This is my Pa. The day I was born, almost 40years ago, was cause for much celebration. I was the first girl born in many years in the family. Pa drank lots of beer, with my Dad and with his friends from the Grand Poo Bah Lodge (aka Freemasons Lodge). My Grandma did too, bless her soul. She drank so much beer that she fell over a milk crate that was out on their back porch at the time.See, I caused trouble when I was born. Haha.
When I was little, I used to stay at my Nan and Pas place on many a weekend. They also used to take me away with them on road trips that seemed to last for weeks. They most probably did last for weeks. My first memory of going away with them in their Ute, caravan in tow, was when I was aged four years. We went to Pyramid Hill, to Warnambool, and to Mildura. Perhaps not in that order, but still. I remember the places well. It was hot weather. I got to swim. We sighted a snake while we were at the Pyramid Hill caravan park and Nan old Pa that we had better get a move on.
Imade my own camera out of Nan's cigarette packet. I stabbed a hole in the top of the packet. That had a cut off straw stuck inside it. When I wanted to take a picture with my camera I would press down on the straw. The I would open up the lid and pull out a little picture that I had drawn. An instant camera in 1975.. who would have thunk it?
Memories of going to the Freemason's Lodge with Nan and Pa. Of course, not going in whilst meetings were in progress, never ever! But, Nan was the caterer. Angels on horseback, canapes and all sorts of things moulded in gelatin to serve the lodge members. The dances were fun. Christmas and Easter time seen to it that families of the lodge members were included in celebrations. Lots of dress ups. Good fun.
Going to the beach in Altona was fun. I had about four boxes full of shells in my Pa's shed. We used them to set them in little concrete circles that decorated the back garden around the fish pond.
The year that I made my Debutante Ball, my Pa and I danced. The night of my wedding, my Pa and I danced. He is one swooner of a man!
Last Christmas day I was unable to see my Pa. We spent Christmas Day at home here for the first time in a few years. So I called him. He told me that he is terminal with cancer. He is not bitter. He is at peace with it. After all, as he said, he is 85yrs old... and he has travelled everywhere, done everything he wanted to and he has beautiful grandchildren and great grandchildren.. beautiful and smart, "what more could a man want?"
Still, he is my Pa. This is not fair!