Gra Nomad Wanderings

Friday, December 30, 2005


This is our little patch of paradise. It is a lovely spot, about two and a half hours south of Sydney... the beautiful south coast of NSW. You ought to come visit some time. Right now I'm back in Dubbo. Came back for George Kinscher's funeral. A great guy and he'll be greatly missed. BUT he knew the Lord! Hallelujah! My in box will never be the same without George's emails.... still got a few sitting there that he recently sent me.

It's about a 7 hour trip from Dubbo back to Cudmirrah on the coast. We're about to go.... "Won't be long Honey!"

Temperature here will be about 40 today (Celsius). In Fahrenheit - bloody hot! Down the South Coast it'll be PLEASANT and we'll be in the surf heaps of times.

So, HAVE A GREAT NEW YEAR folks. Maybe Fay and I will catch up with some of you folk overseas as we travel in 2006. Not long to go.... departure date - 1 February 2006.

Better make a cup of tea to go and put a shirt on. Beach and surf... here we come!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Z is for ZSCHECH

Hey that fooled you didn’t it?
So, what or who is Zschech? Well, it’s Darlene Zschech. She’s the worship coordinator at Hillsong Church in Sydney. She is a very gifted singer/songwriter. I have a number of her CDs where she sings (along with a bunch of musicians from the church) numerous Christian songs that have since become popular throughout churches all over the world. Maybe you’ve sung a couple of them.
When you go to Hillsong, their singing is extremely powerful with a large number of singers and musicians leading from the stage. We will certainly take with us next year some samples of Darlene Zschech’s music when we travel overseas. I have a number on my iPod at present.
Here are some of Darlene’s songs:
v Shout to The Lord
v Kiss of Heaven
v Praise the Name of Jesus
v Touching Heaven Changing Earth
v Can’t Stop Talking
v You Said
v All things are Possible
v Free to Dance
v The Potter’s Hand
v Saviour
v Know You More
She is listed as the producer of a double CD album I have called GOD HE REIGNS. So, she is one heck of a versatile lady.

I guess this concludes my “blogging the alphabet”. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Maybe you’d like to leave a message to let me know… otherwise it’s not communication, simply self-expression. And I do need an audience! Who’s that with a grin on their faces?

We’re still “holidaying” down the South Coast, near Sussex Inlet, south of Wollongong. It’s a bit over 2 hours from Sydney. We’re due to return to Dubbo on 12 January and make final preparations for the O/S 06 BIG TRIP. Some say we don’t get holidays any more now that we are retired…. Well, it sure feels like a holiday here with the sun and surf and friends and barbecues etc. Departure date for O/S 06 is 1 February. 1st stop Santiago, Chile.


I was reading from Proverbs chapter 17 and it reminded me of the riots and uprisings that are happening in various places around the world. Isn’t it funny that when you’re planning a trip, so many of the places turn out to be hot spots or dangerous places. We have on our list, Paris and Rennes in France. We HAD on our list, NEW ORLEANS. Even a plane accident today at Miami where we arrive from South America.
In the Sutherland Shire (a part of Sydney) there have been such clashes between locals and young people of Middle Eastern backgrounds. I can’t say too much because I don’t know all the facts. But some of the footage we have seen on TV shows young men who appear to be just focussed on wreaking havoc and causing mayhem. They appear to be enjoying the fighting.
The wicked live for rebellion; they shall be severely punished. Proverbs 17:11.
Our daughter Debbie and her husband used to live in “the shire” where this fighting has occurred. I also have many cycling buddies in Sydney and they nearly all come from this part of Sydney. It is very sad. It appears that the fighting in France is also race related. Maybe we need to go back and watch Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner with Sidney Poitier, Spencer Tracey and Kate Hepburn. I remember the maid saying, “All hell done broke loose!” But there is a stirring speech from the father of the girl who loves Poitier (the black guy.) Maybe I’ll rent the movie and check it out again.
Isn’t it great that there is an alternative – and there are a couple of great verses also in Proverbs 17 that talk about brothers:
A true friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. Proverbs 17:17.
There are “friends” who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 17:24.
There has been some heartening news from Sydneysiders as people have come out to show they have no bitterness between such racial groups. It’s been great seeing blokes on TV embracing each other as a sign of respect and love for one another. I believe very strongly that love and friendship are extremely powerful things and it’s great to see them in action.

