Two appointments on the other side of town, visiting my parents and sister and fam in between that, and then a big writers meet-up at the end of the night back home.
It’s been a lot.
It’s been a day of a lot of things. Hope. New directions. New people. New plans.
I’m a glass half-full gal, and things are starting to feel right. That glass is filling up again.
With HOPE. 🤞
I’m going on, rambling a bit, I know. I just don’t really know where to rest my creative mind, to release these thoughts from, what to centre on when much has given me happiness today.
But I will talk about nature, because it inspires me.
Specifically, my parents and my sister’s backyard.
I used to love spending time in the backyard of my childhood home. All those memories, all those fun times, so much joy within those trees and the shady spots. I was amazed and surprised then, when I found myself loving my parents’ NEW backyard, finding beauty in little pockets of grass, verdant greenery full and lush underneath your feet, life brimming and blooming from the smallest spring of herb, to a wide-reaching leaf of a fern.
That beauty extends equally to my sister’s backyard.
I was admiring this gorgeous tree, sprouting golden Autumn leaves. We were in her backyard sitting and talking, and so many times I was accidentally witness to a yellow leaf floating easily to the ground.
Before my very eyes.
It was a magical sight.
And I realised later when I headed off, how I find beauty in both of their backyards, and how that must mean something more… for those we love, we find the beauty inherent everywhere, all around them, because they are love.
We are doing renovations at the moment… small ones, yet they will hopefully be long, beautiful and lasting.
(On us, or our backyard do you think????)
One day I hope, someone will look at our yard and see the beauty lying in wait, wanting to be found.
It was hot. I really wanted to go to the beach today.
But, we were still under restrictions. Beach-going, felt like a no-no.
I had read an article the other day where it was explicitly stated that sunbathing wasn’t allowed.
But beach… it’s exercise, right? In some ways it was just like taking your kids to the park, and that was allowed. I put the idea to Hubbie – why don’t we walk through the shallow waters of the beach, across the whole expanse of beach, and then turn around and go back?
And we’ll just conveniently be holding towels and wearing our swimsuits?
His answer was definite.
“If I’m going to the beach I want to sit down!”
Fair enough. He had been running around all day, so he kinda didn’t wanna be running around more, plus in HEAT.
But then I got another idea…
Baby girl was rapt. I’m sure her excited squeals could be held all the way down the street, as we pelted each other with balloons in the backyard. It was a WHOLE HEAP of fun, and it actually did cool us down, so much so that we were pretty good the rest of the day.
There. A totally inventive and fun way to keep chill. And there’s exercise involved there too, so you don’t miss out… all the bending over and picking up of broken balloon bits off your backyard grass, later.
Today was the day that we said goodbye to our family home.
The home that my parents have lived in for 40 years.
The home that my sister spent growing up as a teenager, all the way until she got married.
The home that’s the only childhood, family home I’ve ever known… that I lived in for 25 years until I got married.
Goodbye, number 14.
It was an emotionally bittersweet day. Emotional because oh God, all of the above! So many memories are in every inch, every corner, every crevice of that house.
Through the rush to get everything out of the house this morning, I tried to pause every so often, look around, take a breath, and say a personal thanks to the house that made my years growing up, the best in the world.
Here is the emotional part.
I was reflecting on my life spent there as I walked around the empty rooms, a bit taken aback by the hollowness of it all. The furniture, furnishings, and all the photos and trinkets that made it such a loved home, were all gone.
But oh, those walls. If those walls could talk.
Those walls would speak of happiness, of laughter. Of sadness and shock, family coming together, and family celebrating to make the most out of life.
And love. SO much love.
Memories hit me as I walked into rooms, turned corners. Looked this way, that. People from the past resurfaced, along with people from the present.
In the lounge room, I saw myself sitting on the floor while my parents watched footy on the TV.
In the kitchen I saw my Mum cooking up a feast, our family sitting down to eat at the small round table, perfect for us in size, so perfect, to keep us tight and close together, as always.
In the garden I saw happiness. Friends, cousins, brimming around, enjoying a drink on a hot Summer’s day, folk music from the garage wafting over and adding to the festive atmosphere of it all.
The garage, ohhhh, the garage. Where so, so, so many parties and events were had. Birthdays. Milestones. Weddings. Day after weddings! New Years. And all of the Christmases that Mum cooked up a storm, catering for over 30 people like it was an absolute breeze, even though it wasn’t.
She made it look effortless.
Those were the days. Those were the BEST days.
The park next door. Hearing the squeals of happiness from our younger cousins as they took advantage of the play proximity.
At the front door, I saw my sister being led out in her wedding dress by my parents… then I saw myself, doing the same.
The dining room showed me all of us, our big family, as we are now. The original foursome, us, being my parents, sister and I, but now with our Hubbies and our kids, filling up the table, eating heaps, drinking more, and playing music off of youtube on the mobile until the late hours of the night.
In my bedroom. The bedroom that I spent 15 years of my life sleeping, dreaming and hoping in. I had another room for the first 10 years of my life, but I claimed this one, sister’s one, after she got married and moved out.
It’s always been the better room.
I sat in my old room. Took some photos around me. And then here, I began to cry.
I remember watching Video Hits for hours on weekend mornings.
My childhood cat scratching at my window, wanting to be let in, and then me opening the window to shoo her, upset she had woken me… but when she jumped down from the window sill outside, I thought stuff it, you’ve woken me now… and so I would call her back in (she must have thought I was a crazy bipolar cat owner) and she’d snuggle up next to me as I slept a little more.
