#459 Local help

Everywhere I turned, I seemed to run into them. People at the shops, bumping into their friends. Acquaintances. People from down the road. A local they hadn’t seen in a while.

Two women stood in front of the apples talking about how it was when they ‘showed’ so early for their second child. The grocer guy sang out to his buddy stocking up corn, and they chatted loudly about people they knew from other stores.

Another older woman held her arms out in an embrace as she came across another woman, and then the woman being hugged pointed to a third woman and said “this used to be my neighbour.” I saw them picking out groceries together and helping the older woman later on.

Two old ladies stood at the entrance to the biscuit aisle, whispering lowly about God-knows-what, but their faces were so solemn I nearly hung out a second longer to catch a word or two about the latest scandal, I could only assume.

I felt a bit left out. I couldn’t just bump into someone I knew in our town. Not yet. I didn’t know anybody. Baby girl was slowly making friends at kinder – soon she would know people out and about. Hubbie was also now working locally, so he too was recognising faces here and there. I was still based out of town, WAY out of town for work, so I wasn’t really based in any such way in our new town, not yet.

Not yet. I told myself this. I told myself, as I smiled at the exchanges I came across, wishfully thinking that my time would come, and soon enough, I would be bumping into people, and saying “oh hey! How have you been?” Maybe I would talk about how the corn was in season. Or maybe I would indulge in some scandal/gossip or two.

Or maybe all of the above. If I was lucky.

And this I pondered, as I searched for fresh yeast.

It was becoming extremely difficult to find. Back where we used to live in the Northern suburbs, I knew exactly where to find, and where to go for the fiddly, specific, random items I sometimes required. Fortunately for me, where I used to buy yeast was just around the corner from me, at a continental deli in the large shopping centre in town. There were that many wogs, (ahem) Europeans there, of course they had fresh yeast for sale, frequently. It wasn’t odd to look for it.

Here however:

“No we don’t sell it,” said one gourmet deli cashier to me, as she genuinely looked quizzical, adding that she didn’t know where I could buy it while looking around to serve the next person and get rid of me.

“I don’t know where we get it from,” said the bakery lady who had walked out to place bread on the shelves in Woolies, implying that yes they had it, but no, they did not SELL IT.

Where was I going to get fresh yeast from? It almost seemed like I was asking for a Unicorn’s horn, or something. People looked at me like “Wowzee, geez, good luck.” I was making a bunch of bread-like cheese rolls for my parents’ upcoming anniversary, and I was going to make them tomorrow. So I needed to buy the yeast, NOW.

I decided nothing was lost by asking the cashier who had put through my items a previous time at Woolies. She seemed like a really lovely person. As she weighed my apples, I asked, “do you know where I could find fresh yeast around here?”

She thought for a moment, throwing a bit of a clueless look as so many before her had thrown when I had posed my question, and then turned to the Mum with two kids behind me who was placing her groceries on the conveyor belt, and without hesitating asked “where can you buy fresh yeast around here?”

They knew each other.

This Mum was lovely and started rattling off heaps of names. One on the Main street, and then the cashier jumped in and mentioned a grocery store in town.

“My Hubbie works there actually” I said. “I’m just waiting for him to get back to me on that.”

The Mum then remembered a gourmet/organic grocer that was a few shops down in the little centre we were in, and immediately I was like “of course!” How could I have forgotten that little unique and quirky-buys place?

I high-tailed it out of there after thanking them, and upon walking into the gourmet grocer, came across a very smiley lady at the counter.

“Do you sell fresh yeast?”

“You know who would know that? Our chef. And she so happens to be a few doors down. Follow me.”

And just like that, she left her post in the grocer store at the counter, and walked off, me following her with my trolley full of groceries, containing almost everything BUT fresh yeast. She kindly introduced me to the chef who was chatting with another shop owner, and then left to resume her post, while I asked wide-eyed “was there any fresh yeast around here?”

The chef, was super-friendly. She was surprised Woolies hadn’t just given me some, but said to try all the bakeries in the area… she mentioned the Baker’s Delight just several stores down, and Banjos on Main street, and then another fine foods deli off the Main street. She was so friendly and helpful, and placed confidence in me that I WOULD find it.

I still tentatively walked to Baker’s and when it was my turn to be served, asked all high-pitched “do you sell fresh yeast here?”

