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Sunday, January 5, 2014

A new year and a few old memories


We spent New Year on the property where I spent most of my childhood.  Part of my family still live there but for a variety of reasons nine years have passed between visits.   Honestly, I am not sure where those nine years have gone. 

So many memories surfaced from our visit that when we eventually arrived home in the stifling heat on the first day of January I shed a few tears.  Tears because I felt grateful for what I have now; a devoted husband who makes me laugh everyday, two incredible children and a beautiful home.  


I shed a few tears also for the memories of the past.

The unmistakable clink of the back gate.
  
The white and navy placemats that have been on the contentious kitchen table for at least twenty years. 

The smell of the storeroom with its big green meat safe, creaky floorboards and well stocked shelves.

My childhood footsteps retraced by my children’s footsteps.

The tough old grapevines growing on the verandahs. 
  
Young love and not so young love.

The elaborate dinner parties hosted in an era that has past, replaced by cold beer and yabbies at the shed. 

The reassurance of ornaments, furniture, art and pieces of family history that have never, ever been rearranged in my lifetime. 

My seven year old daughter asking completely relevant questions about sheep and farming as we drove over the dusty tracks of my adolescence.

My eyes looked at the old buildings and the outback light with a completely different perspective on this visit, perhaps I have photography to thank for that.  Or is it just that I am older?



I have not made any bold resolutions for 2014.  I just want to live each day a little more gently.

What is happening at your place? 
How is 2014 looking so far?             
Do you ever reminisce at this time of the year?

**This post is a little more personal than usual just because life is not all sourdough loaves and freshly picked vegetable.  My first post for 2014 seemed like an appropriate place to let a few thoughts flow, I am sure you understand.  

41 comments :

  1. Hi Jane and happy new year. This is such a beautiful post! Life certainly isn't all sourdough loaves and freshly picked vegies, nor is it all beer and skittles as my sister in law would say. I hope that 2014 brings good things to your world and allows you the opportunity to love each day a little more gently, particularly if you need it. xox

    I've just retired, as you know, and have started the new year with another virus or bug of some sort, which is totally disheartening for me, as the pneumonia and glandular fever from April last year have really taken their toll on my body. Fresh, light and healthy is my vision for 2014... I continue to live by my father's credo that 'every day is a gift'.

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    1. Thank you for your thoughtful, kind comments Lizzy. I hope you feel better soon. Fresh, light and healthy is something we could all embrace I think! Happy Sunday x

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  2. I love this post - I find myself getting more and more nostalgic every time I go back to mum and dad's - and I totally know what you mean about seeing those spaces from our past with different eyes. I don't know if it's photography or getting older either, but I'm thinking it's got to be a combination of the two.

    Hoping you have a wonderful 2014! xx

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    1. So lovely to hear from you Naomi, wishing you a wonderful 2014 too! x

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  3. Lovely Jane. I have noticed myself how ornaments, furniture and art pieces are reassuring especially when ones parents or oneself moves home. I didn't really think I was attatched to things...but in that way I know I am. They give a warmth and comfort that I just didn't imagine.

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    1. Thanks Annie, so nice of you to say. You are right and I had not really noticed it myself until going back to MM to find that almost nothing in the main house had changed.

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  4. Happy New Year and thanks for sharing your thoughts and memories. Sometimes it does feel too personal to share these but they're part of us being whole people, right? You are right, sometimes our blog spaces can feel one dimensional and it is worth it to be more open from time to time.

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    1. Thanks so much Katie, you have articulated my thoughts re: writing a more personal blog perfectly. Happy New Year to you, and thanks for your kind comment.

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  5. Beautiful post Jane. I love the sentence: "My childhood footsteps retraced by my children's footsteps"
    I've been in homesteads like that where you know nothing has changed for generations. Brave the new young bride who dare's to stamp her on mark on the place, right!
    I'm glad you've found those things in your life that make you happy and content x

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    1. A brave bride indeed Kylie, you are spot on! Thanks for calling in, great to hear from you x

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    2. Gosh it's always a pleasure Jane. I don't have a computer at the moment so my visits have been a bit limited...

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  6. Happy new year Jane!
    This is such a lovely post. Every time you post photos of red dirt or saltbushes or rusty old sheds it makes me nostalgic - for the 4 years I spent on the farm at Hatfield and also for my grandparents block at Merbein South. Good times. :)

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    1. Lovely to hear from you Amber, thank you for calling in and all the best for 2014 :)

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  7. There has been lots of reminiscing this past week. Been cleaning out the attic and going through old school and family photos - getting rid of a lot of embarrassing ones (hair styles in the 1980's) and treasuring some notes from my parents and grandparents that I had forgotten about.