Friday, December 16, 2005


It sure was great tripping around Victoria, Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia for 5 months this year. We saw some magnificent country and people. It is a big country and over 4,000 km (2,400 miles) from the west coast to the east coast. We have many great memories thanks to our digital camera and laptop computer as we journeyed north and then west.
We enjoyed driving our 4WD through some challenging country, towing our trusty Avan, which had to be left on occasions as we resorted to “old fashioned” tent camping when the way was too rough to take caravans and trailers in. We have photos of the MacDonnell Ranges, Kakadu, the Kimberleys, Bungle Bungles, Ningaloo, Tom Price, the Great Australian Bight etc.
We arrived back in NSW in Sept in time for me to do my 9th Bike for Bibles ride (even though I was a fair bit under-prepared.) This ride went from the Blue Mountains to Dubbo and back again. We cycled over 1,000 km (600 miles) in the week and the team raised about $100,000 towards literacy development in Kenya and Uganda. Bike for Bibles has been a passion of mine since my first ride in 1994. In just over 20 years BFB has raised in excess of 10 million dollars (AUS) for literacy development throughout the world. This ride may have been my last one. (What are you laughing for Kingston?)
Since returning to Dubbo Fay's got stuck into sewing and home improvements, and I've got into cycling, tennis and mowing. Also great opportunities for morning tea at local coffee shops!! I have become involved in a youth group outreach in Dubbo called publicDOMAIN. It was (and is) certainly a challenge in reaching out to many unchurched youth.
We have stayed with some Servas folk over the last year (thanks heaps guys) and since returning we’ve had some Servas folk come and stay with us.
It’s been beaut to catch up with ex WWTC folk in NT (Bernie/Janice F), WA (Barb C, Cynthia R, Sue U, Marion S), SA (Di Di E), VIC (Graham B) and back here in Dubbo (Bernie/Janice).
O/S 06 – We’ve got a big trip coming up. (Yes, Peter H, I think it might blow the budget!) On 1 Feb we depart with daughter Peta (28) and son Jeremy (27) for South America. When we reach Brazil we’ll also be joined by our other daughter Debbie (she lived there for a year - she's 30). At the end of our 6 weeks in SA, we fly from Colombia (where Jeremy spent a year) to Miami, Florida. From then on we’re on our own. We’ll have 22 weeks in North America before flying from NY to London for 14 weeks on the continent and then a brief visit to China and Hong Kong before returning to Australian soil on 7 December.
If you’d like to keep track of us, check out this blogsite as often as you wish:
The 06 ITINERARY will be posted here plus any changes.
If you’d like to make any suggestions, go right ahead – we’re flexible.
Hopefully we’ll be able to update it regularly. Why, you can even have a read and LEAVE A COMMENT so we know you’ve had a look.
Hey, what a great opportunity for me to add to my licence plate collection!
We pray for a blessing on all who read this 05 EPISTLE. May you have a safe and happy time at Christmastime and a great 2006. God bless you all.
PS Currently at our Retreat at Cudmirrah, 2.5 hrs south of Sydney – relaxing near the beach.
PPS I’m recovering from Hay Fever, side effects from inoculations (Yellow Fever, Hep B etc),
burning my thumb on the barbecue and having “restless legs” for a couple of nights, making it extremely hard to sleep. Fay gets this a fair bit… but it NEVER happens to me… until now. Any of you get this?
PPPS Gotta get back to the caravan as the 1st cricket test against Sth Africa starts at 1 pm!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Slipped down to Batemans Bay for a chance to visit a bunch of folk.
Caught up with Erica yesterday at her second hand book shop at Batehaven. Bought a bunch of books to see me through the next couple of months. Erica is about to head off on her 9th trip to China. Wow! She just loves the people and usually takes a bunch of people with her each time.
We then stayed with Army and Robyn in their beautiful place out of town. Bit more spacious than our caravan back at Cudmirrah. Army and Rob are off to Europe and North America for 4 months. They’re really looking forward to their trip. They’re using Intrepid Travel for their central European loop which looks quite interesting.
This morning we expect to catch up with Bruce and Heather unless they’ve been called away on grandparent duties. Their son Nigel and daughter-in-law Anne are having bub #2 any day now, and Bruce and Heather will drop everything and head there to hold the fort for a bit.
Servas friends from Nova Scotia arrive here at Army and Rob’s later today. We’d previously met them in Tasmania and also in Victoria. They stayed with us recently at Dubbo and we are due to stay with them when we get to Halifax, NS in early August. It’s a great organization which we’ve been in for about 30 years.
Well, we’d better keep moving because we need to be back at our caravan because Smarties (ex WWTC) should arrive there later today. What a busy (very laidback) schedule. Batemans Bay is about 100 km south of Cudmirrah/Sussex Inlet. Thanks for the loan of your puter Army!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Found out there are people – even in Australia! Who don’t know where the “granomad” comes from. Strike!
There are a heap of people who are travelling this country because they have recently retired. These people are aged from 55-70 in the main. Many have grey hair. Hence the term grey nomad. My Christian name is Grahame (correct spelling) – you can call me Keasty, that’s cool. I also get called Gra and even Gae (when it was cool to call someone Gae or even Gay. My daughter is named after me…. Debra Gae! So, can you see now how I came up with gra nomad???? Not too tricky really.