“Yeah” responded the cashier with no confusion or Unicorn horn- questioned look.

Finally!

And so, I got my damn fresh yeast. The locals had been lovely, and gone out of their way to help me, just as you would expect in a village-type seaside town.

And just as I had been wondering how long it would talk to get it, the fresh yeast came across my path quite suddenly, as it had been there in front of me, all along…

And I realised that like the yeast rising, hopefully so too would my ‘locals’ friend list also go up… much sooner than I expected.

 

#387 MILs help

I am grateful for my MIL.

Yes, you heard that right. I am grateful for my mother-in-law.

Wait. I think the earth just shifted. MILs aren’t often high up on most women’s appreciation list.

But today, I was. And on many days, I am. There are many grandparents who are neither willing or able to babysit their grandkids. Even if they are willing, many times due to ill health, or other circumstances, they are just not able.

My MIL, is both willing and able.

Which makes us lucky indeed.

I was able to drop baby girl off at her place today, as I had a much-needed hairdresser’s appointment. It was so nice to leave baby girl in a familiar place, not have to worry about the company she was in, if she was looked after adequately, or if she would get up to mischief.

The MILs take care of all that when kids are in their care, after all.

And it was easy. It always is easy with her. She is always more than happy to look after baby girl, not only for some works shifts, but when we have appointments every now and then. Distance is clearly an issue, so I can’t get her to watch baby girl all that often, but when there is something and I really need help, I know where I can turn.

I often wonder about women whose parents live far from them, or with whom they don’t have the best relationship with, and I get sad. In a perfect world, each woman would have a safe place to leave their child when and if circumstance arose, and a grandparent is just about the best babysitting option there is. The fact that mine looks after baby girl, but also after me – as I dashed out of her house late to the hairdresser’s, she handed me a foiled packet of lunch for the road – is really, truly, a God-send.

Yes. I know I’m lucky to have a great MIL. I won’t shout it too loud though, or else the earth’s tapestry may just unravel…

#380 Baby girl’s understanding

She has been a true wonder today. As soon as we woke this morning, me letting her know gently that it was going to be a very, very quiet day because Mama was a bit unwell, she was just, cool.

She has been a star. Her understanding and unfussed attitude has made it so much easier for me on a day when I just want to curl up into a ball and remove myself from society.

She’s played with her kitchen play-set happily; spent time singing ‘Let It Go’ without demanding me as her audience; she has come forth for many well-meaning hugs and kisses to cheer me up; and most importantly, she has performed ‘Magic’ on my sickness countless times, hoping to bring back her Mum to life.

All with an adorable smile on her face.

And, the clincher? When I mentioned it was nap time only 20 minutes ago, rather than receive frustration, a uncooperative nature and repeated ‘no’s, she dutifully walked into her room with a little puppy doll she was going  to cuddle to sleep, and lay down.

And then she fell asleep, so easily.

It is the most profound relief, and gratitude, when your child works with you, when you are unwell.

And I am majorly grateful for it today.

 

#369 Mr Penn

This gratitude thread holds a fair bit of bitter-sweetness.

Let me introduce you to someone.

Mr Judda-Penn.

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He is our Indian Ringneck Parrot. I say Mr, for frivolities sake, but am slightly disappointed that he never took to the Penn name we tried to re-Christen him with when we obtained him from Hubbie’s relos. He would only respond to the name he had known with his previous owners, which was Juddy.

Hence, his hyphenated name was born. I couldn’t let go of the Penn, even if he never squawked back at me when I used it.

He… was our Indian Ringneck Parrot. I hope I can use ‘is’ again, but Hope is not only a survival technique, but a dangerous one at that. I want to Hope, but I am also scared to practice it too much.

We had him for 4ish months. And I didn’t realise how much he was a distinct presence in our home, until today. I didn’t realise how much he amused me. I didn’t realise, that part of me would miss how he would aggressively jump up near his food bowls as I tried to change his seed and water. I didn’t realise that the removal of his 4pm calls would create a silence that was cold. And I didn’t realise that when I found his cage empty this morning, that I would also feel subsequently empty, and a strong desire to move the cage elsewhere so it didn’t remind me that he was not around anymore.

