My lecturing contract was for three years, beginning from 1 February, 1973. When you start a three-year contract - and particularly when you are only 30 - the end does seem very far away. Now in 1975 I was in my last year of it. I was already beginning to think about the future.
During those first two years of my contract I had been working on finishing the two Yapese books. I did not know what would happen at the end of 1975, but I knew that I might not have a job, so I had to finish these books. Intense work was necessary now. (Lucky all of you moderns with word-processors - in 1975 it was type and carbon copy and retype - very laborious).
The first few months of 1975 were straightforward in other respects, I suppose. We were now in our new church. I was learning more and more of my Reformed faith. I was, by now, heavily involved in reading the writings of what I think of as the Tyler Group - writers on economics (Gary North), and theology (Jim Jordan, R. J. Rushdoony). Gary and Jim lived in Tyler, Texas. Rushdoony did not, but Gary was married to his daughter - and they were writing on much of the same themes: Reformed theology, Reconstructionism, Theonomy, and political conservatism. And Susan - willy-nilly - was having all these things explained to her in sometimes painful detail by me.
Susan's principle task, however, was different. She had a deadline as well. Our first child was due in mid-July. Susan had never had a child. I was Kathleen's father, but was not much use in that respect - nor, I'm afraid, had I been to Edna. Sue went to pre-natal classes; went to La Leche League meetings; bought things. Our friend from Hillsborough Baptist, Dr Blaiklock, had recommended an obstetrician, Dr Bruce Conyngham - a bit extravagant for us to go to a specialist, but it seemed a good idea - and as things turned out, it definitely was.
Sue was preparing to hand over her job at World Vision as Sponsorship Manager to her successor. This was a major task as the organisation in New Zealand had grown from barely started in 1973 to a large and flourishing operation now with, I suppose, some thousands of sponsors throughout the country.
Liz would have to move. And was it during this time that we painted - I think! - the bedroom that would be the nursery. It may have been.
On 20th May - our third wedding anniversary - we took Liz to what I think must be one of Auckland's very best restaurants (Antoine's - we almost went this year for our fortieth, but timing didn't work out), and had a wonderful time.
Within a very short time - perhaps a couple of weeks - Susan was quite ill with toxaemia.