Mothers Day

What does it mean to you?

I get so very upset when I see the bombardment of advertisements spruiking their sales pitch, aimed at instilling a feeling of guilt to those that don’t buy their Mum the biggest or best and of course most expensive gift, or the flipside being those that bemoan it’s just far too commercial now.

          The truth of the matter is most Mums don’t want or expect expensive gifts, that’s not what Mother’s day is supposed be about. The words I love you Mum from any offspring of any age outclasses any other Mother’s day gift on earth.

          I for one thank god I was blessed with the gift of our children, who by just being themselves have given me more riches than money could ever buy, commercialism has nothing to do with my idea of Mother’s day I need no extra gifts, I have had a life time full of them every day, and to all Mums out there, I know deep down it is the same, we are a very privileged band of people.  

          As I look into the faces of my adult children on this special day, I find myself slipping back in time, to a much younger Mum’s place.

          The diamond earrings that were purchased at the flea market with saved pocket money and given with such love and excitement you were wrong Mummy, diamonds don’t cost a lot of money at the market, putting up with the green rings that formed from wearing them.

          A plastic string of love hearts, given with such majesty as if they were pearls. Being confided to by the mother that sold our daughter the metal soap shaker, that when she tried to persuade this first grader to buy something “pretty” for Mum from the stall, she was told in no uncertain way, Mummy doesn’t like them she needs a new shaker, that shaker, well used and now rusty, resides in my treasure box along with the things that were bought with more love than money.

          It is remembering the cold bread, butter and Vegemite sandwich served with tea made with cold water, because you know I am not allowed to use the toaster or kettle till I am seven.

          While chopping wood for the fire and overhearing our young son tell his friend, when I grow up I want to have muscles like Mummy…. Or all those cuddles that were needed NOW.

          These are a fraction of the priceless memories that are sealed with love and bound to my heart that make up Mother’s day for me, to be revisited at any given time, not only on the second Sunday in May.

Every Mum has a treasure trove like this hidden away, so to all out there that are Mums, will one day be Mums or to those that take on a Mum’s role, you have got the best gift of all,  cherish it, it’s a very important one …  Happy Mother’s Day

Quote

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Easy Fix.”

A team mate of mine had agreed to represent our Marching club in a local “Miss Henley on the Patterson “ contest, as registration day got closer she became more hesitant … being that I can usually talk the leg off a wooden horse, I was elected to convince her to go through with it. After telling her what an honour it was to be asked in the first place, she should do it for the club, She replied “would you do it if they asked?” replying “I would, but you were the one they asked, not I.” With that she called the chaperone, told her she couldn’t go through with it, but that I had said I would if asked!

 Now what could I do? I had shot my mouth off and was stuck with it.

As appearances didn’t count at registration, our chaperone and I left straight after practice. We walked into a room full of what I thought were Vogue models, while I, looking hot and dishevelled following two solid hours of marching practice in the heat cut a dashing figure in my old shorts, a man’s shirt, dirty marching boots, . At twenty I have very little self confidence to start with,  so understandably I just wanted to faint, even dying seemed a good idea.

Two hours of registration, afternoon tea, chat and mingle, carried off with all the aplomb of a professional contestant, until safely in the car to go home. Collapsing into tears, sobbing apologies to the Chaperone, whom I felt I had let down. She of course thought it was a scream, explaining that the girls were explicitly told not to dress up for registration  … they wouldn’t win points for doing so … “The look on your face when you walked in that room was priceless”, she continued to giggle all the way home. I was not convinced, seven had, and 1 had not, who would you pick?

Judging was held on Australia Day as part of the town’s celebration. Our teams (being the reigning Victorian Champions) were scheduled to do a serious March Past in front of the Frankston Town Hall. The Mayor would take the salute and officiate at the flag raising ceremony, ending forty five minutes before we were expected to meet the judges for the Henley parade and results (a 15 minute bus ride away)

My hair in plastic curlers prior to the Henley Judging wouldn’t fit under the marching cap (all long hair had to be tucked up under caps), so they were removed and pins inserted. (This all took place in the main street as we waited for the parade to start.

Oh boy!!!!

