Routines and Adam

Routines have indeed returned, with this weekend proving this to a large extent. I did however, struggle with the task of tidying up the lawns. I trimmed the hedge but it was a battle against a strained back. It was delicate and I had to be extra careful and deliberate in my actions, particularly when I was lifting the trimmer above my head. Stepping up and down the ladder also took more care so the whole exercise felt more tiring than it usually did. The warm morning added to the effort so that by the time I was sweeping up a couple of hours later, I was soaked with my sweat. Tress and the little Padawan was with me for the most part however, so that added to the fun and took some of the pains away.

After we got ourselves cleaned up, we headed out for lunch and then took a long drive, out west. We had wanted to go and see Adam (Tress’ cousin) who had taken ill and had been at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. While we were having lunch, Tress sent A Pin (Adam’s mum), A Hooi and Marina (Adam’s sister) some messages to ascertain if he was still at the RMH. We then got news that he had been transferred to Sunshine Hospital. The family wanted that as it would be closer to home, and parking would be less problematic. So Tress and I took the drive out to Sunshine, a drive that took us almost an hour and a bit of dosh in tolls. All that would have been ok if we got to see him. It turned out the hospital has a rule that a patient is only allowed 2 visitors a day. So we didn’t get to see him but A Pin came down from the ward to see us, and spent some time over coffee in the cafeteria to have a chat with us. We gave her the card and magazine we had picked up for him. She told us how it all happened. She’s an incredibly strong person. Having cared for U Jin (her husband and Adam’s father) some 10 years ago through his bouts of cancer and brain surgery, she’s now the primary carer for Adam. She got him on a WhatsApp video call with us on her phone and we saw and spoke with him briefly. He appeared tired but his prognosis was positive, albeit the journey back to his old state of health would likely be a long one.

By the time we got back from Sunshine Hospital, it was past 5.30pm. The cricket was still on at the oval so we let the two boys out on our freshly mowed lawns and played with them there. I was spent by the time the cricket was over, and spent the rest of the night with my feet up, a glass of wine in hand, watching a re-run of Black Panther on TV.

On Sunday we did the usual thing. St Alf’s, then lunch and then cooking in the arvo. It was a much cooler day but the arvo was beautiful so we took the little fellow to the oval. The older one was contented to just be out on the lawns. We have been watching “Poker Face” as well as “Clarkson’s Farm” so we watched an episode of each before going to bed. Routines have indeed returned, and I hope Adam’s return soon too, albeit a bit different so that his life gets back on track.


Routines return

The weekend past felt like Tress’ and my normal routines have returned. We went out to a local diners on Friday night to wind down the week. The Groove Train at the Forest Hill Chase shopping centre is where we go when we want a quick and convenient joint, and when we have not thought about where to go. On Friday night however, I said to Tress we’d probably cross it off as an option, going forward. The food has become very ordinary – stodgy even – and the glass of wine I had, was underwhelming and looked like it was a very miserly pour. I said this to a staff who said they’d take note but nothing was done. We’ll have to find a different “quick and convenient joint”.

On Saturday, it rained in the morning so we stayed indoor and did some cleaning. Tress vacuumed, I wiped down surfaces, and gave the coffee machine, toaster, and other bits and pieces, a good clean up. I also rearranged my home office so that my three screens reflect what I have in the office, as there has been some non-synchronized screen layouts recently. Later, when the rains abated, I cleaned the Lexus to swap with the Mazda as our daily rider for the next few weeks. As I was wiping down the Lexus, I saw a couple of prospective tenants for the new homes next door. One is an Asian male, who looked youngish. That was for the unit further away from us. A NZ family (they looked like Maoris) looked at the unit closer to us. They looked like a friendly bunch – hopefully they’ll be good neighbours.

Later in the arvo, we drove to Wantirna South, and picked up a double-boiler appliance. I had bought it online, and want to use it to double boil some soups for Kiddo. We then had lunch in a cafe nearby, before heading off for some grocery shopping. We bumped into Chin Moi and Ing Tng, and chatted for a little while. We told them about Kiddo and Mic’s expanding family too.

The second half of Saturday turned out to be a gorgeous one, with the earlier rains and dark clouds disappearing. We walked the two boys, and returned to sample the soup I had cooked in the double boiler. It was very nice and we’re excited about using it for more soups for Kiddo and ourselves. We then settled down to watch more episodes of “1883”. This prequel to the Yellowstone series has been even better than “1923”. “1923” was also very good, with Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren playing strong characters to fight sheep farmers from their land, but “1883” tells a tale of a very long and harsh journey. I thought it was very good, with the creator/writer (Taylor Sheridan) making important cameo appearances in key moments.

