Tag Archive | Memories

Remembering My Soul Sister…

Today my heart was shattered.

Today heaven gained a new angel with beautiful shining wings but us left behind are crying for her loss.

In 2012- I signed up for an art class called “Painting the Goddess within” and how lucky was l to meet my own Goddess! We met by commenting on art things and realised we thought similarly and then we were partnered in an art swap! We each had to do a piece of art and send it to each other and so l had to add her as a Facebook friend so that we could exchange addresses.

We became Facebook friends on 5th Feb 2013

Carrol was a very loving, caring and sharing lady. So when she told me that she was going on a cruise and it was leaving from Australia l jumped at the chance to have her in the same country and spoke to the Bloke about having a few days off work so we could fly to where ever they were going to be in hopes of meeting my Soul Sister in real life! Unbeknownst to me her beautiful husband Willie took an extra step and planned for them to come to Victoria my own state so we could meet in person! Carrol and l chatted often counting down the days, she was overjoyed when we welcomed Grandchild number four into the world and her favourite sign off was “I can’t wait to hug that baby girl!”

So finally the day came and we went to the airport bright an early to be sure we didn’t miss them! I worried “What if l don’t recognise her!” My Bloke said “You’ll know her!” And sure enough l knew her! We wrapped each other in a big hug and then wrapped Willie in one too. I apologised “Sorry Willie but lm a hugger!” We spent the morning at our home and then took Carrol and Willie around the corner to meet our daughter Jasmin, son in law Brett and grandchildren Chase and baby Aria. Carrol got her wish to hug “that baby girl”

Carrol and”That baby girl” Aria!

Carrol got on the floor and laid down beside Aria on the rug and just touched her hand and spent time chatting to her. We eventually dragged her away and went for lunch. Soon it was time for Carrol and Willie to check into their accommodation and so we delivered them safely into the City. I had to work on the Monday doing exams but we held a “Welcome to Melbourne” party on the Tuesday as it was a public holiday for Melbourne Cup, the horse race that stops a Nation. I invited all the family and my real life Bestie because she’s my first Soul Sister and she needed to meet our new “Sister”

My Besties!! Deanne and Carrol, all my best parties are in the kitchen and these two proved that point!

We had a great day getting to know Carrol and Willie and for them to get to know all the people we love, people we had so often spoken about. I made Carrol and Willie adoptive Grandparents to our baby girl Aria!

Aria has American Adopted Grandparents!!

Although we spoke some more during their stay in Australia that was the last visit l had as l had unfortunately had to work the rest of that week.

Carrol and l spoke regularly on Facebook messenger and l called a few times. Sadly not often enough.

In 2019 when Carrol’s health started deteriorating and she was feeling miserable we cried together. It was then l made the plan! I’m going to America to see Carrol, maybe an impending visit would cheer her up and l’ll time it so that l can be there for her birthday. So l asked my Bestie Deanne if she would like to come. And then l included a visit with two other soul sisters one also in North Carolina and one in Indiana! All these women had strong friendships with me all had the love of art in common as well as many other things, so l thought maybe l can get them all together. I introduced them all to each other in a group chat along with my Texan Soul Sister who was then living in the UK. These strong women all got on wonderfully and so we started arranging how we could all meet. In the end it was decided we, Deanne and I, would fly to NC and visit with Carrol, then drive over and collect Dea and then us four would drive to the Smoky Mountains and JoEllen would drive to there from Indiana they worked out it was about half way. We’d spend a four day “Soul Sisters retreat” and then Dea and Carrol would drive home and we’d continue on with JoEllen and fly out of Indiana.

So Deanne and l booked our flights, got our visas and made plans, all paid up, JoEllen’s husband booked our cabin in the Smoky Mountains and l had even prepared a song play list on Spotify, we were all set to go and then…


Lockdowns started our flights were cancelled, we were not allowed to leave our suburb a 5 kms radius, much less our State, or Country. And just like a puff of smoke there went that dream!

And now the whole reason for going to America is gone. The world is a greyer place today without my Soul Sister Carrol.

Willie, Carrol, me and Rob. Tuesday 1st November 2016
Carrol gained her angel wings today!

