Saturday, 8 October 2011

Returning to my home-town - wildflowers and memories

Have you been back to visit your home-town lately?

I am back in Eaglehawk, to visit my Mum.

It's been beautiful weather and the scent of eucalyptus and wildflowers has been colouring the air. We have had a peaceful evening. Mum's in bed early now, resting her tired body as it recovers from the hip-replacement. She's doing well, getting stronger every day.  She ate a good serving of the chicken curry I prepared for dinner. Now I have a little time to relax and write.

I like coming back here. It's the town where I grew up, just out of Bendigo, settled in next to the whip-stick forest, with its town hall standing proudly in the centre. I can be gone from here for months or years, but always feel at home in a special way when I return.

This morning I went down the street to pick up some groceries from the local IGA supermarket, and I couldn't resist walking down to have a quick look at the Town Hall and the gardens. We had many special times there. School concerts, band concerts, my sister's deb ball and my own deb ball. I remember walking down to the hall from home in my deb dress, with my partner Tony who was decked out in a suit for the first time in his life. Getting cross as I stepped onto the dusty road and held my white dress up so it didn't end up brown. Such glamour! Hardly.

Lots of processions saw me following the route from the top of the hill to the bottom, where the town hall sits. First I did this in the decorated bikes event as part of the Dahlia and Arts Festival, as each year I would be dressed in an array of ever-more embarrassing costumes. After that I joined the Eaglehawk Citizens Brass band - marching in a starchy blue uniform, keeping in step and playing the trombone in procession after procession.

On hot summer evenings we would wander down to the hall, sitting on the big cannons that adorn the court-yard, next to the war memorial, riding them like horses as the snow-gums swayed gently above us, our stately protectors.


Mum's new house sits by a strip of bush-land, a great place to walk in the afternoon. There are flowers blooming right through it - brilliantly coloured gazanias, spreading themselves out into a delightful patch-work quilt. They're not an Australian native flower, but they certainly seem to thrive in the wild. Ever-lasting flowers (statice) line the wandering paths, their papery yellow blossoms leading the walker through the bush, and i pass a little creek where frogs are making their cute little gurgly sounds.

We'll head back tomorrow, down the freeway, to my little house, the beach, my dogs. But I'm sure it won't be too long before I'm back, to say hello to my Mum, and to Eaglehawk, again.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011




sister [ˈsistə]


the title given to a female child to describe her relationship to the other children of her parents She's my sister; my father's sister.


a type of senior nurse She's a sister on Ward 5.


a female member of a religious group.


a female fellow member of any group We must fight for equal opportunities, sisters!


closely similar in design, function etc sister ships.

Hmmmm. Sisters.

I miss my sister. Sometimes I feel like she died, even though she's still alive.

I feel like I used to have a sister, but she disappeared.

I used to blame myself. What did I do wrong? Why wasn't I prettier, smarter, richer, more sociable, less shy, better with money? Why didn't I make choices that she would have been proud of?

When I was little she was my hero. If I fell over in the play-ground, I would call her name and someone would bring her to me, to pick me up, to nurture me. Then I would feel better, I'd be okay.

When I was a teenager, she came and brought me home from the park, where I was lying in a drunken mess, and made sure I was safe.

When I was at uni, I flew to America to see her, because I missed her so much, when she had been travelling around the world on the Young Endeavour, the tall ship. As an adult, she told me that I'd 'ruined her life' by coming to America to see her.

I guess she had to detach herself from my co-dependency.

We used to wait for the Easter bunny, laughing under the blankets together.

We used to wait for Santa, giggling and giggling, jumping up in the morning way too early.

We used to lie on the floor laughing, tears flowing down our faces.

She came to the birth of my son. I wanted her to be my sister during the pregnancy. That didn't happen. She sat with my husband and they refused to let me name my own son.

I still love her.

I am here if she decides to be my sister again.

And I've realised now that there's nothing wrong with me, that no matter who I was things would probably still be the same.

Some famous sister quotes:

When I was a child I thought I saw an angel. It had wings and kinda looked like my sister. I opened the door so some light could come into the room, and it sort of faded away. My mother said it was probably my Guardian Angel.
Denzel Washington

If you don't understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child.
Linda Sunshine

There is a touching scene in the movie, "A League of Their Own," where the two sisters are saying goodbye. The younger sister says:

"Do you ever hear Dad introduce us to people? This is our daughter Dottie, and this is our other daughter, Dottie's sister."

Sisters is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.
Margaret Mead

I wonder if we'll grow up one day? That would be awesome.