At St Alf’s on Sunday, it was a service to celebrate the 10 years of service that Mike McNamara had put in. It was his last service, as he’d be moving to another parish in Ivanhoe (St James) to be the vicar there. We had come to St Alf’s soon after Mike started, so Mike had been the minister for the congregation we’ve been part of, the whole time we’ve been at St Alf’s. It was a very good service, with Mike and Jo (his wife) being fully acknowledged and appreciated.

After St Alf’s we did our usual lunch and Sunday arvo cook. I did a vego noodles and Tress got stuck into her ethereal space. By the time I had cleaned up and packed away the lunches and took the boys out to the oval, I felt spent. I was physically tired but I felt I had had a good weekend’s “rest”. As we walked the boys on the oval, I could feel my physical strength sapped but my mental and emotional “batteries” being recharged. I guess that’s not a bad thing. I could feel however, that our routines are well and truly back and for that’s I’m very grateful.

Paddy Teh (6 Chim) – Her take on the TEH Reunion (a gem)

Every few years (3?) my late father’s side of the family organise a reunion where they meet at Fraser’s Hill, a hilltop resort, for a few days. They recall the legacy my grandparents left behind, and sought to “pass the torch” so that the faith journey that my late grandfather started, will continue and continue to flourish.

I have never been privileged to attend those reunions but I’ve followed accounts of what happens there.

It appears my 6 chek and 6 chim (Stephen and Paddy) were there for the recent most reunion that took place end Dec 2022/early Jan 2023. The following is what Paddy wrote, and it’s so heartwarming I thought I’d include it in my journal here.

TEH REUNION 2022 – from a first timer’s perspective

On Thursday 29/12/2022, the sun shyly peeped
after a lengthy rainy spell.
A convoy of cars meandered the bends
from KKB (Kuala Kubu
Baru) to Fraser’s Hill,
after our lunch date
in Restaurant 98.

Members of the Teh clan
made their way to Rumah Methodist,
nestled among the luxuriant greens
for the Teh Reunion 2022.
I wonder what would this Reunion be
to a first timer like me.

It began on a rapturous note
when old ties were reknotted
and threads of new ones emerged,
once the walls of awkwardness
came a crumbling
and in the room, warm joy came a filling.

A huge wave of oneness
swept over us,
and we were swimming – surfing –
in a sea of Belonging.
We discarded our initial nervousness,
when we sang “Lai Sin Ya So Jin Ho”
and later when into the dining room we did go
our Doxology harmonised so melodiously
we sounded like angels – so heavenly!

Oh yes, I was impressed by our “mini mart”
with goodies from near and far.
Pouchy pomelos from Ipoh,
Exotic XO sauce from Singapore,
Tempting Tim Tams from Australia,
Crunchy cookies from Hong Kong,
a variety of gourmet teas
with more varieties of coffee,
and – even our very own
home-grown-brewed Timah
or was it Fatimah?
But do you know what was missing?
Our fruity king!

As an old newbie, what I liked most
As an old newbie, what I liked most
was the intergenerational mix
when in group games, we were thrown in a fix.
What did a serene 84–year old year old have in common have in common
with a bouncy 4–year old?
A zest for fun, frolic, laughter and life
and on a long-awaited-to-be-used adrenalin we thrived
The energetic youngies were sensitively considerate,
they gave the slow poker oldies time to hesitate and re–calibrate

As a first timer, I believe
that the Teh “reunions” were birthed many years ago
when the Teh family gathered in 29 Lorong Duku
when the Teh family gathered in 29 Lorong Duku
to worship in songs,
read the Bible,
share the Word,
every Friday.

Our patriarch Teh Chye Heng and matriarch Quay Ah E
had the spiritual foresight
and insight
to bring the family in unity
to honour our GOD Almighty.
A “vision” that was re–captured by Ryan Lian
who shared on Jesus, our Living Hope
for Jesus is the only One who helps us to cope
in times of trials and triumphs.triumphs.

A timely message about a timeless God!

To me, this Reunion was more than just
coming together.
It was a time of building each other in the Lord
as we shared our lives,
our ministries,
our struggles,
our successes

and being reminded that we have a faithful God,
who is always with us.

Our patriarch and matriarch watched from heaven
and smilled with deep contentment
when after three days, that convoy of cars descended
the Hill.

We thank God for inheriting such a priceless legacy,
God and Family.