Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Where is Home?




Leaving the family reunion in Nimbin I headed further into the mountains of my childhood. I stopped off to visit the private cemetery where my father's ashes are buried. It's nearly two years since his long struggle with Parkinson's disease, dementia and skin cancer finished. Such a quiet and beautiful spot.







As I turned to leave I realised how much bigger the trees now are along the road than in my childhood.




I drove further upwards into the hills, the road was no longer sealed but the familiar dirt/gravel roads of my early years. Something about the dirt road makes everything feel more like home.




In the autumn afternoon I could hear the delightful sound of Whipbirds and Bellbirds calling in the damp, cooler areas.




Soon at the top of the hills I drove just past "home" to the site of our old banana packing shed. It stood just to the left of the large white gum tree, an unlined shed of corrugated iron walls, roof and windows - not a piece of glass in sight. You had to unbolt and open the hinged iron-covered "windows" to let in the light as electricity was never connected to the shed.

I spent countless hours playing there as a toddler and then helping out as I grew older, on weekends and school holidays - packing bananas, making cartons, branding wooden cases, sorting bunch covers etc. We worked together as a family so we could then go to church, play sport and have holidays away together visiting family.




Here is the first packing shed (which was gone before I was born) in another spot on the farm. My Grandfather is the man in the middle, my Dad, the youngest of seven children, is driving the tractor.....1950's. Notice they are using a homemade sled, not the wheeled trailer of later years. The building in the background is the old dairy.




My Grandfather was the first to grow bananas in the district and my Dad one of the last. My Grandparent's house is in the background. We lived in what had been the share farmer's cottage further down the hill. My Dad is on the left, Stanley - one of his five older brothers - on the right, in their work clothes. They worked hard but mostly loved it.




 The views and countryside are amazing. This is the view of Mount Warning, named by Captain James Cook as he sailed up the east coast of Australia.




The families were early pioneers, original settlers. The couple standing in the sulky are my Grandparents, the older lady standing is my Great Grandmother whom I never met.




My Great Grandmother again, I'm sure she'd have some stories to tell! Notice all the ring-barked trees in the background. The first settlers had to fall trees to even pitch their tents. Viewing photos like this once made me proud of the pioneering feats of my ancestors but I have mixed feelings these days as I consider the damage they wrought on this wonderful landscape.




From our home on farm we also had sweeping views of what is now Border Ranges National Park. As I stood on the road atop these hills you can see we are at the foot of the mountains beyond. The current  owners of our old farm have made many changes, turning it into a permaculture property and seem to have planted a screen of some type of bamboo all along the roadside in the hope of providing a privacy barrier.




The first settlers in this area were primarily dairy farmers. The older gentleman with the cap and moustache is my Great Grandfather. I presume the buckets and barrel were for carrying milk.




Definitely one of my all-time favourite views and places. This is taken from the road which my father walked each day between our home and the packing shed. He had the pleasure of growing up here, Mum and Dad only sold and moved due to Dad's ill health in his later years. Our old home still stands, out of picture to the right of the newly installed windmill.




My Grandmother in her much loved garden. She was 70 when I was born and lived on the farm until she was 90 then amongst family and aged care until her end aged 94. I have fond memories of her garden, kitchen, and times spent together. She was a keen photographer and gardener.




One last look down the now sealed road which bisects the old farm. How I love the mountains, fresh air  and the lush green of the area. Time to head back to my now-home and young family, a couple of hours drive away to a flat, dryer riverside town. Each place is very special to me, yet my eternal home in heaven will have the best of both worlds and a whole lot more as well.

Sharing at Sweet Shot Tuesday, Project 52: Favourites, Our World Tuesday, This or That Thursday, SkyWatch Friday,
Sneak Peek Friday.

55 comments:

Stewart M said...

Seeing places form your own past always stir up memories as well as emotions.

"Home is where the heart lies, but if the heart lies where is home?"

Stewart M

Jenni C's said...

lovely photo's of the tree lined roads...thanks for sharing your special memories of home...and the people who made it special..

