We have shells scattered around our garden.
And drift wood and sea glass.
Treasures from the beach.
Some from distant beaches.
Physical memories carried home.
The beach? To me, an Aussie girl, golden sand, more crab balls than you could ever count, wet sandy toes, sand castles & forts, boogie boards, rock pools, shells galore, smooth pebbles, piles of seaweed, sometimes smelly, sunscreen, burning sun, Nan’s cheeky smile, family.
My Nan lived in a coastal town on the north coast of NSW, Australia.
She was an incredible lady, beautiful like a movie star and so loved. A constant stream of visitors, friends and family from near and far.
All my memories of Nan are stored safe, not deep or under lock and key, but close to the surface, neatly filed, in view, for easy access.
I remember her house, Market Street, when I was little, the street a small strip of bitumen with wide sandy verges and a lovely green front garden. I remember the grape vine that climbed from the fence, over the car port and above the ramp toward the back door of the house. I remember the orange vinyl chairs around the table in the small dining room, but mostly I remember Nan and her smile. Also Great Uncle Horrie and his clever dog, Dog. On request Dog would fetch Uncle Horrie’s cigarettes! Their cheeky smiles and laughter sparkled eyes.
In the later years of her life, every time I left her, driving down the highway back to Sydney I’d cry, cheeks soaked with tears of sadness and fear, afraid of the day I’d lose her.
It was a sad sad day when we did.
But we haven’t lost her, she’s in our hearts, forever.
From here I’m going to skip ahead a couple of years, to a family reunion. Nan’s house hadn’t sold, it had been rented out and was now sitting empty. Legend has it that Nan came to my brother in a dream and suggested he buy her house and turn it into a holiday house for the family.
Since then, most Easters from when my little girl was a toddler, we’ve gathered at her house.
Just like we did when we had Nan and Uncle Horrie, we sit on the porch in the morning sun, with our cups of tea and local newspapers. They are with us in the warmth of the sun, the smell of the salt air and the sound of the waves, calling us to the beach, from just a few short blocks away.
And we see them in the faces, gait and smiles of our aunts, uncles and cousins as they walk toward us down the path to the house.
Have a wonderful day!