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Today I am presenting the Letter “O”
To work in with my “family” theme, I was racking my brains on how to use “O” So I’ve decided this is where I’ll put “Other” family and things to do with family.. you know the ones that are not in my Immediate family.. in other words I did not give birth to them or inherit them!
There are many so let’s go alphabetical for ease…
A- Aunts– I guess I must have had a few but the only one that sticks out in my mind was “Aunty Shirley” she was my Dad’s sister and I spent a lot of time with her growing up. She taught me to bake sponge cakes with duck eggs to increase the fluffiness.. and to crochet Granny squares which she sewed together to make blankets. She taught me about growing vegetables and how to kill a chicken and bleed it and pluck it and most importantly to roast it for dinner.. she taught me about the life-cycle of the chooks and how the foxes got involved and therefore were hunted… So many good memories of Aunty Shirley..
Then you have those default “Aunts” that you call “Aunty” more as a respect thing, the one I most remember was “Aunty Kath” my God Mother.. I have always hated my name Kim Lorraine and I asked the Mother “why did you name me that?” and in her usual non sharing way she snapped “I didn’t!” and so I kept on as I do and she revealed the story.. When she got pregnant with me she had nothing ready for a baby, so “Aunty Kath” who was a good friend and a work friend took charge and made the whole layette, all the little nighties and the matinée jackets and stitched and sewed and crocheted and knitted, and she organised the baby furniture needs so that by the time I came along I had everything I needed because “Aunty Kath” was so good. I remember being little and going to “Aunty Kath’s” for the weekends, I had my own room a huge queen sized bed, with about a gazillion pillows and cushions, and “Aunty Kath” would let me play dress ups in her clothes and long gloves and fancy hats! it was so much fun and “Uncle BIll” had an Organ and a piano and he used to play something else like a bassoon or clarinet or something or other and he would sit me up beside him and show me how to play songs, or just make a noise, he didn’t ever mind. We used to walk their little dog in the local park, and catch trams and walk to the shops. isn’t it funny how many memories comes back when you start thinking about it.. “Aunty Kath” had a tiny front yard and a small back yard and we were always out there picking off the dead leaves or dried flowers and sweeping and potting. I always loved going to “Aunty Kath’s” When I had my first-born Jasmin, I received a package of perfectly knitted and crocheted dresses, jackets and matching booties and bonnets, I was always so proud to dress her in an “Aunty Kath ” creation!
B- is for Brother-in-law…
Oh Boy!! have I had a few of those..sister number one is on her second husband, sister number two is on her third, I don’t count any other than “the Originals” as brother in-laws. That’s on my side, on my EX husband’s side I have two, and I still see them and still get on fabulously with them, its comfortable and easy to sit and chat with them, they always greet with a hug and kiss.
C- is for Cousins…
Well you have briefly met one of my cousins Lee, she is the one I see all the time and we are closer than sisters. She has an older sister and two older brothers and I am in touch with them through Facebook, one brother and one sister live in New South Wales so we don’t see them as often as we’d like but it’s all good. Their Mum was the Mother’s sister, she also had two brothers, One lived in South Australia and one lived with us for a while, he did have children which would be my cousins but I only recall one named “Terry” after his father my Uncle. On Dad’s side there was so much bad blood, I doubt I ever met any of the cousins from his siblings.
D- is for De-Facto… the ones you live with but don’t marry and they somehow become a part of the family maybe with a title like “Aunty Sandy” who was Uncle Terry’s de-facto and then he moved on to “Alma” but I was a teenager so I didn’t call her “Aunty” by then. And De-facto brothers-in-law who you don’t quiet know how to introduce so you say “this is so and so’s “partner“
D- is for Dad-
I did him already, of course I could always do more.. he is after all my Dad… but read here first… https://kimlhine.wordpress.com/2015/04/04/d-is-for/
E- is for Eclectic–
I like that word, I can use that to describe my family easily.. we are taken from all kinds of places and thrown together and just expected to “like each other” has anyone got a “happy blended after” family story??
