to rain. I did odd and ends and then drove to Vermont South to pick up some balloons for a clown who was coming later that morning. It may all be in the eastern suburbs but it takes a full 25 minutes from Doncaster to Vermont South, one way. Balloons picked up and dropped off, I was off again this time to an elderly’s home in Box Hill.

 Elgar Homes looked old and tired and a few of its residents were excited to be out for a day, away from what was probably a monotonous ground hog experience. They were elderly and looked and behaved in a way that could only be described as frail. Getting up the two steps into the bus a painstaking, laborious and time consuming task for most of them. I tried to help as much as I could but I very quickly learned I was not trained to do this job and I had to keep adapting and thinking how best to meet their needs. I wanted to make it as pleasant an afternoon as possible for as many of them as possible. 

As challenging as it was I have to say it gave me immense satisfaction when I heard them chatting amongst themselves, as I drove them up Elgar Road towards Doncaster Road, up Victoria Street towards the parish on Taunton Street. They were saying how good it was to get out, what a trip it would be and they were looking forward to eating different foods at the fete. I had a quiche and a sausage and while it was a good feed I have to say I need to re-check my values as I had said to Tress they were very ordinary fares. When I dropped them off back at the home later that afternoon it was again bucketing down and I could tell they were appreciative of the day out they had. It was probably the most satisfying part of my day.

When we left the parish Tress felt knackered and back home, she made us both some toasts and eggs – she wanted a nice meal at home and feel at rest – and we then just sat and rested.

 On Sunday, in dealing with chapter 4 of Exodus as a part of a new series on that book, Peter gave a very good sermon, particularly that but about making a connection between Exodus and oppression and social justice. It was more about God and His work around a covenantal relationship with Israel – a specific story – than it was about oppression in general.

After church we went to Glen Waverley to look at a car. Kiddo had wanted the Camry and I was happy to look for a small used car, just to get to the station and back every day. We found this old but low mileage easy maintenance car. The owners were a very mild mannered elderly Indian couple who had bought the car new when they migrated from India more than 10 years ago. They had kept the car all these years, as we have our Camry. We agreed to get it from them and then went home to do our usual Sunday cooking. 

Back home I said to Tress that last week we bought another house, in Canberra. This week we bought another car. I hope that is the last of our big ticket item purchases. I feel like we’re only taking the first steps of what looks like a long but interesting journey with Kiddo and Mic.

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