He escaped, sometime this morning. He is a clever bird, and a cheeky one at that – something we are also missing. Hubbie feels betrayed. We fed him, gave him a home, gave him water baths on hot days, and played with him. Even our family and friends were beginning to get to know him. We really enjoyed having him around.

I don’t know what the next chapter in this story will be, but now that he is gone, I realise that I am grateful for his presence in our lives. He was in it for only a little while, but he made an impact. After all, he transitioned in an important part of our lives, with our Sea change.

I am also grateful to the people on the facebook community groups, those from Mornington and the surrounds, who have been sharing my lost bird posts. Even though I don’t know these people, I am amazed at the willingness of people to spread the word of our lost bird, in the chance that someone sees him on a nearby fence, bathing in a bird bath, or pecking away at fruits on a tree.

As I gazed at this view earlier tonight, I wondered, where would Judda-Penn sleep tonight? Would he have adequate shelter? Would he be safe? These thoughts made me sad.

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Goodnight Judda-Penn.

*If anyone reading this is from the Mornington area or surrounds, and comes across a bird looking like this – PLEASE contact me. Baby girl would like to blow him kisses again XOXO*

#343 Hubbie cooking

You just need a break every once in a while.

It is a requirement. You don’t need a reason. But if you prefer, you can say you need a change. A breather. Someone else to do ‘things’ for a change while you put your feet up and relax. Or catch up on other jobs, let’s be honest here.

Being a woman, is damn hard. Mother, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Cousin, Colleague… So many people depend of you for a variety of things.

So when Hubbie does the cooking, I don’t even say a word.

No pleases, no thank yous, no “I appreciate that bubs” – NOTHING. I deserve that much. No explanation.

Well, I said a few words, the night before, when I indicated to him that I wanted him to help out this evening: “You should have plenty of time to cook then!”

He pulled one of his classic ‘oops!’ caught out expressions.

What did I do instead? I showered and then set up a new train set with baby girl.

Sometimes, you don’t have to do other things. Sometimes, you don’t even want to do ANYTHING. Sometimes you need to just be. And I’m grateful Hubbie made his longed-for pasta sauce, so I could do just that.

For that, I’m appreciative.

He knows. 😉

#331 Somebodies to love

I was having a really shitty morning. Even for a glass half-full gal like me, when I am upset at something, or as was the case today, when I am upset at a NUMBER of things, even I struggle to find a piece of good in it, or something to be grateful for in the day.

But, I try. As bloody shitty as I am.

And pissed off as I was, running around being a taxi driver, people not working with me, feeling like a failure, feeling like I had to answer to people, feeling like everything was up in the air, feeling confused, feeling AHH!…

I had a thought. And suddenly, I realised I was lucky.

Here I was, running around for baby girl.

Here I was, running around for my parents.

Here I was, with my mother-in-law who was dropping plans her own plans to help me with baby girl.

Here my sister was, helping amidst her busy family schedule, to help me, and help our family unit out.

And all of these people, who were helping me, or were the recipients of help, I realised were part of the ongoing help cycle that is “US.”

I help them often. And they help me, much, much more.

And then Freddie Mercury came to mind.

“Can anybody find me…. somebody to love?”

I had so many people to love. And they loved me.

Suddenly, running around didn’t seem like such a chore anymore.

Suddenly, running around for those I loved, no matter how trying or frustrating some moments were, and knowing that those people in my ‘unit’ had run around for me too, so many times before, and probably would until the end of time, well, it became a blessing.

And just like that, my frown turned upside down.

It’s amazing how a change of perspective can change a situation, instantly.

Now for some genius… Freddie Mercury. 52 seconds.

You’re welcome.

 

#218 Parents’ generosity

Quite simply, I am so grateful for the generosity of our parents.

Whether it be in generosity in time

generosity in support

generosity in help

generosity in love, or

generosity in money…

I am grateful that they are here with all of their generosity, so giving and so willing to lend us a helping hand, no matter what that hand may hold.

And even though presently, it is my parents and my MIL helping us out in this Sea change transition of ours, I know that my father-in-law is watching over us, making sure things go to plan, as shitty as he may be that we are moving so far away 😉

I am a parent so I know the lengths one will go to for their children, but still, to feel the warmth and love and endless support that knows no boundaries, no conditions, it is really humbling.

We are so lucky.