Sometimes I feel as if every blog post is full of exclamation marks and superlatives. But really, that’s the kind of life we’re living on the road. Today we experienced the warmth of fellowship in a comfortable environment among new friends at Cawongla.

Tony and Jacqui's property at Cawongla, September 2011
The main house nestles in a little dip on the hillside and has beautiful views across the valley.

Parked at Cawongla, September 2011
It's lovely to be on a rural property again after our recent stays in the suburbs of the Sunshine Coast. In the light of the morning, I could finally see where we're parked.

Breakfast at Cawongla, September 2011
Breakfast is a casual affair as everyone helps themselves from the spacious kitchen with the blessing of our hosts.

Brioni spreading bread, September 2011
Not only did Brioni make herself a sandwich, but she happily made one for Calista too when Cali said she was hungry. I love the way our girls can feed themselves — and look after their sisters so lovingly!

Calista feeding Delaney, September 2011
Occasionally, Delaney lets her sisters feed her — usually she just wants to feed herself.

Peacock at Cawongla, September 2011
This morning, the only wildlife within sight was a flock of peacocks that freely roam the property.

Our morning was spent playing with the kids and chatting among the adults. David took some of the older children for a bike ride along the long driveway. It’s great to get to know older children — this gives us practice in speaking respectfully to our own girls as they grow older.

One enjoyable aspect of travelling is that we get to see a range of styles of creativity in house decoration. I love the way Melissa has furnished her home. Each piece of furniture looks like it comes with a history, and she has decorated so that the whole house is rich with handmade artistry — most of it items that she picked up in antique shops in the U.S.

Melissa's home decorating, September 2011
Melissa keeps an especially beautiful home. She has textiles and pretty things everywhere, and they fill the house with loveliness.

Melissa's home decorating, September 2011
A line-up of pretty dolls decorate a windowsill.

Melissa's home decorating, September 2011
Melissa is a big fan of quilts and has hand-stitched many small panels herself, including this one.

We’re among very friendly company this weekend. A number of different families have come up to this property to spend time together. We are slowly hearing the individual stories of community culture and can see that the positive aspects of communal living can translate to a way of life that is embracing of others, sharing and caring.

This weekend — even with all the extra people, none of whom are related by blood — there are no donation boxes, no rosters for cooking and clean-up, no lists of chores that need to be done — it just happens freely and in love. We’ve seen people contribute to the general maintenance of the property, extra rolls of toilet paper brought to the bathroom, food bought and put into the household pantry, casual conversations that clarify who is cooking when, and children looked after by adults who aren’t their parents.

Hayeh with bunny, September 2011
After her mother brought it for a visit, Hayeh was pleased to be reunited with her bunny called Pippi Rockstar (I think).

David and Ruth in the kitchen, September 2011
It's a privilege to be alongside Ruth in the kitchen. She's innovative with her flavours, and her cooking is so tasty and wholesome!

Ruth Mason, September 2011
Today, we sat out on the back deck and watched as the sun disappeared over the far hills. It's wonderful to have time to do "nothing" except sit with friends.

Rachel, Melissa and Ruth, September 2011
I feel so privileged to share in a part of these extraordinary women's lives. They are so warm and welcoming to us.

Ruth and Guy Mason with Anav, September 2011
We're enjoying the extended time that we're spending with the Masons and getting to know their friends better.

Calista and Brioni watching TV, September 2011
When a video was set on rewind, Calista and Brioni remained fascinated by the screen and watched the whole feature — in reverse!

Lauren reading to Aisha, September 2011
Sometimes even the lure of the TV or the call of the Barbie-dolls can't compete with the old-fashioned entertainment of being read to.

It’s a privilege to be welcomed at a peaceful place like this property. We’re thankful for our time here and loving the bush atmosphere as well as the company. Soon it will be time to move on, but until then, we feel at home!