Okay, ceremony over, all 30 girls scrambled into the bus, the only males being the driver and the instructor who sat behind him. I am bundled to the very back seats and stripped out of uniform. While trying to protect my modesty, many hands dress me, ever tried to put on suspenders (this was 1963) and stockings in the back of a moving bus? A very harrowing thirty minutes (for me) later we pull up at Carrum.

Exiting the bus dressed to the nines, full make up, hat, gloves, seams straight in stockings, and white stiletto heeled shoes, the chaperone precariously walks me  to, of all places the river, where I am introduced to the most gorgeous looking young Naval Captain, who in turn gallantly escorts me to a nifty looking speed boat. (They actually expect me to get into his boat … to travel on water along the river!!!). I had no idea that “Henley on the Patterson” meant the Patterson River. I’ve always been scared stiff of water as I couldn’t swim. But when Handsome smiled at me and took my hand saying “Come on Wendy you are safe with me,” I am lost, into his death trap I get quite happily. Like some star struck teenager nervously waving to the crowd that lined the river, I am taken to a pier where Handsome helps me up the ladder, then roars off for the next pick up.

Being so relieved to be back on dry land (albeit at the time he could have sailed me of into the future, I was so smitten) I missed the name of the woman waiting to greet me. While awaiting the arrival of other girls I regale the complete tragic story to her, from being tricked into entering this contest, embarrassing myself at the registration, the hair in curlers under the cap, being stripped and traumatized in the back of the bus, and then meeting the handsome Captain. She was in stitches through my tale of woe. It wasn’t until the whole thing was over, that I find out she isn’t a chaperone as I thought, but the Lady Mayoress and the head judge waiting to greet the contestants. Luckily, by this time, I was past worrying “And all was right in the world.”

Henley on The Patterson

A positive outcome

DAILY PROMPT
Out of Breath

With an extra half hour up our sleeves, we decided to do a couple of extra drop-ins on the way to my eleven o’clock appointment. There was a parcel to be collected, eggs to deliver, petrol to buy and as it was on our way, we could pay Butterfly’s over-due licence.                                                             It is surprising how a few short stops can erode the time, I was feeling a little stressed on arrival at the council offices, as our free time was running out. With no parking spots to be seen, Hubby double parked, allowing me to alight from the car and attend to the payment, while he attempted to find a vacant one.                                                                                                                         Other than a dentist, doctors or a post-office, I find the wait for attention at a council office can be one of the longest. Not this one, just one gentleman ahead of me. Heading to the counter my heart started to sink, he stood about six feet tall, built and dressed like a farm worker, with his left leg slightly bent, an elbow resting on the counter, his other hand on his hip, the casual stance of someone having an enjoyable conversation, and in no hurry to depart. My arrival just behind him, had him straightening up, ending his conversation, and with a cheery G’d morning and a charming smile he left.                                                                                                                                                      Approaching the counter, handing over the licence application, much to the amusement of the young man in attendance, I apologise profusely for the offending coffee stain that had ingrained itself across one corner of the form. In what I suspect was an attempt to put me at ease he stated, No worries, you should see the condition of some I receive, a lot people just don’t like having to pay a licence fee for their pets.                                                                                                                               His request for my pension card bought forth another apology, as of all the government cards that have been sent to me, a request for, your pension card, confuses the heck out of me. I hand over all three asking him to take his pick, with two that look exactly the same, I’m never sure which is the correct one, for whatever purpose I happen to be attending to at any given time.                                 He examines them closely, I see the grin, starting in his eyes and gradually spreading across his face, Yes Madam the only difference I can see is, one is for last year, the other is its replacement. Would you like me to destroy the expired one?   Regaining my composure and handing over the money,  muttering, that not only have we saved this feral kittens life and offered it a home, but we haven’t had our hand out of our pocket since, it’s not fair that they are so endearing.                                                                                                                                                         He then told me that a cat breeding friend had offered him a beautiful pure breed Burmese, that after eleven miscarriages was of no use to them, but warned that it could very well be expecting again, although, not to worry she wouldn’t go full term, and to call them if they were worried when she miscarried. His dad fell in love with the creature, doting on it and claiming it as his own. A couple of weeks later she was hit by a car.                                                                                  Oh my Lord I gasped, was she badly hurt? Yes, was his reply, Dad was beside himself, and rushed her to the vet, telling them to do what-ever was needed to save her. She lost half of her tail and one leg, coming through the whole ordeal with a dignity that only cats seem to possess, On returning to the Vet for her final examination and the removal of stiches, they were informed that, not only was she in excellent condition, and managing with ease without the leg, she was expecting at least four kittens in a matter of weeks.                                                                                                         On hearing its history the Vet assured them that she showed all the signs of bearing this lot full term. The outcome being, yes she had her litter, his father was so proud and excited, his little girl had decided that it was time to settle down and become a Mum.                                                               Leaving the council office I thought we may be late for the appointment, but I wouldn’t have missed that story for the world. Damned animals, what a gift they are.

