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. 💖🏡🌅🥰
I may have said it before, but growing up in my teens, I used to tell bestie that one day I wanted to have a beach house.
I didn’t know how. I didn’t know when.
To be honest, I didn’t even know if it were possible.
It certainly didn’t seem possible at the time.
And yet… isn’t it funny how things end up working out?
Water isn’t only my recluse. My solace. Living near, being close to, or sitting under water has been shown to bring about many benefits to ALL people, some of which are lowered stress and anxiety, and just a greater sense of wellbeing.
In the Summer, I am far more relaxed. Yet I still find myself breathing deeply when wading through the beach waters, taking it all in, and giving myself a moment to meditate with my eyes open.
In the colder months… different story.
Driving past the beach helps. As does looking out the window. But another way I find water submersion in Winter, is in my own home.
I had planned on an end-of-week bath, but today, as mentally and emotionally stressed as I found myself, I realised I needed to hurry the ‘me time’ to tonight.
So, what do I do?
I light a candle. Make sure the water is HOT.
And then, not very much at all. That is the whole point after all.
I do watch my thoughts. I open myself up to the Universe, to see what questions come to me, and what answers just as quickly flow through me.
I remain impassive. I let go, my fingers floating on the surface of the water.
I breathe in light, love, and all the good in the world. All of my hopes, desires and dreams.
And I breathe out negativity, and that which does not serve me…
Then I pull the plug.
And the black energy I’ve expelled, goes down the drain.
One of the great things that will come out of this coronavirus isolation period (and I guarantee there will be many things that people will come to really appreciate) is that people will be much more connected to nature.
It’s all there is really. Walking, exercising. It’s the one saving grace.
And it’s become ours too.
I think we’ll all realise just how simple and beautiful our lives can be, by just going outside. By going back to nature, enjoying the free and natural parts of life, that are all accessible just by stepping out the front door.
I’ve come to really rely on our end of day walks. And the photo I snapped above?
That part of the walk is my favourite.
Because there’s a house off the path there somewhere, with a real fireplace. And the smell of firewood burning as we walk past…
It smells amazing.
It makes me feel like we’re on holiday.
It makes me feel the way we used to feel, back when we lived on the other side of town, and would travel down here, to our now sea change house, back then our getaway sea change destination of choice… (PHEW).
And I love it. I love feeling like we’re away, if only a moment, especially when we can’t go further than out our front door, or at the very most, around the block.
And isn’t that amazing? How nature can make us feel? ♥♥♥
We have been in our Sea change destination for 3 years now, but it was not until today that I felt like I was finally one with my environment, and it was one, with me.
I was home.
Because, finally, a European continental grocer opened up at my local shopping centre and I CAN NOT EVEN.
I am ecstatic. Back in our old ‘hood I used to shop weekly or twice-weekly (who am I kidding it was thrice-weekly) at a great grocer deli that was near all the other big supermarkets.
The location and convenience was optimal. I could go to H&G, grab all the fruit and veg I could feast my eyes upon, and then anything I wasn’t keen on I could get at the $$$ supermarkets.
H&G had a huge range, good produce, and was value for money.
I lost ALL of that when we moved here. I have been focusing on supermarket produce ever since and IT KILLS ME. Sure there are gourmet produce places out here, but they are not just $$$…
They are $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
So it has been only slightly annoying.
But today… today! I was in heaven. The produce was fresh and inviting, and so wide in range. There were some gourmet deli products, European basics (which had become foreign rather than regular to me in our moving here), and we even got a whole pumpkin, for 27 cents!
What? How does one buy a 2.185 kilo pumpkin for 27 cents?
Why, when it is on a daily special of 8 cents per kilo, that’s how.
8 cents a kilo???!!!
But that is not all. Noooo.
I was walking by the biscuits and nuts and my eyes came to rest on the most heavenly of boxes.
These are the best God-damn wafer biscuits in the world. There, I have called it. They don’t sell it at my local Safeway and when I bought a similar product from a competitor…
They were NOT the same. 👎
Do not buy imitation people.
I proceeded to grab a packet and tell baby girl that these were in fact the best biscuits in the world, while non-Euro pensioners walked by me with curious eyes taking a second look at the Napolitanke.
Yep that’s right. Keep walking. They are all MINE.
I grabbed a papaya for old times sake and Hubbie branched out with gourmet sauce, we got our produce and were out of there…
I am so happy. Soooooo happy. Oh man. I will have to shop there every day until the novelty wears off.
It’s become second nature for me to find simple and small things to be grateful for.
Firstly, because life is often routine. There is school and work and groceries and cleaning, and if you can’t see beyond all of that and take joy in the little moments, well frankly you are going to go mad waiting for that ‘big party’ where you think you will have a rad time.
Chances are you won’t. Your child will be clingy, your hubbie will be sick, and there you will be in the corner with a coughing partner and child tugging on your arm as you chug down another wine.
