silvercloudlinings

Looking for the things in life that make us happy

Chilly morning, hot coffee, grandkids and footy

I thought it was time for a more uplifting story……….

“There was a knock at the door and a voice called out “7 o’clock, time to get up – we’re leaving in half an hour”.  It was quite chilly and we quickly dressed in the warmest clothes we had brought with us and there was no time to waste except to wash our faces, clean our teeth and brush our hair. We quickly made some raisin toast and a nice hot coffee to take with us.  Harrison and Kara were dressed and Cooper had on his Rugby League uniform, complete with shoulder pads under his Jersey and red and yellow boots (I was quite impressed with these boots and I’m convinced they make him run faster).

We all piled into the “bus” and headed off to Maroochydore for the game which was to start at 9 am.  The sky was blue and the sun was shining even though there was a chilly wind.  The Noosa Pirates Gold U9 team were playing Maroochydore Green U9 team.  Cooper was excited as he loves his footy and we were looking forward to watching him play again.

The day before (Friday) was a miserable day; raining, very cold and the type of day when people (like us) don’t poke their noses out of the door.  The children attended school as it was end of term and most people went to work because they had to but today was a bright, shiny day and a great day for sport.

As a former Victorian, we had been brought up on a heavy diet of Australian Rules football which we still follow although for myself, not with the same vigour as I once did.  In those long ago days I was a staunch supporter of Carlton as my family is still but when the Brisbane Bears team emerged I changed my allegiance to them and was rewarded in those heady days when as the newly named Brisbane Lions won 3 Grand Finals back to back.  My husband still follows his beloved Essendon Bombers and is as one-eyed as one of our sons.  On the day of this season’s first State of Origin game, it was also my birthday and I was given a maroon wig which I had to wear all that day which I did without batting an eye.

So with that background in mind, it is small wonder that this game of Rugby League still mystifies me.  However, I love to watch my grandchildren play in whatever game they are playing at any given time although I confess to an enduring love of cricket.  Having said that, I was able to watch my 9 year old grandson, Cooper, play a fantastic game this morning and I’m beginning to understand what the game is all about.

With my son-in-law Brett sitting beside me I was able to ask him why this happened and why that happened and with each game I watch my understanding improves.  Cooper, No 7, plays in the half-back position and this position requires him to pass the ball behind him to another player who runs forward; the aim being to put the ball over the line at their end of the field thereby gaining 4 points for their team which then enables a team mate to convert the try to a goal thus gaining another 2 points.  I know that they have 6 tackles before the ball has to pass to the other side.

Cooper is a fast runner and although he often gets a try, this didn’t happen today.  He was involved in many tackles and converted a try.  The game was won by the Pirates: Sam scored the first try, Kynan scored 1 and Hamish scored 1.  With 10 seconds to go Cooper took the ball from his own line and passed the ball to Sam who ran the length of the field thereby scoring the winning try. The Pirates won the game 22 – 20 and Cooper was awarded Man of the Match.  The parents of whoever wins this award also receive a reward – the washing of the team’s jerseys.  I think this is fair and just except today the jerseys were very very muddy!”

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

My Birthday Celebrations

Turning 70 was very exciting for me.  I certainly didn’t think I would see 60 let alone 70.  I was happy for it to be a day of reflection for me; spend some time with my family and share a bottle of bubbly.  My three children and their spouses thought a family lunch at my favourite restaurant on Bribie Island on the Saturday following my actual birthday would be an appropriate way to celebrate this significant event and I was looking forward to that.

On the Day, I went to morning tea with my Bribie Support Group.  Denis, the owner of the Café kindly allowed me to take a cake to share with my friends.  On arrival, Denis presented me with a beautifully wrapped gift but with the proviso that I would wear it all day.  Of course I agreed, wondering what on earth the parcel contained.  It happened to be the day of the first State of Origin game for this year and guess what?  The parcel contained a maroon wig which I promptly put on and actually did wear all day!  Even though I classify myself as a Queenslander and have lived here for 37 years, I am originally from Victoria and Rugby League is not a game I know much about.  However, I wore the wig in the spirit in which it was intended and shared much laughter with all who were there.

Friends visited in the afternoon, and the day just got better; my husband cooked a lovely dinner and my friend Val made a yummy chocolate and cherry cake and of course the obligatory bottle of bubbly had its’ cork popped.  Great day but there was much more to come.

