#1961 Old is new again

I saw a lovely sight today. Something that brought me happy memories.

And the smell… gee, it transported me back to my childhood. I remember walking past it as a kid, and being hit hard by the smoke and mustiness of it all.

My parents old smokehouse.

Only it ain’t looking so old. It’s got a fresh lick of paint, a prime position in their yard, and it is in OPERATION.

It’s fascinating, how as kids all this homemade stuff isn’t fascinating to us.

Smoking meats, making sausages, home-made wine, other brews… ðŸĪŠðŸ˜‚

And yet as we hit adulthood, all of this stuff makes us happy! In my case, I will probably only try a tiny bit of smoked meat, but give me that sweet stuff before it turns into wine ANY day.

Most. Pronounced, M-O-SH-T.

Who knows? Maybe this new-found love for what is old-fashioned, natural and instinctive, will give rise to the next generation stepping up and taking a new interest in making these things…

Of course. It’s guaranteed. 💖💖

#1948 My moccasin love

I will forever be a lover, of the papuce.

That is moccasins to you, my English speaking friends. 😉

Do not show me an ugg boot. Do you know what I say when I see an ugg boot?

Ugh.

Get it? The ugg is named aptly, because it is DAMN UGLY. Only once in my whole life have we had ugg boots in our house, and that was because baby girl got them as a gift when she was a baby, and even then when I put them on her, Hubbie stirred me forever and a day because he knows I don’t like ugg boots.

I think they pass on a baby. I mean, everything looks cute on a baby.

But, ugh. Pass on the UGG-LY boots, please.

Moccasins, ALL THE WAY.

From as long as I can remember, these things have been on my feet all year round. A couple of months around summer, I live in thong-type cushiony slippers… but these things, these moccasins, spell one thing.

HOME. ðŸĄ

I wore them all through my childhood and teenage years, and really they remind me of my childhood home, of my parents, of keeping feet warm and protected through everything.

I mean, why would you wear basic slippers when it’s cold? There is no proper support, or protection, or warmth… they can so easily slip off.

Actually, slippers are a hazard.

Moccasins fit snugly around your foot, providing cushions of love and goodness to keep those toes toasty, all day long.

(And yes, I know ugg-ly boot lovers will argue that their boots do the same, but the fact that you have to pull them off makes them so inconvenient, and did I mention, ugly? ðŸĪĢ)

I got a new pair today at the local Wednesday market, because I wore my old ones to the ground to the point that there was literally no cushioning left in the moccasins!

There has been a lot of working from home and home-schooling over the past year, so they have been in high demand. 😁

But, ahhh. A new pair of moccasins. To set me up for the cold months ahead…

Welcome papuce. Welcome. 😁💖

#1909 Luck in 4s

We had a beautiful pre-Mother’s Day catch-up tonight with my parents, sister and family.

We went out for dinner, and there was a kids play area in one corner of the restaurant that baby girl was rapt to spend a good half of the night in.

Aside from the usual good humour, happiness and laughter that spreads across the table when we all meet up, we took pleasure in watching baby girl try to achieve something.

Or rather, watch baby girl convince OTHERS to help her achieve something.

She was after ALL THE COINS. The reason being, she wanted to get a toy from within that claw machine game.

You know the one.

You put in a coin.

Position the claw over toy of choice.

Hit the button and down the claw-hand goes, seeming to clutch around the object of your fluffy affection… only for it to slide out of its claw-grip as it begins its ascent.

And you think, damn.

So close.

Well, luck was on ALL our sides tonight.

First, my nephew won baby girl her first toy, a white bear with a red heart on the front. He did so easily, to the point where I seriously wondered if he’d caught hundreds like it before.

The second one, she worked for. Many more coins went in, and she had her heart set on a My Little Pony toy, Twilight Sparkle, to be precise.

And then finally, he got it for her again.

But like an addict, baby girl wanted more. She had one, then she wanted two, and now she kept saying, just one more game, just one more game…

I was out of coins. But Baka heard.