E- is for EX husbands-
There was nothing really bad, just we grew apart, I married him when I was 19 and he was 26, he had a career and he’d done his partying scene and I had neither, I worked became a mother and skipped the partying scene, so as the children grew up so did I and realized that surely there was more to life than just “this” he didn’t want to put on the exploring hat, and I didn’t want to wear the “housewife” apron ALL THE TIME. Maybe secretly he was “over it ” too because he didn’t attempt to work through things and didn’t want to come with me to get help.. so I went alone and then I went the next step and walked away. we are still friends, we made sure our children were never weapons or bargaining chips, there was no questions they’d stay with me, he worked shifts and he didn’t have the energy to be bothered. We still interact now and again at his family parties, and we chat and for example earlier this week Amber was worried she hadn’t heard from “dad” for about a month, I told her “bad news travels fast someone would tell us” and she went on about it for a few days, so I Picked up the phone and dialed his house number..he answered and I said “oh Hi, so you’re not dead then?” he laughed and asked “who’s been complaining?” we laughed and I told him, ring your daughter and your son and pay more attention to the length of time between calls. too easy!
F- is for Friends-that-you-wish-were-family-
I’m sure we all have one of those, one special friend that we click with so completely that you seem like sisters and wish you were sisters. I met mine 27 years ago, as we prepared raw chickens for the rotisserie in a delicatessen department in a supermarket, and we were so completely bored out of our mind, we made the chickens dance and started a “Chicken dance” song.. so after that whenever we were asked to prepare the chickens we went off happily because it became fun and we became life long friends (I HOPE!!) She became my first friend in my married life and in my new neighborhood of course I am talking about my “Bestest Best friend Deanne Whykes” I was trying to work out how to fit her into my challenge. I thought about under “S for Sister” and possibly I might still… or for sure under X.. why X I hear you say? because SHE is an “XTRA best bestest friend” and no I won’t clone her or share her.. selfish I am!!
G- is for GRAND parents..
I know I had some.. but since I was born into my parent’s life at an older age and didn’t I hear about it my whole life “YOU were my “change of life baby” because boy you bloody changed my life” I don’t think she meant for the better.. when I was young I used to think so but then I took off the blinders and realized nope, she hated me.. it’s OK though,each to their own! I vaguely remember that I had a Grandfather Scarffe (Dad’s side) he briefly lived with Aunty Shirley and was then put into a nursing home, I remember him helping me feed my pet calf with a bottle and I remember him in the nursing home with a blanket on his knee that Aunty Shirley and I had crochet the squares for.. and I remember his funeral in the pouring ,cold rain. The Mother’s parents were long dead.
H- is for Hamilton/Hine
Hamilton my first married name and Hine my second married name, at least I didn’t have to change my initials.
I- is for In-Laws..
Some become obsolete, but then some you don’t get rid of when you divorce your husband, I have managed to stay friends with both my “ex” sister-in-laws and I still introduce them as my sister-in-law’s because as one brother-in-law explained “Kim divorced your brother NOT you” Bingo!! I stayed friends after a tie of cooling down with my Parents in-law too. I still called them Mum and Dad.
Then there are Brother and Sister in laws too.
J- is for jealousy…
Every family must suffer from it.. please tell me I am not the only one?
K- is for Kim..
Me, the only one
L- is for Leanne..
Leanne is my sister-in-law, married to my full-blooded brother Bill.. and as soon as we met we got on, Leanne is very patient and taught me to make teddy bears and to decorate Christmas decorations, Leanne hand makes the most beautiful greeting cards, they are always a work of art, but she says “I don’t have any artist flair” HA!! Leanne Crochet’s too.. so we always have that to chat about as well.
M- is for Marriage..
Because through marriage two families become one.. so you inherit new rellies to share Christmas and birthdays and special occasions with.. in this last year my nephew Robert got married so I got a new Niece Ashley, and then Sarah my niece married Nick, so I inherited a new Nephew. Her brother Cory my nephew is engaged to Emma, so another new Niece on the way! Not all marriages are made in Heaven and some burn out as quickly as they start.
N- is for Nieces and Nephews..
O- is for Outsider..
Not all families are sunshine and happiness and sometimes we feel like an outsider looking in. I think that is why I work extra hard at my family (by birth and inheritance) so that we don’t splinter like the one I was involved in.
P- is for Perfect..
I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “perfect” family, I don’t see how there could be.. unless someone is living a lie.. how can a bunch of people with completely different personalities be lumped together and expect to all get on all the time.. yep, reminds me of “The Brady Bunch” what Mother wouldn’t want that? perfectly dressed and well-behaved children, seen but not heard and never having to lift a finger to do anything because they had an “Alice” never tired after a day of rustling children, pets and housework. Nope.. Perfect is a myth!! I think we “real ” mums need to give ourselves a break and realize TV and real life are very different, throw in a sick or special needs child the level of desperation goes up a notch or two.
Q- is for… Ummm… Queen..
