Happy Thursday!

My partner came home last night with a bunch of flowers. He presented them to me and said “Happy Wednesday!”

My birthday was on Monday and he didn’t bring me flowers then (although I was very spoilt all day long in many other ways). When he gave me the flowers I thought it was such a lovely gesture. It meant that I got to be appreciated for no other reason then it was today.

Earlier yesterday I was reading Rarasaur’s post about 11/12/13. You can read it here. When I read this post I was thinking just how special every day is. The flowers and my partners reason for giving them confirmed this even more.

So I wanted to share the feeling and remind you only live every day once and they are all as special as each other in some way. So,

Happy Thursday Everyone!

 

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Steavenson Falls

On Saturday my family and I visited Steavenson Falls. These magnificent falls are about 4km from the township of Marysville in regional Victoria (a little over 1 hours drive from Melbourne). They are easy to locate. You just follow the signs and take the Falls Rd turn from the main road.

Last time we visited Marysville the Falls were still closed to the public. Sadly Marysville and surrounding towns were devastated by fire on Black Saturday, 7 February 2009. Following the fires, there was very little left of Marysville. The bakery was one of the only buildings left standing on the Main St. Numerous businesses, community buildings, homes and lives were lost. The damage extended to the forest areas and the beautiful bushland around the falls was severely damaged. This damage meant that the area around the Falls was unsafe for public access.

Over 4 years later the town is still rebuilding. There are now a range of cafes and shops and many lost homes have been rebuilt. The devastation is still apparent but the town has certainly risen from the ash. The sense of community and strength that it has taken to rebuild after such tragedy is more admirable than words can describe.

Steavenson Falls is well worth the visit. With 5 cascades descending over 122 metres, the site is breathtaking. Surrounding the falls is spectacular bushland. The combination of the water tumbling down the rock face and the green trees rising up towards the sky brings a sense of peace and calm.

 

WOW its Better than Cake! Why I Love Volunteering

I volunteer with a program called Words on Wheels (WOW). It’s a program run through my local library service and is staffed by volunteers.

WOW is all about bringing stories, entertainment and discussions to aged care facilities. We have numerous kits that are based around a particular theme. Each kit has a collection of short stories, poems, song lyrics, jokes, trivia and other activities.

The whole purpose of the program is to bring the outside world into aged care facilities. It was found that many of the residents were losing touch with the world as it exists around them. They were also losing touch with their own pasts as they became more focussed on the day to day living within the facility.

With WOW we use the kits to generate discussions and get the residents to connect. The whole purpose is to get people talking. It doesn’t matter if we stick to the topic or not; and we usually don’t.

I have been participating both in researching and editing the kits and also as a presenter. I visit an aged care facility once a month with my kit and whatever props I can find.

For my next session I am using a kit titled “Anyone for Cake?”. As a prop I have made these cupcakes for each of the people in my group. As many cannot eat sugar, these are each made of face washers. I will give them to the residents as a gift.

I didn’t realise how much I would love volunteering. Not only do you feel great knowing that a little bit of your time has brought joy to someone else’s life, I have also grown and learnt so much from the program.

WOW has brought out my creativity. I love finding stories and jokes to add to the kits. I have expanded my literary knowledge and found some fantastic websites as a result.

I also love designing fun activities and props to take to the sessions. It has really got me thinking about different crafts that I can get into.

I was very hesitant when I first signed up. I thought that the generation gap between me and the residents would make the sessions a challenge.

I couldn’t be more wrong. They don’t want me to be perfect. The just love to have a chat.

The residents have taught me so much. Through our conversations I have gained an insight into life when they were growing up. It has been wonderful to go back in time with them and relive games, activities and events of their era.

All in all I have found the experience to be very uplifting. I even enjoy it more than eating cake and it’s much healthier!

If anyone is interested in learning more about the program you can visit this website http://yprl.vic.gov.au/about/careers-and-volunteering/volunteering/wow.