Don’t wait to be happy.
Secondly… well because the little things, really are the best things. If you can find happiness in everyday moments, imagine how much better off you will be? Imagine all the opportunities of satisfaction, self-fulfilment, and growth that you will experience in this state?
I am happy, because 3 years on from our Seachange I am starting to notice people around town.
Wait, what? If you think you missed the post where I celebrated our 3 years here, don’t worry, I actually forgot myself… (shakes head). It wasn’t until midnight ticked over the day after our moving-house anniversary, that I realised the day that had just been, and went ‘d’oh.’
And it has taken a while… but lo and behold, I bumped into two people today that I knew… within a space of hours.
Sure, I see people around a lot more now. A lot of them I’ve come to know through baby girl’s school. But today I saw two such people within only a couple of hours, and the second one, was walking by my house! Why I never…
Moving to a side of town where we have no family or friends settled nearby has had its specific set of challenges. To be honest, it can, and has been at times, a very isolating experience.
But like everything in life, good things take time. And it hasn’t been something we’ve been able to push, or force… we had to just let it be.
And when you let things be, that’s often the moment that things seem to work out for you…
You just have to wait. Sometimes 3 years.
And then what you were waiting for, comes by your front door… LITERALLY.
I asked myself this very question this afternoon, as I sat crouched over our flower bed, pulling out weeds at random and picking at those pesky sort that just wouldn’t come out so easily…
Why did I love it?
I certainly never had any real affinity to it growing up. Sure my parents backyard was a beautiful haven to relax, think, have d&ms and read… but it never went further than that.
The maintenance of it all was beyond me. Unthinkable. Not because I despised it… rather because I never truly consideredit.
Until we got our own home. This home to be honest. In our old place we made the front and rear gardens to be as lowmaintenance as possible. A couple of yakkas here, a palm tree and a shrub there, throw in a whole lot of pebbles to thwart weed growth… TA-DA!
Maybe it’s because we are at a place where we see ourselves growing and building our ideal house and lifestyle. Maybe I’m finally at an age where I can appreciate and have a bit more time for these outdoor leisurely practices.
Maybe I am more like my parents than I ever imagined.
OR… maybe it is that all of my indoor work, sitting at my computer both writing and writhing, needs to be balanced somehow, somewhat, and that can only be done outside tending to nature…
Yep. Even the weeds.
I find it so therapeutic, ripping them out. Honestly, sometimes I question if I have gone mad.
But I think where I have really gone, is to Nature.
Going from my increasing success at being able to capture the perfect ‘one’ since we made our Sea Change, when I looked out the window and caught the colours, they were beautiful… still, I knew I was about 5 minutes too late.
The layered sunset:
Imagine how magical it would have looked if I snapped it on time?
It was about the Phalaenopsis plant. Rather, to you and me and most Tom, Dick and Nancy’s, the orchid. MY orchid. The plant that had been gifted to us when baby girl was born, the plant I had kept alive… until recently.
Until the move.
I am honestly not sure if it has bloomed since we moved house. Last summer, despite it being next to a window, I don’t recall seeing it blossom once, NOT ONCE… it soon moved to a less prominent position, but still by a window, and still facing the same side of the house as it was before… only it was in a different room. The laundry.
I was hopeful for so long. This plant held ties with baby girl’s arrival. Sure, it’s miraculous to keep these things growing beyond a few years. Plants die, ndoor potted ones more so… I get it.
But this one I COULD NOT LET GO OF.
I watered it. Gave it food. Trimmed some dead leaves and branches from it. With no change and the soil becoming more like sand than dirt, I started to contemplate throwing it away.
Again… I just couldn’t. I left it there in the laundry, facing the window, with dust settling on the leaves… thinking one day, I would do something with it.
I just didn’t know what.
So to walk in today and find this…
What? My orchid was alive? Reborn from brittle soil when I least expected it, its seed lying dormant for the longest time, waiting, just waiting, for the right combination of circumstances to spring forth…
I honestly, clapped with glee. Got teary. I am so glad I didn’t give up.
You all know what this means. I may not throw out a plant now, NEVER EVER EVER.
Because you never know if a seed of hope is lying around somewhere, just waiting.
Ok, so humour me. Obviously for a water-loving dweller like me, this will be a fairly extensive and LONG list.
But that is the whole reason for this gratitude blog (duh).
The first reason being… you can go there at almost ANY time.
There is never an inopportune time to go to the beach.
Today I changed my mind 3 times:
First I was going to go about 2ish.
Then I changed my mind, and said nah, about 4-4:30.
I changed it yet again, and we ended up at our favourite local about 7pm.
It is never inconvenient. Being a short drive away means that even if you are there for a total of 45 minutes, that is fine… 45 minutes in the outdoors, wading in water and cooling down from an exceptionally humid day, is far better than 45 minutes in front of the TV.