Life has a funny way sometimes of teaching, giving and taking.
Sometimes we feel so hard done by. That everything is going wrong or perhaps not wrong but just not the way we’d hoped or planned. We think something is ‘out to get us’ or purposely making things difficult.
I try to think that it is the hard work needed before pay-day. It’s just that pay-day is random and irregular and could take a very long time before it arrives. No matter how desperate you get for pay-day you must still keep working hard, because if you slack off, everything you’ve worked towards prior is just wasted.
Our pay-day arrived.
(probably a bad metaphor…but anywho…)
For at least the past 16 months Glen and I have been trying so damn hard to get our kids back home to NSW. We’ve had this plan and that. We’ve talked things over, come up with different schemes and ideas and nothing, no matter how hard we tried, what we did or who we talked to… everything seemed to be telling us ‘No, you’re not going home.’
Throughout this blog I talk about ‘going home’ or ‘being with family’ I would go on and on, sometimes desperately. Dreaming of a place that would suit our needs, give us some freedom and space. A private peaceful sanctuary, where I could be in the kind of isolation I like.
A place where I can a hermit on my terms, not forced upon me. I don’t have to see anyone or do anything but be with my kids and working from home. I feel like now I can do everything I’ve put off.
I came to a point where it would bring me down. I wondered when my life would ‘start.’ Missing my sister and brother, thinking about the way I’d love to be raising my kids, and the environment I’d like to be doing it in was tough.
Especially when I finally decided to basically shut up and accept that what is….just is.
I’m not magic, far from special. I couldn’t physically change anything about our situation.
Bella had wanted to come home for her 11th birthday. Glen took the time off so we could also look at properties while we were in NSW. We looked at one, we were more than happy to accept just simply so we could leave our tiny town in Blackwater. We then decided to look at another about 120 kms away.
For some reason I felt compelled to do so.
We fell in love the moment we stepped inside. Well I personally fell in love with the OUTside. 110 acres of beautiful bushland. Rainforest gullies, orchids and native plants hanging among the millions of Banksia. Waterfalls, bushrock outcrops, large damns laden with rainbow perch and yabbies.
Apple gums. The same ones I fell inlove with on my dad’s property as a kid. Bent and warpped, bumpy and twisted, with round broad leaves that look like bright green apples with splashes of red.
It just sounds good.
The sky is ablaze with the stars hidden by town lights.
And the house…well I never thought I’d say this but it is too BIG for us!
I could run a resturant from that kitchen! The lounge is massive with a high timber A-frame ceiling. Each of the kids rooms are big enough to fit them comfortably with ‘room for activities’ they have an entire wall each devoted to just cupboard space. I won’t be able to ever fill all the cupboards in this place. The there is this massive room….just because. I’m not entirely sure with I’m going to do with it. I’m thinking guest bedroom and living area so when our family stays they have a space all of their own too.
Glen and my room, has 3 large windows so we can wake to the bush, kangaroos, birds flying by or the rain that we’ve missed so much in the desserty heart of Queensland. Oh, and a walk in wardrobe that all my second hand beauties could never fill! And an ensuite bigger than our entire bathroom back home!
I’ve never been in a larger home.
Perfect for having extended family around like we’d planned.
How could we say no to this place? Especially when it was far cheaper than the others we’d looked at WITHOUT land, WITHOUT as much space.
Too good to be true.
There is just a simple peace that takes over.
It feels like we’ve always been here. Or at least this place was meant for us.
It feels like home.
After 5 years…..I feel like I am at home.
And it feels nice.
In 2 weeks we managed the 18 hour drive to and from Blackwater 3 times. We worked out we’d driven roughly 5000 kilometres in 11 days.
We went days without sleep.
I packed our entire house in 2 days.
And within one hour we decided we’d move in immediately instead of waiting to organise the removalist.
We jammed packed our trailer, stuck the kids in the car again and did our final mission all the way back to NSW. We’re sleeping on matresses, and eating on the cold tiles.
But we don’t mind one bit.
We still have no furniture after 6 days, and probably won’t have any for a further 5.
