Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wednesday's Walk - Memories of home

I found the above web site quite a while ago and had very good intentions of joining in every Wednesday, but...........

So, here is my first Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane.

As we are preparing for our first trip back to Australia in 12 years, my thoughts have naturally been turning to memories of home. Memories of family, events and places. Memories of those that we will be visiting with and those that are no longer there. Our last trip back to Australia was for Christmas 1996. My Dad was dying from cancer. I had to decide whether to go back for a funeral or to go and see Dad before he died and let the children (and me) have some memories of their Grandfather. It wasn't a very difficult decision.

My parents divorced when I was 14. My Dad remarried a lady that my family had known forever. Her husband was a fishing buddy of my Dad's and he had died a few years before my parents divorce. Birdie is definitely on our list of people to visit several times. She could whip up a full-blown meal out of absolutely nothing. When we would stop by to visit, she would always insist that we stayed for dinner (tea), when we would protest about it being to much trouble, she would say, "Nonsense, we are just having scraps."
I have wonderful memories of that trip. My Dad was a man of very few words, so we didn't have any long heart to heart talks, but sometimes actions make up for the words. I loved watching my Dad watching Jessica as she ran around his huge backyard with her brother. Jessica looked a lot like me at that age and I could tell that Dad was thinking of me as he watched her. It made me feel good to know that his memories of me bought a smile to his face. Dad always had a huge vegetable garden. He had been having trouble with birds, rabbits, etc., eating his vegetables, so as a deterrent he had placed several plastic snakes strategically around his garden. My children did not know that they were fake and they soon came tearing into the house when they spotted the coiled snakes basking in the sun. My Dad thought that was hilarious!!

Growing up, my Dad took me with him on fishing and hunting trips. He always put the worms or frogs on my hook for me - yuk! Dad even made me my own fishing rod. My Dad would often bring home orphaned baby kangaroos, wombats and one time, a native hen that we called a road runner. We raised it with our baby chickens. My Dad spoiled me. For Christmas one year Dad made me a playhouse that had a kitchen and a living room complete with a working stove and lights.

Dad loved taking the kids to a fish hatchery that he was instrumental in building and running. Joshua had the wonderful experience with his Grandfather of taking a dead mouse out of a mouse trap and resetting it. That day my Dad drove us all over the local area showing us the sights. We got to see the farm that my Mum and Dad had owned just after WW II.

This is my favorite picture of my parents. Not sure when it was taken, but, even though they divorced, it is good to know that they once loved each other very much. It is good to know that they still loved their children and their children's children.

This will be a difficult trip in some ways. My Dad died in March, 1997 and my Mum died February, 1998. Not having them there when we return is going to be a shock, even though they have been gone all this time. They are what make home - home.



Linda said...

Nothing ever stays the same,..and sometimes that is hard. I just had to make a trip to my sister's memorial service in Oregon, and it was hard to stay at her house and for her not to be there.

But as I spoke at her service, and recalled alot of wonderful memories, I realized that she will always be in my heart and I will never really lose her. And,...I will see her again in heaven someday.

Thank you for sharing your story.
I think you grew up in a very interesting place! And you have some wonderful memories too.

I have a family member who lives in New Zealand and it has always interested me to hear about it. Lots of differences from us here in America,...but each hold their own beauty and awe.

God bless you!

Tanya said...

Thanks for sharing your fond memories of your daddy.

I hope you have a good trip!

Lynnette Kraft said...

I absolutely love that first picture of your dad! He reminds me of Gene Kelly. :)

Your memories were fun to read. Sounds like your daddy loved his little girl very much.

It will be strange going back without being able to visit your mom and dad, but hopefully there will be many fond memories that will be a blessing to you and will make you smile.

Thanks for sharing today Sally-Ann.


Kristin said...

The way you described your Dad reminds me a lot of my own Dad. Not a big talker, but had a huge heart. I understand completely about it not seeming like home without them. My mom passed away 4 years ago and my Dad moved away with his new wife, and I'm still here and it doesn't quite feel the same. I'm glad you have many wonderful memories. I enjoyed reading about them.

Laura Hoekstra-Bettig said...

What a beautiful post! I say a prayer for your upcoming visit. May God give you His peace and comfort as you remember and relive those memories. Thanks for stopping by my place today. See you next week!

The Kirby Family said...

What beautiful memories Sally-Ann!
I know your trip back home will bring new and different experiences, but just as wonderful memories:)


GrandmaKathleen said...

You shared a very touching story about your parents and how much you loved them. It will be difficult going home and they are not there but they will be in your heart and you have all those cherished memories.
May your trip back to your ancestral home be enjoyable and memorable. Do visit those you have missed and enjoy the moments you have there with them to remember always.

Julie said...

Thanks for sharing the memories of your dad. I pray that your trip will be full of many happy memories as well.

iris7531 said...

What beautiful memory, I think I too would have made the same choice as you did. Thank you for sharing.

Parker Family said...

Those are such beautiful stories, thank you for sharing! I always love reading your post! I love your pictures, the one of your Dad because he is very "Gene Kellyish". The one of your mom and Dad is great also, you can tell they had such love for one another. Good luck on your trip, we'll pray for you and your family that you may find peace and comfort on your trip back. We hope you build great memories there too.