#486 Early morning view of the water

It’s nice when your gratitude of the day comes in at an impressively early 7:51 am.

It’s impressive that I was up at that time, even more so that I found reason to be grateful, at that time…

But I know the time, because that’s when I took the below pics:

It was a busy day for the 3 of us: me, Hubbie and baby girl. We had a chock-full day of appointments and places to be and drop-offs, and that was all before my work shift started later this afternoon. But as I got up early, opening blinds and getting things ready to start our day, I spied the above views out of our front window.

The view of the water was more of an exciting novelty when we moved in, I won’t lie. But now, we are used to it. Over time, we have found ourselves sometimes forgetting to look out and enjoy what lies naturally before us.

But just because we forget, doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate.

And this morning, in the cold stillness, the heater ramping up in the background, with the only other sound being my breathing, standing alone looking out the window with Hubbie and baby girl still in their respective beds, well, it was lovely.

A beautiful, peaceful, still and serene moment, enjoying the calm of being at one with myself.

Now I know why my Mum loves getting up early all the time 🙂

 

#466 When they say her name

Hubbie and I still clearly remember the first time we heard another child call out to baby girl. Well, I’m a bit hazy on the place, but I remember the feeling. A friend’s daughter called “baby girl!” in a playful, happy, inclusive and friendly tone, and my heart melted a little. Later on Hubbie said to me “Did you hear such and such’s daughter call out ‘baby girl?'”

He too had melted. I guess there’s something that pulls at the heart strings when a fellow child calls out to yours. Parenthood has a lot of fear and stresses in it, and one of the zillion of them is hoping your child will be liked. That they will have friends. That they will be included. That people will be kind to them.

And every time since then, when a child has gone “baby girl!” my heart beats a little more.

It’s been a big thing for me since our Sea Change. All of us are starting again in a new town, and I’m keen for baby girl to meet as many people as possible. Sure, we have lots of family and friends scattered all over the place, but this is the town she will grow up in. This is the town she’ll make those crucial childhood and teenage memories in. These are the times that will shape her, and I hope to God she has a few decent friends during her journey.

But in the meantime, we are all just getting to know each other, aren’t we? And I’ve already heard a couple occasions where a child from her kinder has called out “baby girl!” to my surprised and delighted observation, to which I usually lowly instruct “baby girl, say hi to your friend!”

Today it happened in the sweetest way.

I had picked her up from her kinder session, and as she had at the start of the day when she had prolonged walking into the foyer for sign-in, so too was she now walking slowly along the step in the railing on the side of the footpath, while I held the child-proof gate open up ahead for her.

“Baby girl, come on,” I willed her. She eventually followed, and we were both on the other side of the fence, when I heard the faintest “baby girl.”

I turned, unsure I had even heard her name, when I saw a girl from her class behind the gate, her Mum still talking to the teacher behind her.

She stepped closer and held out a little pink pony, and baby girl stepped forward to claim it. I was hesitant, trying to work out if it was baby girl’s or this other girl’s, as I didn’t want her taking a toy from another child, but also, trying to figure out if somehow it was baby girl’s, since the kids aren’t allowed to take their personal toys to kinder – in case they get lost.

Baby girl was sure it was hers, and we walked off while I worked out eventually with baby girl’s indication, that it had been in her coat pocket, and fallen out. As that became clearer and solved, the previous encounter came forward in my head and –

Melted My Heart.

Not only was it the kindness of this other young girl to return the pony toy to baby girl, but it was the sweet and gentle way with which she said her name. It struck a cord so deep, and I was happy even more so, because I have seen this girl in class and she is as cheeky as baby girl (also as cute as!), and I have spoken to her Mum on a brief occasion and gotten along with her well enough to think

‘we could be friends.’

Which feeling do you think I liked more, that I might get a friend, or that baby girl might already have one which I didn’t know about?

What do you think???

The answer is in the above. That little girl melted my heart when she said baby girl’s name, and I think it will be melting for a while yet during these school years…

I think it might be butter by the time she’s 18.

 

#371 Casual beach epiphany

These casual beach visits are happening more and more lately… partly because we are testing the literal waters of how close we are, and also, because… well, the hot season ended just yesterday.

Either way I love these visits.

It doesn’t mean however, that the warm weather has gone away. March has already brought a spectacular sunshine-y day to us, and looking at the forecast for the week ahead, things look really good.