Carrol l’ll never ever forget you. But at last you are pain free! Sleep well my Soul Sister till we meet again!

M is for….. ooops.. it’s a long one!!


For more info on this fun challenge.. click the above photo or check this out: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/


Today is brought to you by the letter “M” and since my blog is all about my family it seems like the obvious choice for “M” would be “Mother” but I refuse to do that! and then I thought I’d do “Me” but let’s face it, it’s my blog and everything written on her is from my perspective or about me in a way.. so then I went to Facebook and put the question out there…

“What can I blog about for the letter “M”?”

and I got some good insights and great suggestions and one of them was… “Memories

So who’s “Memories“? I could use mine but again most of this blog is about “MY” memories, like when you met my Dad and My babies, and all but one (so far) of my children, my wedding and my in-laws, so how would that be different? So I’ve decided that today is a Guess post kinda day.. So I went back to Facebook and asked if anyone wanted to write a “memory” of them and I to inbox me or email me and I would add their “memory” and a photo if I had one. I’ve got a few to share with you…


From my cousin who’s known me longest!

Lee and I at a Red hatter's event, we are under 50 so technically we are "pinkies"

Lee and I at a Red hatter’s event, we are under 50 so technically we are “pinkies”

I like the memory of me grilling Rob on his age when he first met you. I was in my Kcuzz protective mode and Rob was standing in your lounge at Marjorie St and I said “How old are. You? Aren’t you a bit old for her? LOL…. glad I didn’t scare him off xo
Another one of you offering a dirty old rag to cover the gash on my hand from karate chopping a broken window in that burnt out house LOL
My thoughts: Ha ha!! remember I told you all about my wedding and in there I added the start of how “The Bloke” (you’ll meet him soon, Letter “R”) and I met, and Lee was the chaperon.. seems it stood out for her also!!
As for the burnt out house.. we lived in Richmond growing up, and a house in the next street had caught fire and was a burnt out shell, we used to play in there and explore looking for anything that we might “souvenir” this one [articular day, Lee (I guess we were maybe 10 and 12) decided that she was into “Karate” like her brother Reg and would show me this karate chip she had learnt “it goes like this” says Lee and Bam, she karate chopped a window and sliced open the sie of her hand. We knew we were in trouble because A- we were not supposed to be in there and B- Lee was bleeding pretty bad, so I looked around for something to wipe away the blood or to stop i and I picked up a dirty old rag and wrapped her hand in it and took her home to my Parents, My Dad took one look at it and drove her to the DR, minus the dirty rag, she ended up with stitches and we ended up with a stiff lecture! Got her plenty of attention at school though..
Another school memory I have of Lee was one day we were in class, it was “wet day timetable” which meant we got to stay inside and do “quiet stuff” like drawing or art or reading, but Lee wanted to show me this scene in the TV show the night before “The Incredible Hulk” she of course was the “incredible Hulk” and (I am laughing even as I remember this!!) so she’s up on the table, because obviously the “Incredible hulk” is HUGE and Lee was not!! and she was doing her best impersonation and her hands were shaped like claws in an attempt to make them look bigger I guess and she was just about to rip her hands down the teachers poster board and doing that guttural sound that the “Incredible Hulk” used to make and I could see the teacher walking into the room behind her and I couldn’t get her attention she was so into “incredible hulk” mode, just as she was about to rip her hands down his poster display he yells “LEE MCGRATH!! WHAT THE BLOODY HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING” she was so into her role she spun around at him and “growled” her best growl at him,with her little clawed hands up at him and I was sitting there shrinking into my seat, everyone in the school was scared of him, I wanted to be anywhere but there.. and then her clawed hands came down by her side and her normal voice returned and she replied “oh just playing sir!” but even he couldn’t help but turn away and laugh!
From my bestie Deanne- 
Taken- Easter 2015 at St.Leonards “the Last Supper” while camping.

Ok what stands our for me in my memories of us is both our weddings


Deanne and Steve’s wedding January 30th 1993


Besties for always!! With Deanne.

Besties for always!! With Deanne.