During the previous couple of weeks I had many mixed messages from Doug and others.  Phone calls behind closed doors, an inadvertent word dropped here and there.  I thought my friend of 45 years in Melbourne would most likely visit as I had visited her for her 60th and 70th birthdays.  Rosemary had let something slip in an email but didn’t give me any details of her intentions.  She sent me an email on Friday which threw me off the trail (I forgot she had a new laptop!).  She and her husband were already in Brisbane.  My daughter-in-law rang and said she and our son were coming to Bribie and would organise dinner and would spend the night and go onto lunch the next day.  They subsequently arrived and I half expected that Rosemary and her husband would be with them but no, they weren’t.  Ten minutes later the doorbell rang and there they were.  Greetings by all, laughter and talking and about 15 minutes later the doorbell rang again!  I opened the door and nearly fell over – there stood my brother and his wife – who had driven from Western Victoria.  Wow, what a wonderful surprise this was.  We were all outside laughing and talking and the doorbell rang again!!  I thought Val-next-door would be there but when I opened the door there was no-one there.  I thought someone was playing tricks and went back to the others just as the side gate opened and there stood my oldest brother and his wife, who had flown in from Melbourne.  You can probably imagine my reaction.  More squeals from me, hugs, kisses etc.

We had a fantastic night – our friends stayed with us until yesterday (Tuesday) and the others had booked a motel.  Scott and Rhonda drove back to their place.  The next day began at about 10 am at our place and then we all drove to the restaurant (Blue Anchorage) where we met Scott, Rhonda and Jamie (Scott’s daughter) our 3 children and their spouses and our 7 grandchildren.  I love to spend time with all of my family and to see my 7 grandchildren all together is especially delightful.  We had a lovely meal and enjoyed the afternoon, while watching the children playing outside in the park in between rain showers.  Our children and their families all departed and the rest of us went back to our place.  It was our daughter’s birthday on that day.

As the weather was rainy and cool we spent the next few days at our place, talking, laughing and popping the occasional cork on a bottle of bubbly.  We shared so many memories, both funny and sad, found plenty of food in the freezer and tried not to spend too much time in the kitchen.  My eldest brother his wife were the first to leave on Monday, Queen’s Birthday long weekend and that night Doug excelled in his cooking prowess and cooked a wonderful lamb roast for the six of us.  We 3 women sat in the lounge and talked while the 3 men washed all the dishes. I have to say that we 3 women totally enjoyed watching the role reversal of our husbands.  Of course, the three men are Carers for us and have adapted extremely well to their work as house husbands.  Yesterday we drove our friends to Scott and Rhonda’s home where Scott also cooked us all a great meal and then Scott and I drove our friends of 45 years to the Airport where they boarded a plane to Melbourne.  We stayed at Scott’s home last night and drove back to Bribie this morning.  Today I have spent most of the day resting and catching up on emails etc.

What a wonderful week I have had.  Of course I can’t relate everything that happened but suffice it to say that our laughter lines have deepened somewhat.Image

Leave a comment »

Finding the bright side of life

There is a song entitled “Always look on the Bright Side of Life”.  What a great philosophy for life, particularly if applied to someone who is suffering a chronic and terminal illness.  Even so, the bright side is sometimes hard to find given the medical appointments, scans, chemotherapy, radiotherapy etc, etc.  At times it all seems never-ending, and of course, in some cases it is.  So looking for the “bright side” can, at times, become like looking for a needle in a haystack.  But the bright side is there and I have recently found it and I would like to share my experience with you.

I discovered Shirl’s Place, (via a cancer support group) which is situated south west of Brisbane nestled in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, a 2½ hour drive from Bribie Island (my home) where two very generous ladies have built a delightful cottage on their property where breast cancer sufferers can spend a few days of peace and quiet free of charge.  As a city girl, although I had lived in regional Victoria for many years, I had not experienced farm life.  I had not appreciated how peaceful and rejuvenating my experience would be.

I took my very good friend Val, with me.  No television, no phones and we didn’t need to turn on the radio.  Each day we took our books out onto the veranda after breakfast but didn’t open them at all. We chatted while taking in the beautiful view in front of us: the Little Liverpool Ranges which are part of the Great Divide sloped down to the flat land and then gradually rose up towards the cottage and homestead.

We would watch the cows as they gradually moved up towards the garden during the day to see what delicacies had been put out for them to munch on.  Mary had mown around the vegetable garden and there were self-seeded tomato and herb plants in amongst the grass clippings, creating an aromatic smorgasbord for them.  The small herd (they all had names) consisted of ten cows all of which were born on the farm including 3 calves one of which was five days “young” when we arrived and the others 5 weeks old.  One day Mary called the cows which were out of sight down the hill and behind the trees.  It was amazing to see them come to her calls and to see the calves running along behind trying to catch up to their mums; it was quite hilarious.  We didn’t know that cows would respond to a human’s call!

