A day spent with our team cooking snags and serving them up with sauce. Such an Aussie way to raise funds and always a sure winner. Thanks to all in Albury/Wodonga who supported Kiss MS Goodbye either buying a sausage or making a donation.
Thank you deeply Coen Ashton for your letter of support for our Kiss Goodbye to MS Murray River Expedition. The support and advice provided by your family has been invaluable in assisting us to prepare for our trip. While it is impossible to predict all obstacles we may encounter during our six weeks on the water I’m sure the information you have provided will be vital for our safe journey. I personally want to take this opportunity to also thank Dawn (Coen’s mum) for the many hours and text messages she has generously provided in ensuring we are well prepared for a smooth trip on the water. Personally to Coen I wish to thank him for setting the way in demonstrating that through strength, courage and a love of life anything is possible if we have a dream to help others. You have set a high standard for me to follow and in the hours when I might be cold from camping or feeling unwell I will hold your courage close to my heart in heading for the sea. Thank you.
The flags placed on the boat for the first time. I can only imagine how they might turn out after our long journey over 2,000kms. Perhaps slightly faded, with a little tear from our epic journey. No doubt they will always remain symbolic to the stories that will evolve as the boat carries them through the winds, rain, harsh Australian sun and the many landscapes of the Murray River. I have already told our children that the flags are to be framed and displayed on the walls of their homes. Somehow they didn’t seem keen on that idea.
Regardless of where they end up I’m sure as they are passed down through the generations and brought out of the cupboard and dusted off, they will provoke rich memories and wonder as to what was experienced on the expedition all those years ago.
For now they flap with crispness and vivid colour ready for the journey which will commence in 3 weeks and 6 days. One flag displaying our logo and the other, the official Murray River flag for both the upper and lower Murray River.
As we get closer to the commencement of our travels I find myself reflecting upon our family times and long summer days spent on the Murray River. Perhaps this is one of the reason I define the Murray River as my healing place as it provokes such strong emotion where memories are cemented for hopefully generations to come. Not just for my own family but those who hold a forever place in my heart as we have holidayed there with some of our foster children over the years. To see them enjoy the sunshine on the sandy beach shores of the river edges under the shade of the River Red Gums as their laughter sings out into the long summer days, always fills me with the great joy. I’m sure when my twilight years approach and the distance from those days seems a lifetime ago the shadows of their spirits will dance in my soul as I visualise days gone by.
My mind though is abuzz with what new adventures lay ahead with our current journey and the legacy we might leave behind in supporting those with multiple sclerosis. What my children, grandchildren and foster grandbabies might find inspirational in our intentions to raise funds for a great cause such as MS research. How their participation in big and small ways may lead them to have courage and compassion in the future to assist in helping others.
Please enjoy some of the photos of our family times together on the Mighty Murray River. Unfortunately we cannot post any photos for legal reasons of our foster children enjoying this beautiful landscape with us.
What do spices and MS have in common – a wonderful daughter in-law and granddaughter hosting a ‘Your Inspiration at Home’ event to raise funds for our expedition. ‘Your Inspiration at Home’ products bring flavours from around the world to the community. The concept is that 40% of sales go towards an organisation or charity of the host’s choice. My daughter in-law decided to host a food tasting event at her place of work Little Learners Early Education Childcare Centre to support our Kiss MS Goodbye Fundraiser.
So on Tuesday morning the mixing of these authentic flavours to make yummy dips such as Capsicum Pesto, Wasabi and Chives and Beetroot was underway. Not to mention the sampling of some delicious Chocolate Powders such as Chocolate Raspberry Truffle and Dark Mint Chocolate was also whipped up. The tastes of Italy, Japan, Greece and other exotic flavours from around the world to tantalise the taste buds at the start of the working day. What a great way to raise funds for MS research.