Brown Chook -v- Black Puppy

DAILY PROMPT

Not Lemonade

When life gives you lemons… make something else. Tell us about a time you used an object or resolved a tricky situation in an unorthodox way.

Brown Chook -v- Black Puppy

A cackling brown chook on the fence

a yapping black puppy on the ground

a louder neighbourhood dispute

I don’t reckon could ever be found

A personal intervention

had puppy scuttling off to his bed

while a shoo and clapping of hands

sent chook flying to the chicken shed

Whatever she’d been doing up there

was something I needed to know

because that’s my special fernery

where the chooks are not meant to go

As my ferns are all undamaged

over the fence I will take a look

there well hidden is a nest of eggs

just abandoned by my brown chook

Retrieval of those wholesome gems

is the next step in this fool’s facade

they belong in a carton in my fridge

not in the neighbour’s back yard

To hang over the fence and scoop them up

trying not to look a fool

got a tin can a long piece of wire

and fashioned a primitive tool

Another day on the holiday farm

where animals all run free

I’ve had to become a Jill of all trades

and I didn’t need a degree

Sharing is caring

The announcement …Time for the birthday cake … has the scattered little guests gathering around the beaming birthday girl, leaving adults to watch on with indulgent smiles. Observing this part of the proceedings is by far for me a most enlightening experience. Watching all the little ones sporting excited faces noisily gather around, pushing and shoving to get that front and centre sort-after position closest to the table, near the cake.
The birthday cake extravagantly covered in pink and white icing, with sparklers and candles blazing, is ceremoniously born aloft, usually by the very proud mum, then placed in front of the milling crowd of children, some with rosy little cheeks puffed out together with pursed lips ready, in the hope of being permitted to help the baby blow them out … one year old and all those candles!
It can be almost prophesying to reflect on their body language, bright excited eyes, big grins spread over their party-food smeared faces, sticky hands clasped in excitement, or clapping for no apparent reason other than to expel some unexplained burst of excited energy, then joining in the Happy Birthday song with as much gusto of members in some award winning choir.
I cannot help but wonder what it is that grips children then holds them in the state of sheer delight, it’s not their birthday, they don’t get the gifts, the older of them must realise that the baby has no real concept of what is going on, so what is it that keeps them so enraptured for a few captivating moments?
Every one … adults included … gathered around both the child and the birthday cake, having no thoughts other than total support, while appreciating that the moment of pleasure belongs solely to the birthday person. Within a matter of minutes of that cake cutting, magically the veil lifts, children are running around or back bickering among themselves, adults have returned to the conversations that had been interrupted.
Although my question is never answered, every time I attend a birthday party and witness this extraordinary moment of total unselfish support for another person by all present, I am grateful.

The Daily Post

Nosey Delights

From the yeasty warmth of freshly baked bread to the clean, summery haze of lavender flowers, we all have favorite smells we find particularly comforting. What’s yours?

 

 

Aunty Etta,

It’s ordained, it has to be, why else would I plant them in every garden that surrounds the home I happen to be living in at any given time, and there has been a few over the years.

Geraniums plain albeit colourful geraniums, the colour isn’t the important feature to my story, nor is the fact that they are not my favourite flower, that honour belongs to the daffodil, it’s the perfume they send up on watering them that sends me spinning back to what, I would credit as being one of the best years of my mid-teens.