But we are not complaining (mind you it would be nice to have a seat! Like everything in life, I take seats….as weird as that sounds….for granted.)
Since moving in, another thing I’ve realised I take for granted is Glen.
He stayed a total of 2 nights before he had to hire a car, drive to Brisbane and fly back to Blackwater for work.
We said goodbye, not knowing when we’d see each other again. It was a difficult night, I had no house phone connected, we get no mobile reception and no internet. I had no way of knowing if he’d even arrived home safely.
Now I like my space, I’m not the clingy type. I don’t like constant company or affection, I prefer being alone.
I thought a week without Glen and vice versa would be a good little break.
Second night, I missed him like hell.
The kids miss him too.
The hardest part is just not knowing when we will see him again.
Feeling a little like a single parent.
It is the only downside. Hopefully soon his transfer will go through sooner rather than later. He’s had to give 3 months notice and so far we are just hoping that we will see him for christmas.
We are distracting ourselves with many outdoor things. There’s a nice natural bushrock “playground’ we’re calling it. We’ve cleared it of all leaf litter, sticks and branches and filled some of the hollows with the sandy soil we’ve found to make natural sand pits. Buddy thinks it’s amazing. We’ve cleared a path and plan to drag some massive logs over for balancing and climbing. Hanging some tire swings from the trees too.
We have so far cleared half of the stunning rainforest walk path and cleaned some of the little ‘rest spots’ along the way. Solar fairy lights are on our list to hang in the trees and a collection of rainbow coloured glass bottles will eventually be strung from the trees too, creating rainbows in the sunlight. We’re planning night-time spotlight walks to see our little bandicoot friends who’ve been leaving tell-tale dig holes and koalas, I’m assuming possums too.
We’ve selected our plot for our veggie garden, a nice large chunk of cleared space where water will run off nicely. Close enough to the damn should we need to carry over some extra water through summer.
Our chicken coop spot has also been found, I’m just waiting for some man muscle to help me dig and place the supporting corner posts.
We’re fixing up an old campfire site into an outdoor kitchen. But a very basic one. It’s right by the damn. So we can catch our fish, gut it, skewer it and cook it over an open flame, throwing some potatoes into the embers afterwards.
At different points throughout the property there are places where the previous people have built bbq and camping areas and 4wd tracks. I haven’t even explored the whole lot yet so I’m sure there’s more.
OH! And the garage which our car is too tall to fit into is being turned into my very own workshop/studio. The Eco Princess now has its own place to go bonkers. Sewing machine, overlocker, everything photography and finally a place to work on my bigger furniture and art projects I’ve been putting off for so long.
I’ll now be working full-time from home.
Everything can now flourish.
I still can’t belive it.
After so long….
I have found that everything evens out in the end.
Life has a funny way of taking only how much it knows you can handle, even if you don’t think it yourself. If you carry yourself well throughout, you are always rewarded for your strength.
For everything hard, for every test, you get back in some way or another.
I’ve always said that I must deserve something wonderful at the end of it all, especially when life has been at it’s toughest. I know it sounds materialistic but maybe this is it?
Or at least a gift?
This is not a house to us, this is the lifestyle we wanted to raise our children in. The land, the space, the freedom, the peace. It is their own personal safe place, to grow and explore. I can just imagine it all through their eyes so magical and wonderful.
(They believe we have yowies and fairies in our backyard.)
And they, my children, deserve it.
They’re enrolled in a small welcoming school bringing the total student population to 65 next term. I’d taken them to a larger school and immediately felt uncomfortable.
The way the principle was asking the girls math questions and personal questions, putting them on the spot. Running through a massive list of requirements – white socks are a MUST, no jewellery of ANY kind, earrings are to be gold or silver studs or sleepers. NOTHING else.
You know I don’t understand how a pair of earrings will affect my child’s learning capabilities. Bella likes to wear small odd earrings, nothing dangly or dangerous, nothing to ‘show off’ but it’s just her way of being her. Gold or silver studs just aren’t Bella. She doesn’t even own a pair. I’d have to buy her ‘school earrings.’