And you being there for the birth of two of my children in all those times you were there holding my hand and giving me the love and support and strength that I needed to make it through the most life changing events of my life. I’m very grateful that God made sure we met.

My thoughts: Ahh yes Deanne and Steve’s wedding.. it was the first time I’d been in a wedding that was NOT my sisters. I was so nervous that day, more nervous than at my own wedding. We had to meet at the hair dresser with freshly washed hair, I have fine hair so it always looks crappy.. so I walked in and there was Sandra getting her hair done, she had masses of hair, and of course Deanne’s always had masses of hair, and the poor hair dresser looked at me and asked “What am I doing to her??” Deanne said “the same!” as everyone looked at Sandra and Deanne they were doubtful.. but in the end look at the head of hair I had!! Amazing.. I was scared to move too much in case it all came tumbling out of the very hair-sprayed tangle of curls. And these photos look so easy but Sandra and I had to take turns sitting on garbage bags so that out dresses would not get dirty and we had to dig the heels of our shoes into the side of the hill to stop from sliding down the hill!! What an amazing day it was!

And I was so proud to go with Deanne and Steve to the birth of their first two sons, with number one- Zachary I was pregnant with my son Jarrah and I remember holding him as a brand newbie and feeling Jarrah kicking from within. Deanne and I had huge hopes that our boys would be as close as we were, we were so lucky that our children grew up together as we were able to be as close as always.

From my Sister-in-law Leanne..


Leanne and I, March 2014 At Amber’s 21st birthday.

My memories….. I remember the first day we met you. You guys had waited all day for us at Carol’s but through mis-communication we weren’t coming till later. When we arrive you had already left but you came back. You had 2 gorgeous girls. It was such a tough time for Bill but you all made him feel so welcome. We discovered some similarities and coincidences. I still find it so amazing especially with Ben. Danielle was born the exact day as Murray’s daughter. Ben is also Murray’s sons name. Ben’s middle name is John and if he had been a girl he was going to be called Kim. All before we even knew of you guys. I remembered the day you guys came with us to Cowaar weir. I remember you going on the rope and swinging out into the water and the kids going in the canoe I remember cricket games in our back yard as we all tried to get to know each other. I remember the fun we had at Danielle’s engagement party. I remember how sick you got doing shots at my 50th with Bill. I remember Bills surprise Christmas present for you. A horse back ride for you and him. I remember that even though you weren’t confident you still did it and made a memory for you and your brother.


My Handsome brother Bill and I. At Amber’s 21st!

My Thoughts: Oh Leanne made me cry!!

Little bit of back history.. when my Mother had my brother Bill she didn’t think she could cope with 5 children on her own, she was separated from my father at that stage and the elder siblings have a different father (our family tree is VERY tangled) So she gave my only full-blooded brother up for adoption she gave him to my Paternal Aunt’s, husband’s cousin (told ya it was tangled… stay with me.. there’s a happy ending!)  Anyways, there was this photo in the family album, dated 1965 and it was a baby sitting in a white wicker basket, so many times I’d asked “Who is this baby?” and always been told it’s you… but I wasn’t born till 1967 so couldn’t have been me.. then I happened to ask one of my sister and her reaction gave the story away, it wasn’t me and all she would say was “ask Mum” well my family have a policy of not telling things they don’t want to face so I went along the premise that something bad had happened, maybe that baby had died, I didn’t know and I didn’t ask. I was currently pregnant with my first daughter and so I let it go until one day my Mother confronted me about asking my sister questions and did I want to know the truth? part of me was scared of the answer but I agreed I wanted to know and so she made me swear I would never talk to my Dad about it.. I will always regret that decision, she went on to tell me that I had a full-blooded brother his name was “Wayne” (that’s what she called him at birth) but then she mixed up the details for the rest of his life apart from the one truth “he’s got a good life better than I could give him so leave him alone” Even if I wanted to find him, with that information back them before I knew what “internet” was I couldn’t have found him. I had no access to my Dad’s sister since they had a falling out many years before.. so I went on knowing that somewhere in the world was a boy who shared my DNA, one all of my own, instead of always being “half sisters or brothers”  In April 1994 my Dad died, and it began a horrible year, in October that year I turned 25.. quarter of a century, and I refused to celebrate it because it took two of them to make me one was gone, that would be my last birthday celebration.. but I agreed to go to my sister’s for dinner only! My mother was living with her. After dinner as we ate cake, the phone rang and my sister answered it and said “Oh MY GOD, I’ll put Mum on”

