Our first seachange year
This picture has a lot of elements that sum up our first year in our place amongst the trees.
I was so happy that the school children decorated the Christmas trees that decorated the street. When I first came here I felt that I was transported back to the 60s. By the end of the year, as you can see the town had started changing. They were improving the streetscape and eventually put in roundabouts. The local paper had to print an article to tell people how to use them. The Christmas trees now are no longer. I never did hear the story about that.
At the time there was a pile of trees on a lawned area that people could take away and use in their homes. Imagine how thrilled I was about that.
The council has street Christmas decorations that include kangaroos, which is nice. But you do get used to these things over time. However, in the time that things are changing here, they are also changing in your town of origin.
This photo was taken of my daughter ready for our trip to the regional centre 1 1/2 hours away for her ballet concert. Her older sister was taking part in it too. She was ready to put her costume on. I had rung before we moved to see if there were any ballet schools here. I had heard of one 30 miles away, but then couldn't get a contact number. A few years later we did actually find this school and our youngest daughter started there.
Yes, you guessed it, for a year I drove at 7am every week to the regional centre to attend ballet classes. We left again for home at about 12.30. This had the effect that I got used to the road. In the May after our house sold I got a 4x4 and this made it easier. We had been driving a van which may going up some hills very hard. I also did things like bring a cooler for drinks, but that doesn't seem to be an issue with an air-conditioned car now, but the kids seem to take water bottles with them these days and manage it themselves.
The regional centre is not very far from our hometown. Also the place we went to ballet the year before was in a similar place to my hometown, so I had my weekly "near hometown feeling" fix. Because it was near our hometown and I used to shop there sometimes after we bought a car on LPG in 1993, I knew sort of how to get around the regional centre. I was able to go there sometimes if I wanted to because I didn't have to worry so much about the price of the trip.
The thing about this long trip, was that I really enjoyed travelling back and seeing the snow and things like that, seeing the unique sights, seeing wallabies and how they are more shy than the kangaroos.
I think that year and the previous one we missed our dishwasher the most. I was doing the dishes in the farmhouse for awhile and hubby did them here. We had gone home for a month before moving here. It was the school holidays. Because it was more urban there I remember taking part in a survey and got a year's subscription to Home Beautiful. So that made the first year nice as well. I remember when we first saw this house we thought the back yard was too steep!
No one was in a critical year at school. Our youngest wasn't in pre-school yet, the second in Grade 2, then 5, 8 and 11. No major milestones and I guess that helped. We had town water again, had missed the bushfires here, that drifted to our hometown, so by being at the farmhouse we had escaped all that. At our hometown house there was lots of drama we missed out on too, the neighbours had a couple of crises. Let's just say that moving from our long time house to a better one across town wasn't necessarily better for us, but we did love the house itself. Before we left the hometown the smoke smell on our clothes was very strong. We have had smoke since but it hasn't settled on our clothes like that. In the drought of the summer before last, our hometown actually nearly ran out of water. The river had dried up, we missed out on that worry too. I can only go on someone's word, I didn't actually see that I don't think.
One thing I really liked about the farmhouse before coming here was the country mailbox. I bought things on ebay, and they were sitting up waiting for me when I came home from picking the girls up from school. Sometimes the farmer asked me to help him with the cows. I wasn't sure I remembered how to do that. We didn't have a mailbox at first. We used to pick up things from the shop down the road. Hubby made one from an oil drum, something I remembered from when I was young. There was a star post out there already so that made it easy. The lady at the shop offered to ask the post lady to put our mail at our house which I thought was lovely.
We had a large tyre sandpit at the farmhouse. When we came here we asked at the shop if they had a tyre and made one the same. I did find shopping in small country supermarkets very hard with a young girl at some point, there just doesn't seem to be the room to take someone shopping with you.