I’d open up that window, and talk to friends through it.
I talked to SO MANY people, through it.
I listened to music for hours on my bed.
I had sleepovers in that room.
I had sleepovers in that house! On the lounge room floor, covered in blankets and sleeping bags.
When Croatia played Australia in the 2006 World Cup, Hubbie-then-boyfriend and I watched it, me running around the house with a Cro flag when Croatia scored a goal, and Hubbie running around the house with an Aussie flag when they scored a goal.
I don’t remember who won that game. All I remember is the memories.
All the people who came, and went from that house. It would be in the hundreds. Friends, family, people who I grew up with, grew apart from, so many people have touched base in that house, shared a laugh, a dance, a drink, and made a memory.
Even baby girl. It was the first place that she ever visited, after her own home.
Speaking of baby girl… My waters broke in that house! And my own Mum’s waters broke in there, when she was pregnant with me!
Both sister’s Hubbie, and my Hubbie, met my parents for the first time in THAT lounge room…
News broke. Secrets shared. Heavy discussions were had. Tears shed.
People were welcomed. People were greeted.
People came in, and immediately knew that there was love. They were safe. They were in a memorable place.
And so today, the time came. We walked through the house. We took our final photos.
And we drove off, for good.
That was seriously bitter, right?
Where is the sweet?
Well, it comes with the choice. How blessed are we that this was born of my parents decision to move closer to me and sis, and not because of a bad circumstance.
How lucky are we that we get to say goodbye, together, in the best way possible… and how lucky that we still get to take ALL the memories with us?
Including most importantly, the people.
I am so looking forward to making just as many happy memories in their new abode. 🏡🏡
But my heart will always hold a very special and dear place, for number 14.
I realised with extreme sadness this morning, as we got ready to go to my parents house, that it would be the LAST TIME EVER Hubbie went there.
I started to cry.
Oh the memories. The memories. I can’t even begin to express the breadth and depth of emotion when it comes to the memories.
In some ways, I am feeling more for my parents leaving this house, then I did for Hubbie, baby girl and I moving from our first home over 4 years ago now.
4 years, versus 40 years. There is A LOT of difference there.
I even cried when we were at the front of the house today, Hubbie filling up the car with stuff to move over to their new place. I sat on the big pillar that serves as a mailbox, remembering how I sat there with my neighbours, over 25 years earlier.
I walked up to my former friends’ houses, noticing how I hadn’t done it for decades… and knowing that it had been different for just as long.
It’s hard to remove yourself from the place where you made so many memories. It’s hard because a piece of you stays there forever.
Sure, many of the people in those memories have moved away and are gone… but I was always able to visit the my parents house, my old home, and reminisce about the way things used to be.
Today I stopped and stared a lot. Looked around my parents back yard. Their enviously luscious green back yard. So abundantly healthy and blooming in all life forms of nature. Several times I went past the pear tree, and as I lifted my head, the fruit actually bonked me on the head, hard.
I had to laugh.
I know the memories will come with me. I have been preparing for this moment for so long now. But until the day of goodbye comes, I will keep staring at that beautiful green, drilling it into my memory for all of time.
It was one of those Fridays where it felt REALLY good to let my hair down after the fact.
After the fact of sitting in a NON-ergonomic desk chair, where I’ve had to put throws on the seat just to raise myself to some kind of adequate desk position.
After the fact of a killer end of work shift job task.
After the fact of having to stay back (at the desk!) and work overtime to finish it.
After the fact of this repeated cold I keep getting, where it comes, and goes, then comes back full force, with terribly itchy, runny nose and sneezing symptoms all day.
After the fact of a long week, where my neck and back was so sore.
I had to get out of the house. Baby girl and I ventured to the backyard, and she called me to the trampoline.
Yes. I needed to loosen up.
Bounce! and bounce! and bounce! we went. Every jump up and I could see into the neighbour’s yard, see their washing on the line, see she sheds in the other adjoining houses, see the street out front. We jumped too close to each other, laughed too much, and then…
The rain began to fall.
It had been a mild day, so when the drops came down heavier and bigger than usual, we didn’t mind.
“We need to go inside!” I said. “It’s raining!”
But the funny thing is, we didn’t. We stayed, jumping like mad, for a good few moments, waiting until the rain got consistent and then dashed inside.
Ahhh. There’s nothing quite like shaking all the sore, all the tired, all the pressure off your body from a long week…
I figure after all this time of Mister F being in our family, that I need to post something about him.
He is great. Truly adorable. We totally have a love-hate relationship. There are times I love him… then there are times, as Hubbie will attest to, where I pretend I’m mad at him, but secretly I’m amused (while smoke shoots out my ears).
He is a really loving cat that can also go a bit cray-cray, who’ll swipe you in a sweet way if for example, you are touching him too much while he is napping (but they are so cute when they nap!)
Today I was waiting for a phone call, and so ventured outside to get some sunshine. First he was rubbing against my legs constantly, but when he saw the chair pulled up close to mine, he jumped on it, trying to get as close to me as possible.
Then he saw the table… and being a cat, had to be higher up than me.
So he jumped.
Here he is, being a typical cat. And of course, here I am being a typical SmikG.
Of course I was never going to post his feline face! 😄🐱😻😸🐈🐾