Do you think it’s too much to ask that a cafe stays open ’til past 4pm on a weekday?
Is it? I mean I don’t live in a regional town, and our main street is peppered ALL OVER with cafes… and yet finding one to fulfil my caffeine craving so late in the day, seemed almost impossible today.
First world problems, I know. It might seem awfully petty to be concerned with these little nuisances, especially on a day like today when I went to a funeral…
You’d think I wouldn’t worry about things like that.
But we all deal with life and death in different ways, right? And there’s nothing like the reminder of the end of life, to make us really funny and fussy about all the things that we choose to do before that…
I had driven for a lot of the day. It was hot. Still, not feeling the best. I had eaten lunch in the car, picked up baby girl from school, and then we’d gone to exchange a Smiggles drink bottle she got for Christmas that had a faulty part.
I just wanted to sit down and have a coffee. It didn’t seem too much to ask. I wanted to sit down with my daughter, on what was a tiring day, and just stop for a few minutes.
The first cafe was doing takeaway only… damn you recurrent restrictions.
The second cafe was closing.
The third cafe was already closed.
The fourth cafe was also… closing.
I walked away, gritted teeth, cursing the fact that there were cafes galore but none apparently taking customers.
Finally. We went to our last option in that block – Sugo.
It’s weird that we’ve never actually drank or eaten at this place. There’s nothing wrong with it, it looks really nice… but we’ve never even thought to sit down there…
Too many options elsewhere.
Anyway, they were OPEN!
Baby girl and I sat down for our late afternoon coffee break, sharing a cookie, happy that we had gotten our small happy ending.
It isn’t the be all and end all, and it isn’t life or death, certainly… but it’s what we do in the space between the beginning and end of life that matters.
And if you want to have your coffee and sit down with it, well damn it so you should be able to.
Baby girl has pulled the “I don’t wanna go to school routine” on a regular occasion for the last two weeks.
She ONLY has two weeks left.
So today when she finished school, on this bright, still and sunny Friday, where I had also finished work, I picked her up and said “I have a surprise for you…”
And nothing says surprise better than ice cream.
She was rapt. I grabbed a coffee, she her rainbow cup of joy, and we wandered up and down the Main street, transformed into a pedestrian-only zone over summer so to give businesses the best chance ever at reclaiming back all that they’ve lost during covid, with extended outdoor seating space… on the road.
We wandered here, we wandered there. Everything and everywhere at whim. Things are easy when you’re slurping ice cream/sipping coffee.
So, guess what we are now the proud owners of?
OMG, I can’t… I just can’t believe it.
Yep. We got a bloody elf on the shelf.
I never thought I’d get one of these. When I first heard of him, it felt like an anti-Christmas sentiment. Being naughty? Playing tricks? What kind of good role model was that for the kids? Weren’t they meant to be nice? How did he tie into the giving and charity of Christmas?
Then I spoke to a friend who said they didn’t have to be ALL naughty. And baby girl came home repeatedly saying she wanted one, because of course half her class has one.
And then I went stuff it.
He looks like a dipshit, sure. Something about his grin just bugs me, rubs me up the wrong way.
But we already know, he is a good elf. Sure, he is a bit cray cray at times (much like the youngest member of our family!) but generally, means well.
Baby girl thinks he’s gonna draw on our faces tonight. I told her hell no, he’s going in the bin if that happens!
I think tonight, I mean I just have an inkling… I think he might end up in the Christmas tree… just you know, climbing and stuff.
Simple like that, adventuring.
LOL. I think I can have A LOT of fun with this actually.
Today, I did some washing. Hung it in our backyard.
I baked some muffins. Scents of banana and cocoa filled the walls within our home.
I ripped out old plants and dying branches from flowers that desperately needed a good prune. I tidied it up…
To make our home look more pretty.
And it was all the more convenient and timely, that I did these random, but interconnected odd jobs, as the theme unifying it all was that of the home.
Tending to the home.
Using the home.
Filling up the home.
Because on this day 4 years, we bought this home.
I made the winning bid.When I think of that day, I have to shake my head in disbelief sometimes. It was 4 years ago, but many parts of that day are still so clear to me, even now.
I remember the well wishes I received the morning of the auction by some amazing family and friends.
I remember driving up with my Mum and baby girl… and being so nervous, that both Mum and I had to stop at a servo to pee on the way.
I remember arriving 15 minutes into the inspection before auction. I remember the street being FULL of cars. I remember nosy neighbours walking off, having had enough of a sticky beak, not caring to see who would get the house.
I remember NOT ONE auctioneer approaching me as I wandered through the house for the final time before the dum dum daaaa! moment.
I remembered my sister seeing the view from upstairs and saying “it’s a great house” but saying it in a way like “shit, it will be competitive.”
I remember my bro-in-law saying similar words, saying he’d overheard a lot of interested parties talking about it.
I remember all of us standing outside in the front yard, with the strong Winter wind blowing around.
I remember baby girl running around the yard as the main auctioneer started his spiel, referring to her in his opening monologue.