Mum was on the phone for ages, I had no idea my whole life was about to change and I still believe that my father sent him to me on that day to stop me from pining for my Dad! Apparently “Wayne” had found out about being adopted and had gone to my Aunt who he also called “Aunty Shirley” and she had told him everything and  (Thankfully I have thanked her many times since!) gave him Mum’s contact details… he was calling to ask if he could meet her. My Mother on her end, obviously in shock went on to tell him “You have brothers and sisters,” and named the all except ME!! his only REAL sister. When she got off the phone I asked her “Why didn’t you tell him about me?” and her reply as it had been in the past was “oh I forgot about you” Gee thanks and here it is my 25th birthday! That was the beginning of the end for my Mother and I.

She had made elaborate plans for him and his family to come next Friday which was getting close to her birthday to meet us all, So my husband arranged to have the day off work, arrangements were made (wrongly) to meet at a certain time, we brought food and photos and waited, and waited and waited, she had no contact details for him and after 5 hours we guessed he wasn’t coming so we left and went to visit some friends. As we were leaving hr friends house, we had to go home almost past my sisters so I thought I’d just check if there was any news.. and she said “he’s here, he’s waiting for you Hurry up!” as though it was MY fault that I was late. We got there and I was nervous, this was my Blood, the only one who had MY blood, what if he didn’t like me? would he be like me? or Mum or Dad?” so many questions. I walked in the door and he stood up, and he was the image of my father.. I knew it! Dad had sent him to console me! My father had beautiful black hair and “Bill” had almost gingery, he got that from Mum’s side. My Mother looked up and aid “oh this is your sister Kim, she’s the bitch of the family” Bam!! there it was first impressions made! I hated her right there.

Then My Mother and two sisters went on to tell him and his family every bad things I had ever done in my life.. as if I had done so many bad things, not a single nice thing. I wanted to die right there, I wanted to be anywhere but there. This sure wasn’t what I had imagined our first meeting to be. I still cringe when I think of that day!


 Bill and I at Leanne’s 50th Birthday


Doing those dreaded shots with my Evil daughter Jasmin and my Brother Bill.

And then doing shots with my brother Bill at Leanne’s 50th birthday, Leanne and Bill had just come home from an extended American trip and he was telling us about this new drink he’d discovered “yagermeister” and would I do a shot with him, I’m still looking for approval and acceptance so I said “yeah why not?” STUPID!! I am not a big drinker I am even LESS of one now… that night was a blank for me I’ve got photos but that’s about all.. I spent the next day comatose in bed or vomiting up my stomach lining, and vowing NEVER TO DRINK AGAIN!!

For the Christmas present that was classic and I still laugh but I wasn’t laughing then! My Brother gave me a box of Chocolate Mint thins and a note saying “This entitles you to a day of fun and adventure with Bill” sounded intriguing, so we planned to go to stay with Bill and Leanne and spend the day with my Brother,,, OH MY GOSH!! he took me horse riding, now horses and I do not mix, but I wasn’t about to let my brother down and besides that I had the worst toothache, it ended up turning into an abscess and I was taking pain killers like M & M’s. I got on the horse did 3/4’s of the ride OKish and then as we headed back the horse started to bolt.. Bill’s yelling at me to pull the reins and the more everyone yelled the less in control I was and then he started to laugh and laugh and he almost fell off his horse laughing at me! Finally a lady came out of the stables and grabbed the horse’s bridle as I was leaning over the edge about to do a creative dismount!! as my “loving brother” called it.. he laughed all the way home and re told the story all day! Disaster.. I think basically I suck at being his sister!!