After a dissension with my Mother it was decided that I live elsewhere, (mindful that this being  in the late fifties, children did not usually leave home to live on the streets, not if they in anyway respected their elders) I was taken to the opposite end of the city and introduced to an elderly lady as my Aunt Etta, I had met her on a previous occasion, but to this day I have no real idea which twig she was or how she came to belong on a somewhat twisted branch of our family tree. I was reluctant, as from the view point of a fifteen year old, she looked as old as the hills, to be truthful she was about the same age I am now, but selfishly I felt it would be better than nothing, knowing I had no intention of living another minute in my mother’s home.

It wasn’t long before I realised living with Aunty Etta, was a holiday in paradise, it was here I learned to relax and start to enjoy the everyday activities of a teenager. I came to appreciate this dear lady, not for what she looked like or her age but for her kindness and support, she taught me trust, encouraged me to join the scout movement as a cub leader and to go out and to mix with friends or to bring them home, all were welcome

It was while living here I met the first love of my life, he was a tall, handsome young policeman, who used to come daily into the food court where I worked. We dated a couple of times and Aunt Etta always made him welcome. It was her that comforted me when he told me, that as a policeman it was his job to protect young girls from older men not date them. She was the only one that didn’t tell me it was all for the best, that I would find someone else one day, she acknowledged my pain at the time and just held me while I cried.

Aunty Etta was a widow of many years standing; who had a great love of canaries, housing dozens of them in individual aviarys intermittently placed throughout her back yard, each one separated by geranium bushes. On sunny days when she watered her flowers, the orchestra of chirping birds and buzzing bees creating an atmosphere instantly aromatised with the fragrance of geraniums, a memory I will take to my grave.

 

I lived happily with this wonderful lady for twelve months, now every time I smell the perfume or water my geraniums, my heart whispers Thank you Aunty Etta.

ROARING LAUGHTER

THE DAILY POST: ROARING LAUGHTER JULY 7, 2014

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/roaring-laughter/ What was the last thing that gave you a real, authentic, tearful, hearty belly laugh? Why was it so funny?

 

Slippery Slips

Slips

9.30am Saturday morning, a beautiful sunny day, all I have to do is decorate a birthday cake for our five year old granddaughter, we don’t have to leave for the party until 3.30pm. Hubby is about to leave to collect some offered wood, free firewood being hard to come by should be collected as soon as possible.
Our daughter and I are chatting on the computer before she goes shopping for ingredients to complete a casserole she’s taking to the party. Out of the blue I hear

May! I need help … Slips is in next door’s yard … can you give me a hand please,

Quickly relaying this event to Sunny, I join Hubby at the fence, sure enough there’s slips, our two year old Dorper sheep happily grazing in the yard next door, nearby a dip in the fence suggesting his means of entry. Hubby’s in a quandary as this is one large sheep that has no intention of coming near us.

Here you take his lead May he may come to you … I’ll go get some feed he’ll come for that.

Sweet talking him gets him over to me, attempting to slip the lead over his head scares him off, hubby arrives with the food and seeing Sunny (who has come out to watch the fun) asks.

Can you ring next doors and let them know what’s going on in their back yard… Hubby and I climb through the fence,

I rang them, can I do anything to help Dad? … Yes please, Mum and I won’t be able to do it alone.

Hang on a min I’ll get some sturdy shoes on… she disappears inside only to return a few minutes later in work shoes and an old jumper over her good gear.

Approaching Slips and offering the food, then just as the animal goes to feed Hubby, with all the agility of someone well past their prime, lunges grabbing hands full of wool, the suddenness of this attack causes Slips to take off. Hubby now laying across his back clinging with all his might,  berating him with a full vocabulary of swear words while trying to bring this well fed sheep to ground.

