Our Third Seachange Year

All during our second seachange year, I was paying for my Chrisco Christmas hampers. I had decided to order a new hamper that had kitchen things in it. It was probably more than one hamper and it included all you needed for a kitchen. There were two things they omitted but it was pretty good.

Earlier on in the year our eldest son had given me a brochure from Swinburne University I think, and it was a brochure for parents about the logistics of getting a child to university. It was very helpful. I also found a lady who had sent her child to a university and followed her story online and found that helpful as well. It followed on from the Open Day their family attended.

I took our son to the Open Day. What we did was leave at 4am to be at the first lecture. It was in August and I think it was cold and I saw a fox? It was great, got a good park, saw the accommodation, I can't remember much detail because hubby went another year as well, but I think I took two girls with me. It was a nice sunny day in the end and very pleasant. I had my hands full keeping our daughter who was then three quiet, but she did a good job. They handed out little tin boxes with tiny lollies in them.

Other highlights of the second seachange year were our first (at the very least second ever) tulips came into flower. They were a gift to us and have been a joy ever since. We also made a gingerbread house for our eldest daughter's birthday.

There are street stalls here every week on a tressil table outside the shops. One day I went past and saw some irises in a box. There were little fragments of iris in there. They were all planted, and they came out! All different shades of purple that matched our house, all coming out at different times, I was thrilled. Our daughter got an American prairie bonnet in the mail, I was thrilled with that too. Our eldest was going to the gym with his friend and learning boxing. At the end of the year there was a school concert. For some reason they make me cry. I think it was the memory of the ones I attended when I was a child, though I didn't realise this until last year. The school concert here is very 1960s, except for the Christmas tree and Santa. I really appreciate that. Last year the girls were all dressed in red dresses. I didn't get a photo but it was very special. Someone had gone to a lot of trouble. Just imagine a dress Shirley Temple may wear, it was classic. I imagine in America that sort of thing may be more commonplace.

I mentioned usafoods before. I bought an Angelfood cake in a box, and one spare I think. We made it up for our youngest's birthday. I even bought an Angelfoodcake pan. I am pretty sure we ruined the frosting. Still it looked nice, had a bit of red and blue decoration. Tasted nice as well.

This was the first time we had heard of dollar pancakes. Our middle daughter really enjoyed making these.

Our sunflowers were beautiful, lots of different colours. They were given to me by a keen gardener in Queensland. We tried covering them with an old nappy, that didn't work, neither did old CDs tied up.

When we were at different jobs, the towns in the country sometimes have lovely parks. One park had a wonderful train park next to a disused train line and Station. The play equipment had a train whistle. Another park had a whole ship as play equipment, well it is huge. Well, one daughter actually got to dress up as a pirate, with heaps of other kids and have a fun day.

Our butterflies hatched again and that is always special. It all came to be when I bought a swan plant at a street stall. I had recognised it from a plant my Mum used to grow and had always wanted one. The plants seemed very retro here. The butterflies here are very big, the same as where I grew up. Maybe they are bigger in the mountains. They ate the swan plant, hatched and flew away after awhile.

Our daughter had her party at the pizza shop. It is the only place that is a party venue. It was very nice. All the kids have had a party on their ninth birthday. The three previous ones were at McDonalds.

During her birthday she was taken swimming to a cute creek or river. She took us back and we picked blackberries, and saw a bat flying along the waterway.

Lots of detail there, but in the second month of our third seachange year we took our son to O week, armed with his new kitchenware that had been engraved, sheet sets that we had got for sleepovers, back to single sized bed. His room wasn't ready, but we had all of us and a trailer and made his bed in his temporary room, while he went to the first thing he had to attend with a new university t-shirt. We stayed overnight, the next morning bought a few grocery items he forgot, saw the huge kangaroos outside his window in the paddock over the road, he said they were near is window, and went home. The day before I couldn't hang around the room as the kids were restless, so we went to the motel while hubby got him settled. The others swam in the pool. I felt like I had abandoned him.

When he was born and just little a friend joked when we were going home from her house, don't forget your baby, and it is right. When you first have a baby you could do that, well not quite, but it is not the first thing that springs to mind. Then when they are grown up you think you are abandoning them because you are so used to being responsible for them. He was not quite 18 a little younger than most. The kids had never had to cheer me up before, one aged 9 said it was OK he would make new friends.

So we kept regular contact and things went fine. He was catering for himself, they had a shared kitchen and laundry. In the month prior to leaving he worked and that helped get him settled. In the middle of the year before I think I had a lump sum and I put that away. The university had payments twice a year due. After I paid the first one I started saving for the second one.

During the winter a circus came to town. We couldn't go the whole hog with the circus so to speak, but we have a tradition in our family aways to take the little kids to see the elephant. Our daughter was four. The older girl did get to go to see the performance.

The girls must have seen an ad for guineapigs somewhere. So we decided that since we had had a pair of girl guineapigs years ago when our eldest (boys) were small we would do that again. We had a cage that was built years ago that we had kept. Any, forgetting again, but I think they came home with three girls. You have no idea how challenging it was to buy them food. My Mum had to give me some from a major supermarket once when I met her somewhere. We often meet somewhere near halfway to swap things over, mainly children for the odd holiday.

In the end I was buying straw at the place where I picked up our son from the bus. It was also a major factor in why I shop where I shop for food now. The school children made a billy cart in that year. Our son took it up a very steep hill, had no idea how dangerous it was. I guess he learnt something, and was OK.

A building company bought a house and block near us, and like other towns in our State built on the second part. It didn't turn out as it would have elsewhere I am sure. Let's just say it has been very quiet. We were worried, we had been built out before in our hometown.

Our youngest had started kindergarten or preschool. I remember it being a very good year, nice teacher. I helped out sometimes, and I remember enjoying the retro things they had in their collections, I think mostly the cutters. I really enjoyed that part of being in the country. Other things I had liked since seachanging was things like the small hall's Johnson Australia china collections, so beautiful.

Remember I said my youngest started ballet here, about 1/2 hour down the road. Well another school started up closer that our middle daughter started in, while the youngest continued on down the road until that one stopped due to numbers I think, then she joined her sister. The ballet concert was beautiful and I was involved in a small way. Something I hadn't done before. I was using the skills that I had developed before. The ballet school was new, and I was very happy about the standard of teaching.

I remember going there and it was very hot, and smokey outside. It was the start of the drought year. The spring was bad and it just got worse. You can see this is the winter at the same time of year that it is now. Though it hasn't been green long, and a similar photo did show a little green on the hills.

Here is another photo.


flmom said…
Lovely caterpillar photo! My oldest adores butterflies and spends many hours roaming around searching for them. The sunflower photo is fantastic as well. It's so fun to watch them gradually unfold their beauty.
I had to look on the internet to see what a "Christmas hamper" is. In America, the hamper is what you put your dirty clothes in until laundry day. As it turns out, you were talking about what we call "gift baskets". Very interesting!

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