It seems like half a world ago that my family had our “Christmas in July” and I haven’t had a chance to share until now. That was a little over a week ago and now I’m on the other side of the world!
We all gathered together at the Worendo Homestead, overlooking the World Heritage Rainforest mountains of Lamington National Park. We’d rented the place for a couple of nights; my three “kids”, their spouses/partners, my three wonderful grandchildren, and of course, me.
For me, the past few weeks had been ultra busy, preparing myself for a trip to Europe. Three months is a long time to be away and much needed to be done to ensure all my “affairs” at home were in order when the time came for me to load my car to leave for the weekend and immediately after for my trip overseas. My nerves were as tight as a drum and I was weary.
As I drove further west into the rural area I felt the stress of the past few weeks slipping away. It was mid afternoon before I left home and the sun was low in the sky. The dappled shadows of the trees stretched across the road ahead of me. The fields were scorched due to our dry winter and the afternoon sun turned the dry grass a beautiful shade of gold. Oasis’s of evergreen trees dotted the landscape. Several times I pulled over to the side of the road to marvel at the beauty and to try out my new camera.
Worendo Homestead was a perfect choice for us. Plenty of space but very homely and cosy. We’re very fortunate to have a true-blue Aussie in our family who not only chose the location and was also able to name the various types of birds we spotted. Elisha was raised on a Queensland farm and loves nature.
The children were able to feed the newborn lambs each day which were black; something they’d not seen before. According to our host, all sheep were once black, but were bred to produce white wool for commercial reasons. Occasionally a black lamb will be born to a white ewe as a “throw back” and are considered commercially useless. The owners of the property at which we were staying have rescued some, bringing them to the farm.
When does a country farm not have chickens? There were baby chickens to hold and eggs to collect from the nests of the hens and a bossy rooster strutting his stuff around the hen-house.
Various family members contributed to the preparation of the meals in the well-stocked farm kitchen as they laughed and joked and simply shared some good old comraderie. With plenty of hills and valleys to explore, everyone had great appetites by meal-times.
We had our newest addition to the family, only 10 weeks old, to cuddle, burp, and laugh with. How much he will have grown by the time I see him again!
Although the weather was mild for winter, we still lit the wood fire in the cosy living room. How else were we to toast the marshmallows? In the evening we played monopoly in front of the fire. The 8 year old was our “bank” and seeing the happiness on her face as she watched, listened and interacted with her aunties and uncles as they teased, challenged and laughed with one another I realised just how precious family times like these are and sadly how seldom we manage to have them.
These are the times that are remembered forever in a child’s mind. Times of warmth, love and laughter. They enable a child to form healthy family values. Times like these are great for the adults too. Although we’re all different and unique, we can come together as a family and respect, love and appreciate one another.