Hubby’s having trouble holding Slips down …  Bloody hell Dad, be careful, hold him, I’ll come in there, 

 Hell! … grab his bloody front feet May, Sunny you grab his back legs’ and hold him for gods sake,

Sunny’s grinning like a fool … We should have the camera going  it’s funnier than Funniest Home Movies … God I hope no one’s watching this and calling the RSPCA,

The thought cracking me up into in a fit of the giggles, we now have poor Slips pinned down,

What now Dad?  … How the bloody hell would I know I don’t even know how to get out of this friggen place, even if I did the stupid sheep won’t lead, he’ll just jump around and there’s no way of holding him.

How about we get the wheelbarrow and wheel him home? … That remark earning me a look that says if you can’t talk sense shut up.

I told you I don’t know the way through this place…Dad if we get him over to where he came through the fence, could we lift him back over?

Buggered if I know, but I need something to tie his feet together, you two keep holding him down while I get something,  don’t let the bugger go.

Both crouching down with a death grip on poor Slip’s legs giggling fit to burst,

God he can kick, he got me a beauty on the shin, its gunna have a terrific bruise hope I can drive. I gotta go get the stuff for the casserole…You’ll make it, but I’m not sure how the hell we’re gunna get Slips back, Dad’s not happy,

How ya hands holding up Mum, you ok?… Oh they’re doing ok thanks love.

He returns with enough rope to hogtie a ruddy wild bull, and proceeds to tie the front feet together.

Oh for god’s sake Hubs you’re not in a bloody Rodeo, he doesn’t need to be so bound up.

Dragging and pulling we manage to get Slips to the fence line without damage,

Mum! … stop laughing,

All trying to lift  poor helpless Slip’s is hopeless, we can’t even raise him an inch off the ground. I’m lost, tears running down my face while grasping my aching stomach, caused from laughing.

Slips starts to buck and wriggle around… Muzz watch it … too late I cop a kick right in the inner thigh muscle.

Sunny you drop on top of him and hold him steady … Hang on!  I have a cramp in my bloody leg, I’m getting up to ease it.

Drop on him Sunny, come on … Dancing around not sure where to drop, down she goes trying not to actually squash him, the wriggling stops.

Dad as we can’t lift him what if you get the wheelbarrow, could we get him in that and maybe roll him over the fence where he came through?

S**t, the bloody barrow’s full of wood, I’ll have to empty the confounded thing, you two hold him there, I won’t be long … he wanders off muttering who-knows-what, about bloody sheep.

This is lovely, can you just see their faces at school tomorrow when they ask … And what did you do over the weekend Sunny? … Oh nothing much just rolled around in next doors yard with Mum, Dad and Mum’s pet sheep, …  we are both a giggling mess when Hubby returns with the empty barrow and lifts it over the fence with difficulty.

Tipping it on its side hard up against Slips’s back so we could roll him into it, between the three of us this was accomplished with a lot of laughing, (from we two girls only) huffing and puffing. The barrow is lined up against the fence as all together we roll and push him under the top wire.

Oh bugger I pushed my hand up his backside and that’s not something one should do unless you’re wearing rubber gloves … Sunny that’s not a nice thing to say, but it’s ok love I won’t tell anyone I promise,                                                                                              

Amid a new round of laugher we actually get him through and land him softly on our side of the fence, untying his legs and gently getting him to his feet, he wanders off as if it was a normal event in his life.

Well I’m off to get the bloody wood if there’s any left,

Ok, I’ll ring next doors and tell them we’ve finished, then I’m off to have a shower again before I go shopping, I stink of sheep.

And I’m going home to decorate the birthday cake.

Writing 101, Day Nineteen: Don’t Stop the Rockin’

Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about. 

writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-3 

How Sad.

 

As I don’t have anything on the back burner, I thought I would just note down my thoughts on attending today what has to be the saddest funeral, not the sadness born of losing a loved one, I have ever had the misfortune to attend.  We received the phone call just two evenings ago; hubby’s uncle had passed away and was to be buried on Friday morning at nine am. Because of the distance, we had to travel in and around the morning peak time, so would have to leave home at seven thirty. Ok, for family we can do this, and we did, arriving at our destination with fifteen minutes to spare. I had met this uncle on a few occasions over the years at different family gatherings, though never having spent a great deal of time chatting with him, his wife being my Mum-in-law’s best friend was the one I was naturally drawn to at get-togethers.