One problem with retirees is that we don’t get holidays any longer. Every day is the same. Anyway, we live in the outback here in Oz. Outback for most people, certainly for people from America, Manitoba, Melbourne, Sydney etc. As it’s now summer, the temps here have started to climb. Last couple of days have been 35 and 37 Celsius! Damn hot! So…. What do all red blooded Aussies do when it gets too hot? Head for the beach! On Thursday 8 Dec Fay and I will head to a little village near Sussex Inlet, which is about 2.5 hours (yes, two and a half hours) south of Sydney. A BEAUTIFUL SPOT. We’re gonna stay there till 12 Jan when we think we should return home to get ready for our overseas trip.
It’ll take us about 6 hours travelling to get to our little van park. From then on, we read, swim, surf, walk on beach, cycle, swim, read, relax etc. Oh, maybe play some tennis. The photo shows the beach just walking distance from our caravan. How good is that?

The only access to internet will be when I go into town to an internet café… so I’ll be writing less. But in the short time that I’ve been in this new world, I’ve met some cool people. I hope we can keep those friendships. Who knows, Fay and I might even meet some of you as we travel around in 2006.

God bless you.

Brad and Kathy

In 2003 I cycled with Brad from Perth (on west coast) to Adelaide. That’s about 2,788 km (1,743 miles). About two thirds of the way across Australia. Awesome! It was a Bike for Bibles ride with a team of about 25 riders and some support crew (the important ones!) The leader of that ride was Rodney Olsen who is a DJ on a Christian Radio Station in Perth - Sonshinefm.

Brad was a very likeable guy. His fiancé was even more likeable! She’s a honey. They were gonna get married on 10 July the next year - 2004. And so they did. Around that time Brad got diagnosed with cancer. So, in the last 6 months, Brad has been under the knife and copped chemo and all that stuff.

Guess Brad is about 25 or so and his darling wouldn’t be that old I don’t think. (They're the young ones on the left in the photo with Fay and I). They’ve sure had a tough time. They’ve got a great faith. A GREAT faith. PTL that they have a really good network of solid Christian friends and rels. I reckon that could be pretty handy. If you're int prayer, put them on your list, please.

They live in Adelaide which is about a 2 day drive from where I live. (My brother Alan could do it in 1 day I know. But I’m older.)

The current situation is:
  • just spoke to Brad on phone
  • he sounded really happy (usually does)
  • he's working on the harvest on his parents' farm
  • he's gonna have some scans in January
  • he said he was "going really well"
  • he's got hair now
  • he's been into the apricot kernels and other stuff to combat the cancer

It was just so good to hear him and hear his good news. PRAISE HE LORD.

Monday, December 05, 2005


Hey I'm gonna tag Wendy from Wendy's Wonderful World. Reason is, a few of the people I originally tagged are either dead or you can't talk to them....Good onya Wendy from Massachusetts (I think).

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Guess I'm It

Seven things that attract me to my wife:
That's her above, a couple of days before she retired from teaching at the end of 2003.
1 She loves God
2 She loves our kids big time, and is getting ready to make TWO more hero suits for our 27 yr old son Jeremy, out of orange lycra. He is EVERYMAN! (as opposed to superman or batman)
3 She loves me…. Yep…. Even me! She puts up with me and laughs at me, especially when she can’t predict what’s gonna happen next (after 37+ years!)
4 She is a very good driver and enjoys driving our 4WD.
5 She rides on the back of our tandem as stoker
6 She is so good at doing all the things I don’t do well because she’s a choleric melancholy and I’m a sanguine – cooking, cleaning, tidying, redoing the outside tiled paths, painting the house, organising parties, helping me tidy my parts of the house )like office.)
7 She loves taking Dinah for a walk (our daughter’s dog that lives here too.)