My Mum was like, here’s some coins.

Back she went, alone this time.

And we watched through the windows, as the claw came up with a toy, and dropped it down the chute.

We couldn’t believe it.

Not one, not two, but she had gotten three toys, the last one herself!

This one another pony, Applejack. ðŸĪĶ‍♀ïļ

OMG. This does not happen. And it does not happen so easily either. I have never seen so many of these toys come out of one of these machines in my whole life, let alone in ONE SITTING.

Wow. 3. The lucky 3, the lucky number.

We were marvelling at the incredible luck she had this evening, when some older guys, perhaps in their 20s, walked by.

Holding a toy.

They said “do you want this?”

To baby girl.

She said “YES!”

And suddenly, there were 4! 4 toys!

The first one came fairly easy. The second one had to be worked for. Third was a stroke of chance, coupled with determination… and then the fourth just fell out of the sky.

Forget about lucky 3… the lucky 4 is in town.

💖💖💖💖

#1901 3 beach day

I stood on the sand after 4pm, telling baby girl’s friend’s mum, that it was in fact my third visit to the sea and sand that day.

“Oh, you poor thing,” she teased.

I did in fact, feel bad to say it out loud. 3 beach visits in a day? Gee, sounds stressful!

But it happened rather randomly and unexpectedly, and the way it happened felt like it was MEANT to happen.

Maybe because things have been so shit for some time, the Universe aligned to give me a great, sunshine-y day. 🌞

I had important errands this morning after school drop-off, and after they were done I grabbed an egg and bacon toastie from Banjo’s, a cappuccino from Store Fifteen, and walked on down to the beach.

I’d had an egg and bacon toastie from Banjo’s YONKS ago, and back then it had blown my mind. Well it was pretty delish today, not really any mind-blowing, but that’s because I think I had cheese then, and not today.

Having not had any food since waking up, that brekkie on the beach was the best thing ever. I made friends with the seagulls, squinted into the sun, and watched a sea plane land in the water! It was incredible.

Then my sister and parents visited after lunch, with the sole purpose being, ‘a beach visit.’

So, again. First it had been Mothers.

This time, Mills.

I really loved that my parents seemed to enjoy it. Sis enjoyed it of course, for sure, she loves the water as I do. She dipped her feet into the mild waters, and Dad even did a light jog alongside the water, which we were rapt to see.

I went to pick up baby girl from school hours later, looking forward to a chill afternoon. The last few days had been pretty busy.

But she and her friend had another plan in mind.

They wanted a beach playdate!

And so we found ourselves at Mills again, 30 minutes later. ðŸĪĶ‍♀ïļ

The water was colder, and the tide had come in so much, it actually blew my mind how short the span of sand now was. But us Mums sat and talked, the girls wade through the waters looking for so-called pearls, they made sandcastles, and we saw what we were pretty sure were dolphins, far off in the waters, spraying up water! Unbelievable.

3 beach visits. I know I’ve had 2 in a day before, but this is taking the cake, AND for the last day of April, in Autumn… just wow.

And it may seem overly boastful, or excessive… but trust me, with the way things have gone since last year, I need about 54 beach visits in a day to make up for all the hard times that have transpired.

But 3 is good for now. I’ll raincheck the rest. 😉

But now, I AM BUGGERED. Think I’ll stay home and do lots of washing tomorrow… 😂

#1899 Hope in another backyard

I’ve had a pretty crazy day.

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. ðŸĪž

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.

I hope we find it there too. 💖💖ðŸŒģðŸŒģ

#1833 Plum dumplings

I’m like a bull.

Sometimes I get a thought in my head, and I just charge, straight for the target.

Nothing can stop me. No one can distract me.

I won’t be satisfied until I’ve done what I set out to do.

That’s what happened today as I went to prepare, “Knedle.”

Otherwise known as ‘dumplings’ with plums.