            Looking around we noticed that there were very few cars in the lot, assuming others must have parked around the back until we spotted my sister-in-law driving up, while waiting for her to park my other sister-in-law and her hubby pulled into a spot. Entering the funeral parlour together, we were greeted by Hubby’s Aunty, his cousin and his wife, their four adult children, partners and grandchildren, along with a handful of non-family mourners.

                        It somehow seemed wrong to me, twenty five adults present to say goodbye, this was a man, who had raised a family and worked hard for sixty odd years, only to hear within a short time of arrival that he had not been very popular at the end of his life.

           The service was over within about twenty minutes at the most, Frank Sinatra’s recording of I did it my way, was playing as we entered the chapel, after being seated, we were welcomed by the officiator, who then gave a short eulogy on behalf of the family, in this he mentioned that the deceased, was a hard working family man, a keen golfer, and dedicated football supporter, albeit not a people person he was respected by all who knew him. It was then time for those that wanted to, to light a candle for uncle; this offer was taken up by about half the gathering, after which to the strains of uncle’s football-club theme song the curtain closed in front of the coffin.

            Gathering afterwards at the family home for refreshments, we learned uncle really was not a very social person or even a friendly one, supposedly being bought up by a very stern father himself, without having ever experiencing family warmth, had none to share with his own family as they were growing up. In his advancing years, he had become an uncooperative, bitter and demanding person, hence the playing of the Sinatra song at the service

            I cannot help thinking how sad, ninety six years old and not one person with a good word to say for him at his funeral

Writing 101, Day Sixteen: Serial Killer III

Imagine you had a job in which you had to sift through forgotten or lost belongings. Describe a day in which you come upon something peculiar, or tell a story about something interesting you find in a pile

writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-3

What’s in a name

Picking up the phone, I was pleased to hear my niece-in-law calling to have a chat; after swapping different family news came a request, I had no trouble with. Telling me she was trying to trace the family tree down my side, would I happen to have a copy of my parent’s marriage certificate, the answer was no, but in my particular line of work one of the duties was obtaining different certificates from the office of Birth, Deaths and Marriages, so I would be happy to do this for her if it would help .

After filling out the application and handing it and the appropriate government fee to the cashier, there was the usual five minute wait, and under normal circumstances, the certificate was handed to the purchaser. Not this time, the woman bringing up the details on the computer, starts to look concerned, looking at the screen and across to me, eventually she asks if I’m sure of my facts, as they have no record of a marriage between the two names I had supplied. As this had been my mother’s second marriage, I thought maybe she used her first married name instead of her maiden name, so I gave the woman that name, more confused looks and rechecking her computer, then again saying sorry, no match. I’m stumped and tell her they are the only names I have for my mum at the time they married. Never mind there is another way we can try, she says, I’ll look using your fathers details. Again, she asks me to repeat the details I had given her, including the names of my grandparents on his side, all this is verbally relayed to her

The results of that search had her asking if it was important that I get the certificate, as sometimes it’s better to leave things as they are and not to delve into parent’s affairs. Good lord, I thought the poor woman is trying to either save or protect me from embarrassment or prepare me for some shock. Trying not to giggle I quietly informed her that as I knew my mother very well, there was nothing she could tell me about her actions that would spiral me into hysterics. With that, I was handed the certificate by the woman who had no intention of going anywhere, until she heard my reaction to learning that my mother had the same surname as my father before their wedding. All I could do was stare stunned at the information and tell her I had some more investigation to carry out, retreating from the office before bursting into gales of laughter. Mum had struck again.

On arriving home that evening I showed my hubby the certificate, he just laughed and wanted to know what I was planning to do, well sure as eggs are eggs I can’t tell my niece about this until I speak to my dad. Obviously, there had been some sort of monkey business going on wayback then, and I’ll be damned if I want to be responsible for rocking the boat or hurting feelings, I’ll give him a ring. Admittedly, by this time I was intrigued, having come to the realisation that she had to have changed her name by deed pole, but for the life of me I couldn’t work out why.