I knew then, that that was a GOOD SIGN.
I remember him motioning to the water views behind us, while I secretly cursed him – “don’t remind them of the views!”
I remember him saying that the winning person could celebrate on the main street afterwards at one of the many cafes, and the desire was so strong in me then, because we had been to those cafes and those restaurants. We had walked those streets, we had holidayed here, and we had done our research.
We were ready.
I remember the auction beginning, and Mum standing near baby girl, watching her run around while mumbling under her breath that the price was going too high.
I remember my sister positioned closer to the nature strip, creating a barrier so that baby girl couldn’t escape.
And I remember my bro-in-law standing behind me, ready to whisper words of advice.
I remember staying quiet for a long time.
I remember the TOTAL SATISFACTION (this is SO clear to me) when I put up my hand, and made my first bid.
The auctioneer looked at me, and his expression conveyed something else.
I had come in later. He knew I meant business.
And I remember how when I made the second, third bid, one of the agents made a beeline to me, thinking he could now help me.
Huh. Where were you guys INSIDE the house?
I had my own agent behind me 😉
I remember holding that winning bid… and the auctioneer urging others to jump in… while I begged in my head “please no, just let it be over…”
Then, IT WAS OVER.
There was clapping. There was cheering. People around me were genuinely happy.
And we were over the moon!
Inside, a familiar face! I saw the agent I had been talking to leading up to that day… He had been hiding out with the owners, of course.
I signed contracts with shaky hands, and snapped a photo of the interior, with the price tag, to Hubbie.
HE WAS OVER THE MOON.
After celebratory photos with the auction board, we headed to the main street.
Mum, sis, baby girl and I had our celebratory coffees and treats.
And when we got home hours later, Hubbie was on cloud nine.
I remember all this so fondly, and I don’t think I can ever forget such a momentous day for us.
A day where we realised our big dream of sea changing, a day when we made it.
And so when baby girl snapped a sunset from my phone this evening (I’ve trained her well) I didn’t think much of it…
‘Til I previewed it later.
It was blurry. Much like a memory can be. But there was that lawn. I could still see that sign in my head.
The guy who was standing to the left of me… the two ladies on my right. The family of four who I thought of often, comprised of a couple with their two young girls, who walked off half-way through the auction…
I hope they found their dream house, just as we found ours.
Now there were different plants, different colours, and different people coming in and out…
And 4 years on, there’s no place we’d rather be. 💖🏡🌅🥰
But today we headed out to grab our last, in-store, sit-down, cafe experience…
Along with the rest of the town.
I mean, really July. What trickery are you fooling us into? How gorgeous was today? And it’s meant to continue for 2 more days… only for the sunshine-y days to return again next week!
Ahh, Winter. You’ve made me kinda like you again.
You know, I have to say… it is A BIT annoying. And I think I am allowed to say this, because last I heard, our shire had NO current cases of coronavirus.
And yet we are suddenly part of ‘metropolitan Melbourne’ (only when they want us) and yet our neighbours across the Port Phillip Bay in Geelong have 2 CURRENT CASES, and are exempt from this lockdown.
Kilometres wise, they are further from the city than we are.
It does not make sense.
I’m not gonna focus on it too much though. We have to do what we have to do. And if too many shires are given reprieves (ahem, Geelong) well then no one is going to listen, and they won’t be happy, right?
I’ll suck it up.
Baby girl took my cue from the other night, and had stuck this note on our bedroom door last night:
I mean, we couldn’t say no to a 6 year-old, right?
Everyone was out and having their last lunches, last drinks, last cuppas…
They were all still social distancing. Counting numbers inside and outside the cafe. Sanitiser was within reach. It was very much across the board.
And the coffee was GREAT. But, it all felt a bit surreal. I mean, you could tell people were getting in their last whatever’s before midnight tonight. I could hear the cafe owner telling loyal customers they would be open for takeaway every day.
We enjoyed it. And then we left. Walked down the main street…
And to the PARK.
Poor baby girl. Poor all kids. They have to go through this shitty time again. Look I get it, we have to do this. Baby girl is actually amazing and totally understanding of what we have to sacrifice again.
But, I wanted to let her run. I wanted her to play.
And she did.
I’ll see you all on the other side… but stay for the gratitude journey, of course, as always. 🙂
After standing on the Main street for a few minutes today, just looking around, going “where should we go?”
“Where should we go?”
“Where should we go?”
…I had to laugh to myself. We had so many options we actually didn’t know where to go.
I loved it.
Well we ended up in one place, where we hadn’t been to in ages… partly because of COVID. And as we took a seat by the window looking out onto the street – after writing down our names and numbers of course per the new protocol – we noticed that the cafe was a little quieter, there were crosses on the floor to advise where to stand and the place had had a recent fresh coat of paint amidst recent close downs…
But one thing, was the same.
The coffee was ah-may-zing!
And oh yeah, the almond croissant was pretty darn good too.
It was the kind of smooth but strong coffee that had me talking fast for the next few hours… and beyond.