Hello to all my friends…

I have been looking at this drawing every day since Jan 1 on my new calendar (given to me by the local chemist) and this morning I felt I had to share it with you.

Don’t you just love It? It was drawn by a boy aged 8 from St. Josephs in Red Cliffs Victoria. Look closely and see all the symbols of summer in Australia.  On the letters, you may be able to just see a tennis racquet, summer fruit and on the bottom, the two-piece swim-suit, beach umbrella and sand.

Yes, it is all about WELLBEING . Underneath is an explanation from the young  artist saying: Wellbeing to me means doing things that make me happy and healthy. Eating good food and going to the beach for example. This is a reminder for us not to forget to smell the roses in the hectic pace of our lives.

What is it you do for YOUR wellbeing? Let me know. I have various things like enjoying my husband’s brilliant garden,when we eat outside; certainly swimming at the beach; reading has to be up there (presently reading a novel Last Chance Cafe by Liz Byrski – what a great read!) and meeting friends for coffee, quiet time for prayer and meditation (my sanity!) and of course, travelling (eg planning it, doing it, reminiscing about it, reading about it, writing about it etc etc lol).

I hope I am not boring you all with the tales from Sundays with my grandparents? In fact, I was surprised to find myself remembering things as I wrote, that I had not thought of in years. Now, THAT was good for MY wellbeing! Yes, it was indeed a precious time.

Sometimes, we would stay for tea and this was such a treat. Food? I have never seen such food!  I cannot remember any food in particular, just that there was always plenty – enough to feed a table full of children in the kitchen and a table full of adults in the dining room. Everyone talking at once and no one listening…hardly listening anyway!

Desert was usually freshly baked bread which some of the older children would get by walking down to the bakery (somewhere in South Brisbane) and buying white tank loaves. Bear in mind that in the days of the fifties there was never fresh bread on Saturday or Sunday and there was no such thing as sliced bread. So, this large industrial bakery would allow us to buy bread. Fresh bread with jam for desert was an amazing treat on Sundays!

Some of the children would also take a bucket and go to Paul’s Dairy to buy a pall of milk for us kids. I suppose I am showing my age now but I also remember the milkman delivering milk by horse in South Brisbane whenever I stayed during the week.

I was petrified of my Lebanese grandparents. They were so austere and solemn to us children. You know: ‘children should be seen and not heard’ was their motto and I do not remember my Grandfather ever saying one word to me EVER. We were instructed to kiss him hello but he never responded! He was often reading his paper in the lounge chair and you would get in and do ‘the kiss’ as quick as you could, avoiding his moustache (who knows what might be lurking there?) But he never flinched. He died when I was about 9 years old and I never felt sad. Such a shame really.

My Grandmother was another story altogether.  Yes, I was afraid of her too but she had plenty to say! A lot of it usually involved the washing of and inspection of hands. When I was 12 yrs old she came to live with us after having a stroke and we all helped Mum nurse her for the next 12 years.  I married and left at that time.

She was mostly bedridden but I had an opportunity to get to know her then and she told me many stories about her rather sad life. The worst was when her parents migrated to Australia when she was 4 yrs old and left her behind with an Auntie who did not want her. They sent for her when she was 15 yrs old and she did not know her parents when she arrived in Melbourne. It affected her life greatly. She died at 94 yrs old.

So there you have it. A snapshot of life in South Brisbane with my grandparents.  Oh, by the way, my Grandfather made burh’gal (cracked wheat) for the Lebanese community in a huge contraption under the house but that is another story altogether and no time to tell it here. You can imagine the tricks us kids got up to with that wheat when it was drying in the sun on bags out in the yard. A lot of yelling and screaming of ‘sharteenies’ was heard at that time from my Grandfather.

It is time for me to go. It is Jan 6 today, the Feast of the Epiphany (the coming of the Magi to Bethlehem). I tell you this because for us Catholics it is always the 12th day of Christmas. The day the Christmas tree comes down. The Christmas season is officially over. You always wanted to know that, didn’t you?  So hopefully, my little granddaughters will arrive and help us to take down all those beautiful baubles I have on my tree. How they love it!

Until tomorrow…

Tess

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