I don’t know. what’s a “Q” word.. did I ever tell you growing up I hated the “queen” I hated her hats and gloves and my Dad used to tease me all the time about “Lizzy” as he called her.. first name basis my Dad and the Queen..So when I named my first-born daughter Jasmin Elizabeth. he was gloating..
“Ha ha” he said “I won!! you DO love the Queen you named ‘Boo’ after her!”
“uh.. No Dad… the Dr who delivered her was called “Elizabeth” “
and he couldn’t resist not having the last word and said..
“HER Parents named her after the Queen!“
ok, I gave up after that!
R- is for Roots…
Of the family tree! get your minds out of the gutter!! Our family tree as you will see if you have been following along are deep and very very Tangled, and not only tangled but SNARLED!!
S- is for Scarffe..
My maiden name and my Father’s name, if ever I get around to writing that book I’ve always said I will write, I will use that name as my writing name.. because My Dad got me into my love of reading and writing and researching.
T- is for Trouble..
My Husband’s middle name.. his parents never gave him one so I did.. Trouble.. and I even got him the T-shirt which says “Trouble is my Middle name”
T- is for Truth..
Some thing that was always ingrained in me as a child, “Never tell lies, doesn’t matter how bad a thing is we can fix it if you tell the truth“… and then I realize that most of their lives were spent living in lies, half-truths and deception… hmmmm…what’s up with that? My perception of truth is this..” if you tell the truth you don’t have to work to remember your lies“.. thanks to my parents for teaching me that gem!! and don’t even go there with the “Little white lies” bull dust, they are just as destructive as a regular lie!
U- is for Ummmm…
Nope will have to pass can’t think of anything oh yeah ok,…. Underhanded, works in nicely with the whole truth and lies..
V- is for Victoria...
The State in which most of the “family” whether they be mine by blood, birth, deception , divorce r whatever, most of them live here, anther good reason for me to migrate!
W- is for Words…
Words hurt, they are worse than the sharpest knives, I’ve been on the giving and receiving end or hurtful words. The Mother always said “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” pity she didn’t take her own advice. I’m not sure if was her words that hurt the most or just that fact that SHE said them, I thought that as a Mother she was supposed to be on her children’s team, not one or two children but ALL of them.. boy did I grow up fast! Oh yes I have been guilty of dishing out my fair share of hurtful words, and I have since been and asked forgiveness for them, but it’s a different thing to forgive and forget.
X- is for ……..
Y- is for Yes!
I try to say “Yes” to my children more than I say “No” about the little things, who cares.. will it matter in a week or a year or next month? who cares, say “yes” go play in the rain and splash in puddles, the floors will mop up the splashes.
Z- is for the Zoo..
One time when I was about 5 or 6 years old my Dad took me to the Royal Melbourne Zoo and there is a section where you can walk through the Aussie animals, so kangaroos and emus and wallabies and wombats, and we were walking along and the story goes that we were being stalked by an emu.. have you seen an emu? let me see if I can find you one..
Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emu
The emu (/ˈiːmjuː/, US /ˈiːmuː/; Dromaius novaehollandiae) is the largest bird native to Australia and the only extant member of the genus Dromaius. It is the second-largest extant bird in the world by height, after its ratite relative, the ostrich. There are three subspecies of emus in Australia. The emu is common over most of mainland Australia, although it avoids heavily populated areas, dense forest and arid areas.
The soft-feathered, brown, flightless birds reach up to 1.9 metres (6.2 ft) in height. They have long thin necks and legs. Emus can travel great distances at a fast, economical trot and, if necessary, can sprint at 50 km/h (31 mph). Their long legs allow them to take strides of up to 275 centimetres (9.02 ft) They are opportunistically nomadic and may travel long distances to find food; they feed on a variety of plants and insects, but have been known to go for weeks without food. Emus ingest stones, glass shards and bits of metal to grind food in the digestive system. They drink infrequently, but take in copious fluids when the opportunity arises. Emus will sit in water and are also able to swim. They are curious birds who are known to follow and watch other animals and humans. Emus do not sleep continuously at night but in several short stints sitting down.
Anyways they are huge and this one was stalking us, and so dad tried to shoo it away by waving his arms at it.. but nope it thought that Dad was a Male emu and so it came closer.. and then reached over and pecked me right on the head! Again Dad tried to shoo it away, while I screamed the Zoo down and it came back fr a second peck, well fool Dad once but you won’t fool him twice, he rolled up the Zoo program and thwapped that emu right over the head.. except that the Zoo keepers were watching and Dad got a lecture about touching the animals.. he loved to tell that story!!
And that my readers is the end of “o is for “others” other members or memories of the collective “family”