Thursday, December 23, 2010

One Year

Christmas eve.

363 days since I stepped on a plane in Toronto bound for Canberra. The first seven weeks were rough as I was "here" and Shannon, Mack and Malc were still "there". There was a lot of walking aimlessly last January and not much to do outside of the office. Fortunately there was a new job to immerse myself in and a new system of education to learn. It took time.

February to May, was difficult. Work set in and the family had too much time to adjust. No work for Shannon, no school for the kids and not much luck on finding a suitable place to stay.

June to September was better on the home front. We found a nice affordable place to live and the kids got their bearings at school. However, work got a bit hectic during that period as my Business Manager went on leave, I had to pull double duty for a few months, it was a bit of a blur.

October to December we settled into a routine, but as the time wore on I found myself hitting a bit of a wall. My stamina waned and I could see the end in site. That end is today as I sit in my office on Christmas Eve finishing up a little paperwork and preparing to be AWOL for the next three weeks.

I guess most of all, I'm proud.

When I announced at the dinner table in September 2009 that we had an opportunity to move to Australia I asked everyone what there percentage was for wanting to come. My son was 0%, somewhere along the way we got him to 10. I'm so proud of him for facing this challenge head on and making the best of the experience. I'm not sure where he sits on the percentage scale at the moment but I hope he realizes how much he has grown and how much more resilient he'll be as a result. Speaking of growing he's about a foot taller too, yikes! My daughter came in at 70% and has taken Australia by storm. Never one to miss a party if there isn't a good time on the horizon she creates one. Splendid. Shannon said she was 70% when we left but I think the number changed daily over year. But as we get ready for Santa's arrival tonight, there is no doubt that Team Rice is stronger than ever.

The most amazing parts have been the trips, the Coast, Kiama, 3 sisters, the caves, the Hunter Valley, Sydney, Melbourne, Bermagui, Broulee and so much more to come. I'm looking forward to more travelling and more blogging in 2011.

See y'all soon.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I have mentioned before that the Rice's brought the rain to Canberra after a decade long drought. A favourite pastime of Canberrans is to watch the daily Dam Capacity. When I arrived it was routinely in the 45% range, but after only a few months of Rice residency the dams had filled to an unheard of capacity of 80%. The locals who had endured the desert like conditions were so appreciative. Their appreciation took a turn last week when after two more weeks of torrential rain the dams hit 100% and flooding ensued. Fortunately we are in the high ground but some suburbs were not as lucky. Extreme is definitely a feature of the Australian climate, no doing things half way.

I think I have the recipe for discontinuing the drought and having the sunshine once again prevail. My Mother in Law is arriving in Janaury and she has a way of bringing sunshine with her where ever she goes. I predict lots of warm days and sun all through the month. When they were handing our Mother in Laws I won - big time.

It's only 2 weeks away but we are planning a traditional Rice Christmas. For us that means leaving town, heading to a five star resort, sunning by the pool, ordering room service, playing a little golf, eating out and checking out the Casino. Gold Coast here we come!