Thoughts from my daughter Amber-


Amber and I at my nephews wedding January 3rd 2015

Some may say my mother and I are like to peas in a pod we have always had a strong connection like any mother and daughter we have our ups and downs there’s laughter and tears screaming and yelling happiness and sadness but we have always but just a step away from each other there are many memories mum and I share and it’s hard to pick my favourites there are days when we go to the local shops and just buy junkfood which normally is pineapple donuts and a chocolate bar for a snack and then a kebab or a chicken focaccia for lunch then we go home watch Dr Phil or a movie and pig out!
Another favourite memory I share with my mum was when I gave birth to my daughter Scarlett having mum in the delivery room with me and seeing the smile on her face once Scarlett arrived iv never seen such happiness before.
I could go on forever but everyday memories are made and I have everyday to look forward to sharing more with my Mum.


Amber and I at her Baby Shower October 2014, I was so sick with a kidney infection


“Selfies” Amber with Star Son and I.

My thoughts: Amber and I have a Love/Hate relationship, we love to hate each other some days! Amber’s moved out of home three times and three times she’s come back, she knows that this is her soft place to fall I am always her Mother I will never lead her wrong and both girls know that they can tell me anything with out judgement only advice given when asked for it, support 24/7, that’s always been a given.

And I left the best till last- Thoughts from my husband-

Bruce the bag piper went to school with my f-I-Law.

Bruce the bag piper went to school with my f-I-Law.

So many family memories from our Sunday “family day” outings to places like the Lerderderg Gorge, Kyneton botanic gardens, fish and chips on the beach at Williamstown but one of my favourites is when we did our first campIng trip. We have a tradition of going to a different town to celebrate ANZAC day.

I suggested one year that we go camping… Shock horror…. Kim had not much luck with camping in the past and reluctantly agreed to give it a try. This particular year, there was a locust plague so we put mesh over the radiator, bought a new second-hand tent and headed off to Swan Hill for a long weekend. We drove for 4 1-2 hours in torrential rain, pulled up at the little Murray River where the rain promptly stopped. it was a sign as it was really heavy rain for the whole trip. Needless to say that there was no more rain until we were 5 minutes away from completing our pack up after 3 days. Since then, we had toured half of Australia with our tents and camping gear and I now have a very keen camper. To spend 8 weeks on our half lap of Australia driving over 10,000 km’s and setting and packing up a couple of tents every 2 or 3 days with every day fantastic is a memory that will stay forever.


Our first ever camping trip,Swan Hill 2008

My thoughts;Ahh my Bloke, had been raving about camping trips and had all these cool photos to show me, when we had five children living at home I was not keen at all, knowing Jarrah had ADHD and ODD, camping in the wilds out of his routine would have been hellish! So it wasn’t until 2008 that I gave in and said “OK let’s do it.” we used to go camping when I was a little girl I had happy memories of that but in my early 20’s we (my new husband and some friends) went camping to Lakes entrance, all was going well so we went out on a day trip and left the windows of the tent up to let some air in, it rained the tent was flooded and we spent a cold wet, sleepless night, I swore never again, Motel only for me.. until 2008.. I feared another episode of wet camping with the torrential rain but miraculously it stopped.. and we had the best time, we aim to go camping 4 times a year at least. My most favourite camping trip was 2012, we did the half lap of Australia 3 months it was amazing and later this year we are doing the second half!!


September 2012, Family wedding


April 2012 A different family wedding.


About to become Grand parents- Mother’s Day 2013

Ahhh too happy memories.. and for those of you who don’t like long posts I sincerely apologize in advance!!

Email newsletters

I am kind of a sucker for those email newsletters, a while back I signed up with sarahmae.com initially because I was going to join the “Sisterhood reading club” and read all the Christian books Sarah had listed, but I didn’t end up doing that because I couldn’t find a few of the books on her list. So I keep getting the emails and finding interesting things to read, but tonights interesting thing moved me to tears.

Sarah was telling us about reading a friends blog post, you can find it here: http://www.sarahjessicafarber.com/?p=78 as I read along I started to cry, (I don’t love the month of April, it makes me cry a LOT, because on the 8th of April my Dad died in 1992. Plus on April 25th is ANZAC day which is when we remember the ones that were lost in the wars, everytime I hear the bugler play “The Last Post” I cry! Because they played it at Dad’s funeral and I miss him so much, Nope I do NOT like April!) I was about the same age when my Dad died, and like Sarah I have few photos and no recording of his voice, my eldest Daughter was 22 months and she adored “Poppa” and he adored her and called her his “Boo” and Amber was only 3 weeks old. They have missed out growing up with him, hearing his laugh and knowing his love and hearing his stories.