Sophie often wears her favorite combination of coloured socks to school and still she does pretty good academically.
The part I didn’t like the most…?
“What’s your favorite subject girls?” the principal asked.
“Art.” They both replied.
“Well, you’ll have to focus on math and english too, science is fun.” She said.
All good and well. But my children, just like every other child in the school system is NOT the same. They do NOT learn the same. They are NOT the same.
If they like art, for goodness sakes, let them like art!
I felt that if I sent my girls there that they’d be faceless among the masses, being herded and moulded into ‘good citizens’ like all those other kids, who’ll one day earn good money to provide the government with their taxes.
Not individuals pursuing a life that will give them happiness and contentment but that they’d be convinced that a ‘good job’ was all that would ever show their value as a person.
I think a good education is very, very important. I also think ‘being true to yourself’ is too. I want my kids to learn to love learning the way I have. Not because I was forced into it, chastised for getting things wrong or not understanding ,but because they had a playful curiosity.
Because they want to.
Well I want more for my kids, than clean crisp uniforms and pretty pigtails, I don’t want to see a report card full of A’s. But I would like to see comments on their willingness to try. I want their whole to be educated. I want them to learn to be good people more importantly than good at math.
I want them to be kind not just good story writers.
I want them to share and give not just be able to correct their punctuation and put their capitals in the right spots.
The smaller school was so welcoming -they need the numbers I’m sure!- but as soon as we walked through the gate a couple of the students came over and introduced themselves and asked if they could help us, chatting about how ‘it must be fun having 5 kids’ (only a child could see things like that, adults always see my life with 5 kids as ‘hard.’)
We were directed to a smiling man who was happily chatting to some kids outside the office, he came over and introduced himself as principal. The office lady explained how she’d been working in the school for 20 years and loved it so much she would be staying a further 20, almost all the girl students rushed giggling over to the office to meet Bella and Sophie who were shy to begin with but were soon chatting with their soon to be friends easily.
We met the girls’ teachers and checked out their new classrooms. Sophie’s teacher actually taught me when I was in primary school. I’m so relieved to see some teachers with some wise wrinkles and years of experience. They’re at ease with kids, have kids themselves (most adults now) and total ‘get them.’ Sophie’s teacher introduced her to all her classmates which only 4 of are girls.
We all left with uniforms, bus forms and smiles. It was such a relief for me. I’d had my heart set on a specific Steiner school, which moving here there was no possible way they could attend. But this school, who is ok with people being individuals and encourages them to follow and pursue their interests has given me a little bit of ease.
They’re like extended family. A happy cosy one.
I can’t wait to become involved in the school too, I plan to teach art classes now and then like I used to at Bella’s old NSW school.
I just feel like the universe has said “here you deserve this gift.”
And I reply “THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!”
I also give a massive thank you to Glen who does everything he can to look after us the best he can, I hope to repay him by working out my business to a nicely profitable point to give his life a little bit of ease too. I just can’t wait to have him home again, and regularly would be nice!
(Not that I’m complaining universe! I wouldn’t dream of it!)
So all in all, The Move, was massive, still going on….I’ll have boxes coming out my ears next week to unpack.
It was exhausting, stressful, testing but totally worth it.
The very first morning I woke to kookaburras laughing, I smiled lazily and thought “Yes, you laugh because life is good, I may even have a chuckle myself…” Much better than waking at early hours because the kids have been woken from the beeping of a reversing mine vehicle!
I shall go, our outside awaits! It’s about to rain so I’m thinking I’ll collect some wood for the fire!
Be safe 🙂
Being on tank water I told the kids;
“If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.”
Sophie came rushing from the bathroom “Mum, I did a pee.”
“If it’s yellow Soph…let it mellow.”
“Yeah I know, but I did a pooh too, so I don’t know what to do.”
“Ok, Honey, anything that involves brown…..FLUSH IT DOWN!”
***Photo’s wouldn’t upload. Probably be nicer photos when I’ve got furniture anyway!***