I had seen an interesting recipe some time ago, and then when my parents picked all the plums off their trees in their old house before they moved, well we had an abundance of plums, didn’t we…

And I thought, wouldn’t it be great to make this traditional recipe, using homemade plums?

My parents plums?

I HAD TO.

Today, through much effort, I got these done.

I am now satisfied, but I tell you, sooo tired. I feel like I didn’t stop. On a day when I was catching up on so much already, then I started making this time-consuming dish, now I’m just like –

DONE.

I have dessert to last me all week. If anyone wants to swing by, you know what you’ll be eating. ðŸĪĢ

#1832 A foot for both families

Today was an exciting day in that we made NEW memories.

We went to my parents new house… and we were ALL together for the first time.

YAY! Happy dance.

As I walked the path between my parents’ house, and my sister’s house, along this cute, tiled path that crossed the fence line, I couldn’t help but think of that The Simpsons episode…

The one called ‘Bart versus Australia,’ where Homer learns that the American embassy, even if located in Australia, is still considered American soil… and so he does this:

It’s a funny memory that has stayed with me since I was a kid. Well I did my own Homer today…

One foot in sister’s territory… and one foot in my parents’ territory!

Parents’ house.

Sister’s house.

Parents’ house.

Sister’s house.

This is going to be FUN! ðŸĪĢ👍💖😁

#1825 Happy for the break

At first, I was really annoyed with the new lockdown.

Again? ðŸĪĶ‍♀ïļ

But after staying at my parents new house last night ’til midnight to help them unpack as much as I could, I woke this morning feeling lighter, freer, calmer.

Suddenly, I didn’t mind the lockdown. It was like a mini break.

Things have been so go-go-go lately. Having a few days to take it easy, escape routine, catch up and just breathe a little more, is sounding absolutely wonderful.

So what school is cancelled?

So what we can’t go anywhere?

So what swimming lessons are put on hold?

So what we’re locked up, again?

I’m gonna use this as a mini break, from EVERYTHING.

Ahhh.

#1824 Goodbye number 14

Phwoar. What a day.

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.

Deep breath.

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. ðŸĄðŸĄ

But my heart will always hold a very special and dear place, for number 14.

💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖

#1818 Underneath it all, my happy place

Today I found myself really happy, in a place that I never really thought much of before.

Under the house.

Under, my parents house.

That’s baby girl way back there, climbing further and further underneath.

But at the beginning, we were scaredy cats. All of us, except for Dad. Of course he wasn’t scared, he made that storage space what it is today.

Mum got the guts first. Again, of course. She went in, and was slowly looking around, pulling things out, and discovering hidden treasures…

44 year old hidden treasures. Guess what it was…

ðŸķ

I called baby girl out, because hey, check this out! She had never been under there, and seeing as it was the last time at my parents house for her, well there was honestly NO BETTER TIME.

And then it just kinda happened.

It occurred to me, that this was part of my childhood. I remembered going underneath there with my Dad, as a kid, back when I wasn’t so freaked out by spiders and webs… and as I grew, so too did my fascination of the place go dimmer.

I mean, why would I want to go under there? In the dust, bugs threatening to drop, strings of webs stuck to my hair?

I crouched outside the door there today, deciding “I AM GOING UNDER!” I knew the smell that would hit me before I even went in, and I wanted to sit in it, one last time.

As soon as baby girl realised I was headed in, she was off like a rocket, after her Baka. I slowly followed, and once my Dad was in there, soon all four of us were on hands and knees, looking around, me shining my phone torchlight towards them so they could see where they were headed.

As they set off in different directions, I sat, looking around. Those old wine bottles. Bags of old Christmas decorations. Paint tubs. An old crib. Tents. Sleeping bags. Spirits. 100 different planks of wood.

The smell of wine barrels, dust, and something else astringent filled my nostrils.

The air was cool and comforting. Yet something musty surrounded us, the smells of yesteryear hanging low there, reminding us that they would never float away, no matter how long that door remained open.

It was the scent of memories.

That’s what it was. Memories. I may never smell that scent again, but I will never forget it.