This is partly why when my girls discovered they were pregnant I started a journal for the “Jellys” Scarlett is Jelly Baby and Chase is Jelly Bean and I have started one for the Eldest Grand baby that we don’t get to see, who knows one day she might come looking for me and I’ll be able to give her the journal, and she will be able to read that although I wasn’t there with her, I never stopped thinking of her and loving her. Any chance I get to jump into photos with my Grandbabies, I do it.  I hate looking at my photos but I want them to have happy memories when I am no longer here to hold them, so we take candid photos as well as the fancy photos and today we took this photo!


Why? Just because I had looked down and we all had our sneakers on and were getting ready to go for a walk, they trusted me, they waited patiently for me to be ready to go.. So we took a photo of our feet, then Miz Scarlett lost one of her cute little pink Nike sneakers somewhere along the way, we back tracked and could not find it anywhere, so now we have one lonely little hot pink Nike.. Which her Mum brought for $1:00 and free postage on Ebay.. Another little story for her journal!! 

So even though you feel like you might be carrying too much weight, or your hair is not right, or your clothes are not right, jump in the photo and make some happy memories to pass onto your children and even more importantly your Grandchildren. I am going to! 

D is for…..


A-Z Blogging Challenge… More info here: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/what-is-blogging-from-to-z.html


Today’s letter is brought to you by the letter “D” because my blog is family oriented and I am trying to keep my theme loosely to that theme, it seems logical to do a post about my “Dad” he was loved and hated and respected and hated, he was opinionated and out spoken and he was loving and kind, take him or leave him he was my Dad, he was my hero, he was bigger than Superman to me… My Dad!

John Oliver Scarffe, born July 31 1922.


The above photo is a rare and precious photo of my Dad, he joined the Army when he was young.. I always remember the story he told me about how he was under age, and his older brother and my Grand Father were signing up and so  he signed up also, his Father had to sign the paperwork to let him join, apparently my Grand Mother was NOT impressed.. She sent three of her boys off to fight a war not knowing if they would ever come back. I just googled my Fathers and found out this interesting information.

Service Record
Service Australian Army
Service Number VX15389
Date of Birth 31 Jul 1922
Place of Birth WINDSOR, VIC
Date of Enlistment 17 May 1940
Locality on Enlistment NORTHCOTE, VIC
Place of Enlistment CAULFIELD, VIC
Date of Discharge 17 Jul 1942
Rank Driver
Posting at Discharge 21 INF BDE H Q
WW2 Honours and Gallantry None for display
Prisoner of War No

Anything about my Dad makes me emotional but I can’t even tell you how my heart skipped a beat as I typed in his name and date of birth and this above record came up, I kind of feel like I am prying and yet, this is MY father.

So I have been badly side tracked, googling other people and actually found a useful website to work on my family tree, but that’s for a whole other blog, lets talk about my Dad.

My Dad was a bricklayer, he had his own business with my half brothers, his sons from his previous marriage. My Dad was a book lover, he was injured in the war and although we never spoke about it, I know he had terrible scars up his legs, I believe he was run over by a moter bike, it looked like tyre tread scars on his legs, he used to always tease me and say he was attacked by a leopard and he started to turn into a leopard and that’s how his leg got like that. Also that same leg was a good inch shorter than the other and in his later years he wore special boots with one soul thicker than the other.

Dad liked to drink and smoke and in his later years he got type two diabetes and had to make some serious life choices. Sadly the damage was done and Dad died of all those things on April the 6th 1992. My daughter Amber was 6 weeks old, he got to hold her only once, and even then he was weak and not able to hold her long. The day my Dad died was the hardest day I am yet to live through. We had been going into visit him, and had the two girls with us, and my husband and I had been playing silly games and messing around with the girls, by the time we got to Dad’s private room, the door was closed, I thought he might be sleeping so I crept in to see him, and my Mother was with his and said he’d just died. I never really forgave myself for messing around in the car park and in the lift, what if… What if that set of traffic lights had been green, what if we got the lift instead of waiting for the next one, what if…. Maybe I would have seen him alive one more time.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the funeral got worse, they had an open coffin and I was made to attend, and I was made to stand at his head and listen to my Mothers mindless (grief filled) babble, about how “beautiful he looked and how peaceful he looked, like he was sleeping” I did not handle it well, none of it. I am so glad that I had a 6 week old baby and a 22 month old toddler to keep me distracted because I really don’t know how I made it through that first year.