I was thrilled when Dad answered their phone, (he had of course remarried many years ago, even so there are some things second wives mightn’t be aware of) after the usual pleasantries I asked him if he would mind answering a question regarding mum, if I know the answer it’s yours he told me. Assuring him I wasn’t prying but explained about his granddaughter-in-law doing the family tree and wanting a copy of the marriage certificate, so rather than hassle him for it I had obtained one myself. The infectious chuckle must have started deep in his throat and resounded clearly through the phone, relieving me of all the tension I hadn’t realised I’d built up, having to ask the question. Why did she do it Dad, you obviously knew about it and went along with it … ok I will understand if you’d rather not discuss it, but I am ready to burst with curiosity, what was her reason. It’s ok love, yes she changed her name because I had to return home to Nana & Pop’s, the war had just finished and I had only just arrived back in Australia, no time to marry first, you know what Nana was like, she would not have accepted us just living together, it was 1945 and parents were very strict, and I wasn’t of age, so your mother changed her name and told them we were married, until we could sneak off to Melbourne for a few days to marry at the registry office. There was some more joking back and forth, and we made the decision to give out the wedding date for the family tree, but there was nothing to be gained in handing over the certificate. So it resides in among the usual family papers that may or may not be treasured when the next generation come across them.

Writing 101, Day Fifteen: Your Voice Will Find You

Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Your hometown’s annual fair. That life-changing music festival. A conference that shifted your worldview. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever or taken over by an evil corporate force.

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Easter Saturday,

Ok kids, food and drinks are in the car, you have five minutes before we leave, last chance to go to the loo, unless you want to go in those portables they have there. It was the same every year, the Charity fund raising Easter Auction held at the local footy oval, we never missed it, I had decided this particular day was going to be the best one yet, as long as luck was on my side.

The kids and I looked forward to it, not so much hubby, although once there his interest peaked, albeit his aversion to bidding for anything he fancied  could be a pain in the butt if it coincided with something I had my eye on, being the family bidder who would bid on anything I was often called on to do the job for him.

Being in aid of charity, anyone that had something to sell or buy was usually there, the football ground laid all the lots out in rows, from one end to the other. The variety of items for sale ranged from farm machinery, earth moving equipment, cars and down the size-scale to a bottle of nails or a card of buttons, nothings too big or too small, with four or five auctioneers working different sections of the field simultaneously.

There was also an enormous shed that housed all the finer items, collectibles, china or a multitude of treasures considered irreplaceable. This did make it hard if one had earmarked an item in other isles, but was the only way to get through all the lots before nightfall. The shed was my stalking ground, because for the previous four auctions I had been attempting to purchase an Antique Victorian Pitcher and Wash Basin Set. Falling in love with the one my Nana had had decades ago, fuelled my own desire to own one. There was always two or three up for sale in the shed, but alas, the same collector was there every year forcing the price up until it was just between the two of us. Without the financial backing she had, I didn’t allow her to get them for almost nothing, I often forced the price up far more than I could afford, thankfully she always went one bid higher.

The day eventually came when I was ready for her, having skimped and saved all the year, and unlike myself, had checked with hubby if he had any issues with my taking her down, if they had any bathroom sets for sale. The shock of me asking made him giggle, would it make any difference if I had. Go for it you’re the household accountant not me.

Sure enough on arrival at the shed, I saw there were three sets for sale; she was front and centre waiting at the stage for the first set to come under the hammer. I sidled up next to her with my bank card clutched tightly, she turned, grinning at me G’day, thought you’d be here somewhere, I grinned G’day back, showing her the card in my hand whispered, you can have both the others, but that blue set is going to be mine.

Every time I enter our bedroom and see the beautiful Matching pitcher, wash basin, vase, soap dish and shaving mug with the delicate blue floral decorations, I feel the same thrill as I did when the auctioneer slammed his hammer down, called sold and pointed to me, although it is mingled with a sadness of something lost.

Not long after that day, our local newspaper reported that there would not be another Easter auction held at the footy ground. Greed filtering through with the influx of professional collectors over the years, had forced prices up beyond the  reach of  everyday families, sounding the death knoll for the function. Easter Saturday wasn’t the same for a couple of years after that, but it’s life, as we move forward new interests come along.