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Archive for June, 2014

 

She ran down the stairs and a door slammed shut. I heard a shout and then another loud bang. Mother was up and running around the house with a ‘flea in her ear.’ This is what my dad called it when mom got the sudden urge to turn the house upside down and to clean everywhere. As a young child I did not see the need for all this order and cleanliness but I tagged along with it. I knew full well what the consequences were if I did not! I definitely did not want to get into the firing line.

 So we all dragged ourselves out of bed and marched around and joined in on the holiday spring clean. What a way to spend my first day of the holidays! All this cleanliness had certainly not been part of my envisaged plan. I often pondered the merit of all of this and why it had to be saved for our holiday. Why could it not have been done during school time when we had domestic help? But in mom’s wisdom there was a plan…… It was only many years later that I realized this was her way of getting some kind of discipline and routine instilled into all 4 of us kids over the long holidays. After all, we were a lively and headstrong bunch and we all pulled in different directions. What a marathon task it must have been to get us to ‘tow the line.’

There were electric cables lying around with my brother’s latest invention. Tennis rackets and sport equipment strewn around from my sister following her passion. Cricket bats and fishing rods and other little boy paraphernalia lay all round the garden left by my youngest brother. Then added to the mix my dolls with their latest homemade dress ensembles would get in everyone’s way.   So a holiday would have been a nightmare with us all trying to do our own thing. But once we were ‘pulled into shape’ we were much easier to handle.

Those were the early years. Later on as we matured mom was able to share her creative side with us. There were wedding dresses that were carefully sewn for us, pots of her famous marmalade were stacked up on the shelves or she would sneak away and paint in her studio. She was warm and welcoming and our house was always a hive of activity. She spoilt us with the most delicious meals and always made a fuss over our birthdays and special festivities. She had the most amazing capacity to love and welcomed all her grand children and great grand children into her fold.  

Our dear mother slipped away peacefully today and is up there with my dad dancing among the stars. She will be delighted to be reunited once more with her handsome pilot. I am so incredibly grateful for our wonderful mom and the love that she gave so freely.

You will be forever in our hearts.

Moments to treasure....

Moments to treasure….

Our beautiful Mom....

Our beautiful Mom….

 

 

 

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‘First when there’s nothing but a slow glowing dream.’

The morning light has just broken over the lake. She glances across at the mirrored surface. It is a perfect day! Then she remembers and her heart sinks. There is much to do before she can grab her life jacket and head out the door. Frantic steps charge up and down the staircase.  The kid’s clothes are put out…..check. The baby sitter has been called……check. Breakfast is sorted……check. A willing husband mobilized…….check.

‘That your fear seems to hide deep inside your mind.’

 As I drove out towards Port Credit with sleepy eyes, I thought about our wonderful bunch of ladies……all thrown together in the pursuit of Dragon Boating. We rush down to the Sixteen Mile Creek each week and our patient coach gets us going. Starts and synchronization have been a challenge as we only managed four practices together over the last month. Was this enough to get us through the race? It was surely going to be a case of being ‘thrown out to the wolves.’ My stomach lurched as we made our way across the bridge.

I was in unfamiliar territory and the sight of the well versed crew next to us doing their early morning warm up unnerved me. They had obviously done this before! Stay focused I kept repeating to myself! Just enjoy the race……the words of our coach echoed in my head.

We were off.....

We were off…..

‘Close my eyes, feel the rhythm’

Life jackets on and oars selected we made our way down to our boat. Our drummer hopped in the front and smiled up at us. It was the most magnificent day and the outline of the lighthouse could just be made out through the arch of the bridge. The bright colours of our life jackets mirrored back at us from the clear water. The excitement and nervousness welled up in me. This is it.

“Paddles up! Take it away!”

The rhythm kicked in as we made our way down to the start. There was much maneuvering to keep us lined up at the buoy. We waited and tried not to notice our opponents. Just keep focusing…… Then came the familiar voice of our coach.

Sit up!

Ready, ready…..and we were off. One, two, three……the counting of the first short strokes drummed in our heads. We had to keep together and to feel the rhythm. Then the next ten strokes and we watched each other to keep in time. It was all about being in that moment. We pulled and watched and pulled.  The next ten strokes passed by in a flash. We were now on the home stretch.

‘What a feeling. Being is believing.’

Shouts went out……. we had made it! Our race was over. It had been significant as it had been a first for many of us. We had not been the first to pip the post but so much more had been gained by us all. We had learnt new skills, pushed ourselves and shared our common interest.We had felt like a team.  

The dragon boaters.....Thursday group

The dragon boaters…..Thursday group

 As I walked through the front door that afternoon my bronze medal caught the light of the fading sun.

 

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