Providence

I’ve been going to a brain injury support group since I realised I had a brain injury back in 2009. The group is basically just a bunch of friends who get together to chat over coffee. Not everyone who goes along has had something go awry with their brains. Some are carers, some have lost people to stroke, head injury, cancers, etc.

Lots of my brain injury friends are living with disabilities and are no longer able to do the things they could before they were struck down. But some, like me, are lucky enough to still be able to do pretty much everything we could do in our old lives. Hey, I can’t remember anything, but so what! I write lists, which is fine…um… if I just can remember….. where I put that list….is this even the right list….. what day is it?  “Hi, I’m Dory, I have a short term memory problem.”

I went to the brain friends get together yesterday and the lovely lady who organises us all, Leeanne, arranged for me to give a talk about the hike I’m doing. I took my gear along and talked about how I will carry everything in my pack. I mentioned that I was hopeful that the mining company my husband (Ash) works for would donate a Spot device (personal emergency GPS tracker) and that maybe I might be able to get a new pack before I leave, but it wasn’t likely, so I would just suck it up and use the old one.

Afterwards one of my friends from the group came up and pushed $400 into my hand. “Here,” she said, “Buy that Spot device you were talking about.” I tried to refuse, telling her it was too much, but she was adamant. I really couldn’t believe it.

Leeanne had a competition running over the course of the morning as to who could guess how far it was from Mt Perry to Toowoomba. She asked everyone to donate a gold coin if they were able. There were about 20 people there and the jar had over $100 in it at the end of the morning, which was just so generous given that many of my friends are on disability pensions. The competition went to a tie-breaker because two people guessed the same and they were both the closest to the correct answer.  In the tie-breaker Royden beat David by guessing the closest amount to how much my Sawyer water filter is able to filter over its lifetime. He was way off, but still closer than David. Scott donated the prize, which his wife got from the pharmacy she works at. They also gave me a drink bottle 🙂

My friend Gordon gave me a $50 donation too and I also got $20 for raffle tickets for a raffle I’m holding at the Mt Perry Truckpull day. In all I raised $570 from one morning of hanging out with my friends! I was truly amazed at how generous they all were. It is so very heartwarming how kind people really are. The world is definitely full of good people.

After I left the get-together Ash rang. “The mine wants to buy you the pack you want.”  “What? But it’s $500!” I yelled. “They want to get it. We’ll talk about it when I get home, but they are buying it for you.” I couldn’t believe it. If you follow your heart’s intention, Providence will move a mountain here and there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tragedy Strikes

I was just so happy this morning when I broke my stupid toe on the solar panels! I kicked a panel accidently because I was too involved in admiring how long my new jeans are. ‘Ooh,’ I said outloud. ‘I might even have to roll them up.’ This is something quite novel for a 6ft woman. The next thing I know, I’m going one way and my toe is going the other. ‘Oh joy,’ I said as I felt it break.  ‘This will be so helpful when I go on the hike. I’m really so very happy this happened.’ Then I did a little jig after which I rode to town on a unicorn along a road made of rainbows!

Don’t think for a second that a broken toe will stop me. It’s about 3 different shades of purple, but purple has always been my favourite colour. Besides, I’ve got 9 other toes that aren’t broken 😉

All of this on top of an ant bite on my upper thigh two days before. I’m allergic to ants and wasps, which is actually a good thing in light of the toe because the lump the size of my entire hand on my leg hurts way more than the toe, so averaging the pain out across both areas of tragedy means that neither of them hurt at all. See, problem solvered.

 

banjy
The Unicorn (because they’re magic, the horns don’t show up in photos)

Generosity

Today I went and asked businesses in Bundaberg to help me out with my fundraising. It was amazing how willing everyone was to help me and I was astounded at how much everyone donated. It would have to be pretty close to the $1000 mark for goods and services, which is just awesome! I will use the donations as prizes for my fundraising stall at the Mt Perry Truck Pull day on the 13th of August.

It was great talking to people at each place I went to. One lady came around the counter and gave me a hug. Another lady was struggling with her own cancer diagnosis. I got advice from someone about where to go for donations, which proved 100% correct and one business invited me back to try out their specialist camping food at a cooking demonstration on Saturday.

It was very challenging in the beginning to ask people for free stuff! I was worried that they would think I was rude and, basically, I didn’t want to get yelled at. No one has yelled at me (ha!) and I doubt anyone thinks I’m rude, otherwise they wouldn’t smile at me the way they do and give me all the awesome stuff that I’ve received so far. Some people say no, but out of the almost 100 businesses that I have contacted since the start of the year, only two of them haven’t been very nice. You know what that means? It means that statistically the world is full of good people 🙂

Waypointing campsites – First attempt

On the 1st of July I set out to drive to Toowoomba to mark all the campsites on my handheld GPS. I only made it to Kingaroy!

It took a bit longer than I thought it would because even though I’d calculated the legs of the journey, the campsites didn’t exactly match up with my calculations, so I had to kind of wing it once I was on the road. Sometimes there wasn’t anywhere that I deemed to be safe enough for a campsite, so I had to double back to find somewhere suitable. Also, argh, I drove all the way to Gayndah at the A3 crossroads when I was meant to turn left. My bad! I suppose it’s better to have done this in the car than on foot.

I went into the pubs at Goomeri and Murgon and under the extreme scrutiny of the locals I asked if the publican would be willing to put me up for free and they both said yes!  Cool :)Note: if you’ve never walked into a country pub on your own, it’s a great way to test how good you’re feeling about yourself at the time! I’m not joking when I say that literally everyone just stops what they are doing and stares right at you for what seems like a lifetime. I smiled broadly at all the barfies and said, “G’day fellas. How ya goin?” and that seemed to work because after that they got on with their drinking and pretty much ignored me. Plus, I was carrying a clipboard and a friend once told me that if you carry a clipboard you can go anywhere. I kept the clipboard mindset and everything worked out ok.

The ladies at the Driver Reviver at Wondai told me about a free camp in town, so I went and checked it out and there are hot showers! The publican at Wooroolin agreed to feed me and I can stay at the free travellers camp not far from the pub. It’s got hot showers too. Yippee!  Then at Kingaroy, my friend Shanny has organised for me to stay with a family friend. Because of the generosity of people I don’t even know, there are only 6 places that I have to camp on the side of road between Mt Perry and Kingaroy.

The main things I took into consideration when waypointing the campsites were access to water and if my tent would be visible from the road. Most of the water points are cattle troughs. I’ve got a Sawyer filter, so I can safely drink any water I come across. For bathing I have a collapsible bucket and some special camping soap made by Knorr Creations in Gin Gin.

I also had to consider roaming cattle. This was only a problem on the road between Mt Perry and Mingo crossing. I don’t want to get trampled in the middle of the night!  I overcame this by contacting a property owner and asking to camp in their house yard.

The adventure continues!