They say food tastes better when made with love and let me tell you I was feeling completely loved Tuesday morning. Seeing my beautiful daughter in-law Evette and granddaughter Tanisha standing there mixing and serving mums and dads as they came to drop their babies on the way to work simply moved me. Their efforts, love and enthusiasm is truly inspirational. Love you both dearly and a big thank you from the bottom of my heart. From one happy Nana xx
I am happy to announce that our Murray River Source to Sea support team is now complete with my father joining us. My father is thrilled to be our driver for the duration of the expedition. My dad has driven trucks all his life and I know he is proud to be supporting us in our adventures.
The Murray River holds a special place in my father’s heart as his own father often went fishing and hunting at Mathoura, which has become one of my most magical locations along the Murray. I deeply look forward to visiting this place with my father when we travel through Mathoura and reminiscing on the stories about my grandfather’s adventures.
I sadly never got to meet my grandfather due to his early passing so look forward to seeing this part of the river through the lens of our family history.
As a child we also owned a family boat and spent many hours on rivers and the ocean. So I know it is with great joy that my father will witness his daughter travel the length of the Murray River. I believe it is through family traditions that we renew our spirit as we imagine what our ancestors felt, dreamed and hoped while engaging in the similar activities. It is with this sentiment that I equally hope my children and grandchildren one day stand on the shores of the Murray River and cast their minds to imagine what may have stirred in my heart viewing the same landscape.
So welcome to the team Dad. I look forward to building upon the many memories already cemented throughout my childhood and over the years as we have welcomed new family members, grandchildren and more recently your first great grandchild. I know we are all going to have an amazing time and who knows we even get lucky and catch a fish or two.
Well off we go again trying to drum up sponsorship at the Melbourne Boat Show 2015 in our branded t-shirts. We are full of expectation and hope as always even though our energy a little low on this Sunday morning. Jasmine nursing a cold and feeling miserable although she makes no complaints. I’m having one of those MS ‘yuck’ days where pain & overall discomfort is my constant companion throughout the day. Nevertheless on with things as we slowly make our way around checking out the boats and trying to share our journey. As always we meet people who happen to either have someone in their family with MS or knows of someone with the disease. A lovely woman told me her story of how she and her husband got into the business of selling pontoon boats. Her mother-in-law suffers from MS and as she became less mobile finding it harder to step up into a boat they looked into pontoons as an alternative. She explains these boats have a lot of space and comfort even allowing for a wheelchair to be pushed on board. Her mother-in-law now enjoys the water again after spending all her life on the river watching her children grow up skiing and holidaying on the Murray River. What a moving story. Never ceases to amaze me what some families will do to support their love ones. We meet another special soul who takes great time to listen to our plight and plans to travel from source to sea and he invites us to contact him this week. He states he should be able to help some way. So my fingers and toes are crossed in the hope for sponsorship however will be thrilled with any contributions he might make. Will keep you all posted.
Banner finally arrived for our car. Amazingly I have been anxiously waiting for this event. Sad but true. Perhaps simply because I see this style of advertising around and something I have never used before. My theory is we travel a lot and given many people know someone in their network with MS I am certain we will attract great interest to the website. I am hoping.
We introduce our key support person for our Murray River source to sea expedition Gilbert Mcbean (Gil). Gil will kindly offer his time and support for the duration of the trip in assisting us to make our dream a reality. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have him on board and know we are in great hands. Gil is well known to our family and a good friend of my parents. Gil is described as a gentle giant who has a heart of gold. He has driven semi-trailers (trucks) his whole life and owned his own business. My father and Gil became mates many years ago while travelling on the road. My father was also a truck driver.
Gil has recently retired or so he says as he certainly isn’t sitting around in an armchair watching the hours tick by. Gil is currently up in Broome in his campervan enjoying the good life. He is looking forward to many more trips around this great land of ours. He also fills his time volunteering at a speedway and in a few months, giving his time generously again to a great cause in raising funds for those of us with MS.
Gil I wish to personally thank you for your commitment to the expedition. I am deeply touched that you are traveling with us given I haven’t seen you in many years. You are truly a big man with a big heart. I’m sure we will all have many laughs along the way.