Seven Things to Do Before I Die:
1 Visit South America – Feb/March 2006
2 Go to Kangaroo Island in South Australia
3 Learn to ride my unicycle - 2007
4 Learn to play the didgeridoo - 2007
5 Learn Spanish – hopefully quickly, before we get to Sth Am!
6 Ride my new Bike Friday across Kansas – 10-17 June 2006
7 See all my kids come to love the Lord! Amen!

Seven Things I Cannot Do:
1 Jump out of an aeroplane
2 Bungey jump
3 Speak Japanese
4 Cook
5 Fix computers
6 Run very fast
7 Go without sleep

Seven Things I Say Most Often:
1 No, is that right?
2 Strike
3 Do you wanna go for a ride?
4 Are you ready?
5 Thanks for this beautiful food Lord.
6 Can you slow the pace down a bit?
7 Great, you’ve done really well.

Seven Books (or Book Series) I Love:
1 Matthew
2 Proverbs
3 John Grisham books - esp The Testament
4 Dick Francis novels
5 Cricket books
6 Travel books
7 Philippians

Seven Movies I Would Watch Over and Over Again:
1 The Day The Earth Stood Still
2 Beaches
3 Forest Gump (like you Jennifer)
4 The Passion
5 Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
6 Dead Poets Society
7 The Great Escape

Seven People I Tag To Do Seven Sevens:
1 Cass Brown
2 The X Facta – Kel
3 Peloton Fodder – Joe
4 My World – Devil in a Rusty Holden
5 Shed Talk
6 Fatty Owl
7 BB’s Gal

Thanks Jennifer!!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Y is for WHY

In 2003 I rode with a bicycling team from Perth to Adelaide - 2788 km -1743 miles. (I went on with another team from Adelaide to Sydney, an extra 1500 km - 900 miles.) Our team was known as the Y team. Why did we have to get up so early? Why are there hills? Why did we have to… Why are we…. Why does the…. Etc. Rodney can vouch for this story. [Hey that's the first time I've done that Rodney!! Thanks for the tuition the other day.]
Seriously though, one of the important things in life is asking questions. Do you agree? It’s a pity but I didn’t really find out about the power of asking questions till towards the end of my career in education. And fancy, I’d been a teacher and a school principal for many many years! Why do you think this was so? On our recent trip to NT we called at Ngukurr (east of Mataranka). While there we went up to visit the school. The kids there have a natural curiosity. Why this, why that, how come this, when will you …etc. We showed them our Avan and put it up for them. Next thing I knew we had about 20 + kids climbing in the Avan and asking piles of questions. I used to think it was a 2 berth van!!!
I might check your latest post and see how you're going with asking questions. Is it a sign of intelligence? Or if not, what?
Hey sorry folks.... my puter did not want to give you a photo... no matter how hard I tried.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

X is for XTRA

Guess I cheated just a tad, but, well, who’s gonna pick me up on it?

I want to ask you – do you have a crack at going the extra mile for others? Are you prepared to step out of your comfort zone and contact someone or do you sit back and decide – someone else will do it.

I sometimes find that when I learn someone has been diagnosed with cancer or her fiancé has been electrocuted or… I find that part of me is just too scared or shy and I am reluctant to make contact. I have had to say to myself – hey, put yourself in their shoes… would you appreciate it if someone just rang you if you were in similar circumstances?

I spent part of Saturday helping some little kids get their bikes back on the road. Had to mend a few punctures, adjust some brakes, lower seats etc. The kids in general (all Aboriginal kids) were appreciative. I showed them how to do things – like how to use the tyre levers (spelt tire levers in USA), use the pump, find the hole in the tube etc. Progress won’t happen overnight, but it’s a bit like the bloke they found on the beach after hundreds of starfish had beached themselves up on the sand. (Or stranded themselves up on the beach.) He was throwing the stranded starfish back into the water, one at a time. A bloke went up to him and asked, “Hey, what are you doing? There’s millions of them on the beach. What difference can you make?” The stranger threw another one into the water and said with confidence, “Sure made a difference to that one.”

Yep, I figure if I can do that little bit extra – I might be able to make a difference in some lives.
Think about some extra stuff you can do this week… maybe next week. Want to share something? Click on comments and go right ahead. Even my daughter is allowed to comment!!!