My Dad taught me to love books, and I’ve written about that in previous posts like this one: https://kimlhine.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/blogging-101-dream-reader/

My Dad taught me to love writing, and hand writing was important to him, and I have a few letter that he has written over the years and whenever I read those letters, I can STILL hear my Father voice. I am unashamedly a “Daddy’s girl” I would much rather be out doing something with my Dad than in the house with my Mother. My Dad brought me a pair of Hard Yakka overalls and a pair of little work boots, I had my own mini trowel and I remember when I was maybe 10 or 11 years old, on Saturday mornings my Dad would take me to work it was a half day Saturday’s and I remember him teaching me how to lay bricks and he let me help hom build a letter box. I remember so clearly the smell of the cement and lime and him letting me switch in the cement mixer, and him teaching me to use a plumb line to make sure it was even, and to use the spirit level. I remember being filthy and having a great time.

When my parents moved to the country at retirement, I stayed in Melbourne with my Sister I’d just started secondary school and on the weekend we would go to “The Farm” which was fondly known as “Diggers Rest” because the whole family knew him as “Digger” I think it was something a nickname he picked up in the war years. Mum and Dad built all the mud bricks for their house with help from the family and I remember being so proud of making my own mud bricks, he would even let me have my own drying space so that he knew which bricks “Dolly” made. Then when they had dried and matured and were ready to be laid, he would let me use “my” bricks to lay my part of the wall or whatever he was up to.  When the cement slab was laid while it was wet we got to put pur hand prints in it, and in one corner under the kitchen stove, we put a fifty cent coin into the wet cement. It didn’t matter what job Dad did I was always allowed to help him, and unlike ME, he never got fed up or snappish or to,d me to go away and play with a doll. It was always the two of us, whatever job I was allowed and always invited to help him do it.

My Dad only got to spend time with my first Daughter, and on the day she was about to be born, I was terrified and I rang my Mother at 10 am to tell her I was off to hospital and I was scared and I would probably die so “goodbye” ( I was such a cry baby back then!) and she put my Dad on the phone, and he said to me “You know Dolly girl, women have been having babies for thousands of years, you know when I was in the war the women i the rice paddies would have their babies, wrap them in a sling put them on their back and go back to work in the rice fields” I snorted at him, and said “what would you know, you’re just a bloke” he laughed and said “I’ll see you when its over” so when he came into my hospital room at 5:50pm, she was almost 15 minutes old and he said “See I told you, you wouldn’t die!” He held her first and he cried, she was really sick and they were taking her up to Special care unit, and my Dad went with her and made sure she was safe and he knew where she was so he could come back and tell me.

Dad and his “Boo” as he called her had the same relationship as he and I so we became a threesome.Dad fed her, her first piece of steak, she was six months old, we went out for lunch and he called over the chef and asked “can you cook me a steak medium rare, and can you cut out a piece about oh an inch thick, right out of the middle, for my baby” the chef looked over and shook his head, when Dad’s meal came out, he collected his order and brought it over to the table, the chef, the serving staff and even the owner watched on, to see what he would do, he took the cloth nappy out of the bag, wrapped my six month old baby in it and handed her a piece of steak and said “Here Boo, get that into ya!” Everyone started laughing, she of course loved it and gummed that piece of steak to death, the chef kept watching and in the end came over to out table to check on “Boo’s” progress. After that it became a weekly thing and if Boo and I walked in with Dad, the servers would all ask “The usual?” And Dad would always have his steak medium rare with an inch thick piece cut out of the middle. She hates steak to this day!! Ha ha!

So many wonderful memories of my Dad.

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