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    1. Thanks Katie, it is a good time of the year to have a clean up and a sort out isn't it?

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  8. what a beautiful post jane..i tried to comment yesterday but i struggled to articulate what i was feeling..after pondering about nostalgia i think it's painful because it's bitter sweet..it's a mix of good and not so good memories as well as sadness and happiness about our younger and older selves and about the passage of time..

    i haven't made any grand resolutions either..i would just like the way i live to align closer to my beliefs..x

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    1. Oh Jane, thank you so much. You have articulated your thoughts (& mine!) beautifully. Do you know I almost deleted this post just before I published it. I am happy now that I had the courage to finally post it.

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  9. No life isn't always sourdough and vegetables, and it's an honour and a privilege that we get to share a tiny part of your world that is a bit more personal. I don't know whether it's age, photography at our finger tips, or the change that we go through from a single person to a parent...so many things to challenge mentally, ponder, question or just simply reflect on.
    Happy 2014 Jane. xxx

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts Brydie. You are spot on...so many things to ponder and reflect on as we go through life. Happy 2014 to you too! x

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  10. Happy New Year Jane! I hope 2014 is good to you. Revisiting the past can always be emotional -- especially if it's been a long time between visits. And you're right, life isn't all sourdough and veggies...it's full of moments, both hard & easy.

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    1. Thanks so much for your thoughts Mel, life is certainly full of moments isn't it? I hope 2014 is looking good in your part of the world.

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  11. I loved this post Jane. Isn’t it amazing how a sound or smell – the click of the gate, the smell of the storeroom – can trigger such a flood of memories? My childhood home has been modernised and changed but many of our hiding places around the farm remain and I can still run my fingers over the brick where I scratched my initials over forty years ago. Wishing you a happy and gentle 2014. Anne x

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    1. Thanks Anne, so lovely to hear from you. Farms certainly hold a lot of memories, your childhood home sounds like it could tell a few stories x

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  12. I see you in this place too Jane ... and now I feel older! riding Tammy with long blonde hair in Piggies, always a beautiful ribbon ....racing down those stones with my kids.. it was a kids paradise ... you captured it well EWE BEAUTY

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    1. Thanks Trish, so many things change yet so many things stay the same! x

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  13. Beautiful Jane! Your post and Trish's comment have triggered so many childhood memories!
    Happy 2014 to you and your beautiful family.
    TT
    xxx

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    1. Thanks Tennille, lovely of you to call in x

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  14. Beautiful post Jane. Wishing you and your family a gentle and very happy 2014. xxx

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    1. Thanks Kyrstie. I wish the same for you in 2014 x

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  15. Happy New Year Jane. Your post reminds me of when I visit my grandparents house though my visits are more frequent, I always shed a tear. The place is the same sometimes it green after the rain others its crispy and crunchy under foot. Each thing is still in the same place, my memories of spending most of our vacations there always resurface. Great pics.

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    1. Thanks Liz, these places from our childhood hold powerful memories and emotions don't they?

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  17. HI Jane..thanks for your post, it was beautiful. As I read it I was reminded of my grandparents house...the creaking floors, chiming clock, fresh milk, chooks....whenever I hear the beeps before the news on ABC radio I'm transported back to Nans' kitchen...I think all the Christmas prep/ joy/ excitement/ expectations make us emotional, too. I'm well known for finishing my cringle gift on Christmas eve...I remarked to a girlfriend two days before Christmas that I needed an afternoon sleep as I was getting emotional watching ads on tv ( what is it with nappy ad's? ) Anyway, thanks again for posting, happy new year...hope it's a good one ;) xo Suze.

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    1. I completely agree Suze, Christmas has a way of making us tired and emotional! Your description of your grandparent's house reminds me of my grandparent's house, powerful memories aren't they? Happy 2014 to you too.

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  18. Oh Jane, this is heartfelt. I think it still protects your privacy enough too, even as you reveal emotions. I too have been scribbling thoughts for a potential post about the house I consider to be my childhood home, for it is now leaving our family and has been sold. It is bittersweet. These were beautiful words shared and I wish you well for the new year, gently.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Lucent. I know you understand.

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  19. Lovely, bittersweet post, Jane. What a blessing it is to have a great life now with loved family and friends, but also to have had such wonderful memories of the past.. xx

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  20. What beautiful words…..Happy New Year - Its nice to start the new year with gratitude and appreciation of what we have x

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    1. Thanks Kylie, I need to remember that word: gratitude as the year progresses!

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Hello and welcome. I will try to reply to all comments eventually because I love the conversation! Jane