While sitting on my beach towel watching baby girl and Hubbie in the shallow waters earlier this evening (I only ever get to sit for a few minutes at a time, IF I am lucky) with baby girl leaping into the water like a frog, and Hubbie keeping watch nearby, I turned around to look at the scenery around me.

It was a Wednesday afternoon. Lifeguards were jumping off of their red boats and practicing essential life-saving skills. A man sat in his beach box behind us, making us all jelly that he had residential property on the beach. A couple of dogs ran wild in the water. And in amongst the decent lot of people around, I spotted some casual-looking ones: straw hats, low slung beach bags, big sunnies, and oversized tops thrown over their swimwear.

I looked back to the pristine and still waters before me, glistening in the sun, and got very emotional.

This was now our neighbourhood. We were now locals, as they all were.

It was a small moment, and certainly one that has struck us with its epiphany before, but every so often, Hubbie and I will be somewhere in our ‘hood, doing something, and turn to each other and say

“Look where we are.”

We actually, dumbfound ourselves.

I love these moments. I hope they never end. The wonder and sheer surprise that life has to offer, with its marvellous and weird and trippy twists and turns.

And I hope they keep on coming, at the beach.

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#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*

#340 Mills beach

We went over unprepared.

Just to ‘test’ the waters.

It was our first time as a family to Mills Beach in Mornington. Baby girl and I had been there once, months ago, and after I had had to chase her down the beach on multiple occasions, leaving all our belongings lying in the sand for any old seagull to snap up, I realised I couldn’t go with just her. It was a tad too hard.

Today, it was better. Not just because Hubbie was with us. The water was calmer, and the shallow waters seemed to stretch out for ages. Also, having the beach full, swimming with lifeguards, and inflatable boats about, along with the lovely warm water, made the atmosphere that much more pleasing.

We decided we would be back. Arnie style.

I mean, we lived BY the beach. This is the reason why we moved. We wanted a relaxed beach lifestyle. It wasn’t like we had to plan for the whole day, take the kitchen sink and more with us, and commit ourselves to a 5 hour stay at least because of the 90 minute drive – one way.

No. We were around the corner. If we wanted to go home and then come back 3 times like that, we sure as hell could.

Why live by the beach, when you can’t even enjoy it, and its benefits???

Hours later, and sure enough, I found myself here.

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I had a few minutes to myself. I lay down to soak up some rays, and closed my eyes, bringing my arm over my face to shield my exposed face from the direct afternoon sun.

Conversations floated over to me from left, from right. Seagulls called. There was also music in the distance. I could hear Hubbie’s voice drifting over to me from the water, as he told baby girl not to splash other people.

I breathed in. I breathed out.

Then I felt something wet dripping on my leg. I sat up. Hubbie was trickling sand over me.

“Your turn.”

It was good while it lasted. But, living in this seaside location, I know it will last, a long while yet…

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#326 Arthur’s Seat Chairlift

On the last day of our holidays, we went to a place that has fascinated me for quite some time.

I heard about the failed chairlift when we first holidayed in Arthur’s Seat sometime in 2012. All I knew was that there had been a chairlift, there had been an accident, and therefore it wasn’t in operation anymore.

However, following our recent Sea Change, the chairlift was recently revamped and reintroduced late last year, and my curiosity spiked ten-fold once again. Made more so by the fact that here I was, living in my dream location, and friends of mine were driving over to the area and going on the chairlift, before I even had a chance to!

Grrr, argh.

Today though, following a cloudy morning, bliss:

I’ve decided it would be amazing to view the area in each season: so now we can tick off Abundant Summer, then follow it with Shedding Autumn, Still Winter, and Flowering Spring, to see the changes in atmosphere, in landscape, and just generally in Life.

And also, my urge to go many more times as soon as possible is that baby girl will get in for free for only another 8 months.

If you have the opportunity I urge you to go. It is a truly meditative experience.

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#316 Family beach time!

Finally! We hit Mount Martha beach today as a family.

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I am super grateful for that. We have been living in our Sea Change location for almost 3 months now, and given our unmatched schedules, opposite work routines, and lacking Melbourne summer, all 3 managed to reverse itself and collide today for a superb, super-hot, sandy-toed and salty sea, time.

The seal has now been broken. There will be more to come… not just these holidays, or this summer… but like my book, or my life, or our house, or even my parent blog SmikG… this is a work in progress.

You have to have fun, whilst on the journey of life 🙂

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