Giving (blood) again (and how may I give)

It is always really good to finish the week with friends over a meal so Tress and I did our usual thing and teed up a dinner on Friday night with Jason and Mel and the Hipos. We trekked out east to a new joint with what was supposed to be really good Hong Kong styled bbq meats.

We headed straight home after dinner, and I caught Oliver Stone’s Platoon on TV. This time I caught his cameo appearance in the bunker scene but what were nuances of good versus evil became much more obvious themes, given what is probably the 3rd or 4th viewing. It was still very good and I wondered at the contrasts between the career trajectories of Charlie Sheen, Johnny Depp and Forest Whittaker.

On Saturday after brekky at home Tress and I went grocery shopping. Tress wanted to bake a new recipe of a flourless cake and I wanted to put the order in for a turkey I wanted to cook for Christmas Day lunch way yonder in Woodend. We had to finish shopping quick however as I had an appointment later that morning, at the Red Cross Blood Centre.

My last two visits to the Blood Centre had been unsuccessful. The first was because I had been to Malaysia 2-3 months prior so I was disqualified. The second saw someone being cautious about some rashes I had on my arms. I had said to that person those rashes were a combination of gardening and exposure to the summer heat but caution was the word and they declined my blood. So, close to a year since my second aborted attempt, I was glad to be finally giving again. I even said I’d be back to answer the urgent call of plasma shortage.

After the bleeding session, we had lunch at the Eastland before heading back to clean up the garden. I edged, mowed, swept and tidied up the outside and Tress did more weeding, laundry and also took the little guy out for an extended walk.
That night we started on the second season of “The Crown” but it was a battle for me as I kept dozing off.

We had David Ratten the next day at St Alf’s. He was to retire this year (after 23 years in the same church – One Community in Blackburn) and so the annual pulpit exchange amongst him, Peter and Allan Demond will either be re-shaped or come to an end. For his final pulpit exchange message, David preached the gospel. That was in itself, quite a statement to me.

After more grocery shopping after lunch, we went back home, Tress did some ironing and gift wrapping while I made some chilly sauces and like condiments. Later we took the little guy for a walk and it was such a beautiful day so when we came back, I walked back across the park to the oval and watched a few overs of the local cricket match.

It’s that time of the year when I’m really looking forward to a break. Christmas is less than 2 weeks away, Kiddo and Mic will be in Melbourne in a little over a week and I’m looking forward to Christmas lunches, drives to different parts of Victoria and NSW, and generally lift up my head, take in the views and enjoy God’s creation in this beautiful antipodean land a whole lot more. Against all these serene and beautiful moments, I asked myself again if I will do more than just take. It feels like it’s time to give, a whole lot more.