My friend and I had some Scrabble challenges in between the chatting, all the while soaking up the quiet and looking for birds and wildlife.  There were many varieties of birds but we only saw 2 wallabies as there was plenty of food for them to forage for in the heavily wooded area behind the main house, making it unnecessary for them to venture further for food.  The 3 Jack Russell dogs which live there were a delight and one or other would visit several times during the day: I guess just to check us out and get a pat or two.

In the evening we were invited to share a lovely home-cooked meal with Mary and Kathy.  Everything is organically grown on the farm and so is fresh and healthy.  The beautiful stone home had been built from large stones and wood gathered on the property and is quite unique.

Being able to spend a few days away from the realities of life and to savour the beautiful and peaceful surroundings enabled me forget about what was waiting back in day to day life for just a little while and was uplifting and food for the soul.

For a short while I had found the “Bright Side of Life”.

Leave a comment »

70 is the new 60

Turning 70 was very exciting for me.  I certainly didn’t think I would see 60 let alone 70.  I was happy for it to be a day of reflection for me; spend some time with my family and share a bottle of bubbly.  My family thought a family lunch at my favourite restaurant on the Saturday following my actual birthday would be an appropriate way to celebrate this significant event and I was looking forward to that.

On the Day, I went to my weekly morning tea with my Bribie Support Group.  The owner of the Café kindly allowed me to take a cake to share with my friends.  On arrival, Denis presented me with a beautifully wrapped gift but with the proviso that I would wear it all day.  Of course I agreed, wondering what on earth the parcel contained.  It happened to be the day of the first State of Origin game for this year and guess what?  The parcel contained a maroon wig which I promptly put on and actually did wear all day!  Even though I classify myself as a Queenslander and have lived here for 37 years, I am originally from Victoria and Rugby League is not a game I know much about.  However, I wore the wig in the spirit in which it was intended and shared much laughter with all who were there.

Friends visited in the afternoon, and the day just got better; Doug, my husband, cooked a lovely dinner and my friend Val made a yummy chocolate and cherry cake and of course the obligatory bottle of bubbly had its’ cork popped.  Great day but there was much more to come.

During the previous couple of weeks I had many mixed messages from Doug and others.  Phone calls behind closed doors, an inadvertent word dropped here and there.  I thought my friend of 45 years in Melbourne would most likely visit as I had visited her for her 60th and 70th birthdays.  My friend had let something slip in an email but didn’t give me any details of her intentions.  She sent me an email on Friday which threw me off the trail (I forgot she had a new laptop)!  She was already in Brisbane.  My daughter-in-law rang and said she and my son were coming to see us and would organise dinner and would spend the night and go onto lunch the next day.  They subsequently arrived and I half expected that my friend and her husband would be with them but no, they weren’t.  Ten minutes later the doorbell rang and there they were.  Greetings by all, hugs, laughter and talking and about 15 minutes later the doorbell rang again!  I opened the door and nearly fell over – there stood my brother and his wife – who had driven from Western Victoria.  Wow, what a wonderful surprise this was.  We were all outside laughing and talking and the doorbell rang again!!  I thought Val-next-door would be there but when I opened the door there was no-one there.  I thought someone was playing tricks and went back to the others just as the side gate opened and there stood my oldest brother and his wife who had flown from Melbourne.  You can probably imagine my reaction.

We had a fantastic night – our friends stayed with us until yesterday (Tuesday) and the others had booked a motel.  My son and his wife drove back to their place.  The next day began at about 10 am at our place and then we all drove to the restaurant where we met all our family.  I love to spend time with all of my family and to see my 7 grandchildren all together is especially delightful.  We had a lovely meal and enjoyed the afternoon while watching the children playing outside in the park in between showers.  Our children and their families all departed and the rest of us went back to our place. 

As the weather was rainy and cool we spent the next few days at our place, talking, laughing and popping the occasional cork on a bottle of bubbly.  We shared so many memories, both funny and sad, found plenty of food in the freezer and tried not to spend too much time in the kitchen.  My brother and his wife were the first to leave on Monday and that night Doug excelled in his cooking prowess and cooked a wonderful lamb roast for the six of us.  We 3 women – my friend from Melbourne, my sister-in-law and I, sat in the lounge and talked while the 3 men washed all the dishes.  I have to say that we 3 women totally enjoyed watching the role reversal of our husbands.  Of course, the three men are Carers for us and have adapted extremely well to their work as house husbands.  Yesterday we drove our friends to our son’s home where he also cooked us all a great meal and then we drove our friends to the Airport where they boarded a plane to Melbourne.  We stayed at our son’s home that night and drove back to Bribie the next morning.  Today I have spent most of the day resting and catching up on emails etc.

What a wonderful week I have had.  Of course I can’t relate everything that happened but suffice it to say that our laughter lines have deepened somewhat.

Leave a comment »