Gary said...

Heartwarming post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Rosemary said...

A lovely post - thank you for sharing precious memories of your family and home with us.
These words and photographs are such an important record for your children too.

geanina said...

a lovely post! thank you for sharing :)

Larry said...

A very touching portrayal of your childhood home and wonderful memories.... Larry

Life with Kaishon said...

This post was fascinating. I am so glad you were able to visit the farm. I love the pictures and history you shared. Thank you.

Pat said...

Thanks for the walk down memory lane. It was very interesting. I loved looking at the old photos.

lisa. said...

What a beautiful post this is, and how fortunate to have such wonderful photographs and memories.

Molly said...

I love this post..the old with the new.. the memories with the now... perfectly done

Mollyxxx

missing moments said...

The home of our youth is forever cemented in our memories ... hopefully one of happiness and joy. I'm always amazed when I return how very different it seems than in my childhood.

Sylvia K said...

Such a wonderful, moving post and photos (past and present)! Thank you for sharing a part of your very beautiful world with us today!

Sylvia

shirley said...

Wow, lovely photos - I love the history of family. So nice that you could revisit it.

Filip and Kristel said...

Love the picture of the little boy on the giant horse.

Greetings,
Filip

Genie said...

I enjoyed so much how you went back and forth between the days gone by and the present and the people in each. Loved the old vintage pictures. They tell a beautiful story. You lived in a gorgeous area. The little cemetery is so touching. What a lovely place to be laid to rest. Hope you have a nice week. genie

Rosie said...

Great post Karen - I love to go back to places of childhood but mine are in another country so we don't get there often but when I do I always try to describe to my children what things were like then. How cool to have so many old photographs to look back on aswell.

inka said...

beautiful :)

Ocean Soul Karen said...

Amen to that! What wonderful memories and you should be very proud of your pioneer heritage! Thanks for the trip to the past and the reminder of the future!

Teresa O said...

This is a beautiful post that brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful place to grow up and so many stories to tell. The photos created a wonderful storybook quality to your post. Thank you for sharing.

ZielonaMila said...

Beautiful photographs, fantastic views. I am greeting

teri said...

Thank you for sharing your home and story. As my Dad just sent photos of my 101 year old grandmother (who looks fabulous) I am set to thinking of my "home". The music provided on your blog adds to the nostalgia. Blessings-

Seeing Each Day said...

No wonder you felt so full the other day when you returned home - how lovely that you got the chance to photograph and think of the memories uninterrupted. It's interesting that your grandmother was a keen photographer also. Thanks for your detailed post, I really enjoyed reading it.

Marie said...

I love the photo of your Dad and Uncle with the bananas...how neat that they grew them on the farm! And you must've inherited your grandmother's knack for photography! It is running down through your line! :-) Beautiful peaceful place. I lost my Dad to Alzheimers a year and a half ago, so our losses are about as fresh. Your Dad is buried in such a lovely place!

Holly said...

This post is truly amazing. Beautiful pictures!

hawknitr13 said...

karen, what a wonderful post of your memories on this, our Memorial Day weekend in USA!! lots of families reminiscing about their past, sharing with their younger generation. the cemetary picture was so peaceful...you could sense God watching over them! blessings...^)^linda

Jennifer @ Studio JRU said...

This is such a fantastic and beautiful post! What an amazing family history you have. So interesting and the photos are priceless! Beautiful memories... thanks so much for sharing! :)

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Enjoyed the old photos about your family history. How interesting! Looks like your grandfather enjoyed what he did. I've never seen a bunch of bananas that big! He looks proud. Love the Mt. Warning views. Wow. So much rich history that you must be very proud of.

Rena said...

Thank you for the glimpse into your past. I love old photos...even when I don't know the people!
And I didn't know bananas grow in Australia. That's the main crop of my homeland, St.Lucia, in the Caribbean.

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Bananas are a major crop in Queensland, our north eastern state. The town an hour's south of where we currently live is about their southern limit. The bananas in tropical Queensland grow bigger and quicker than ours did but ours had lots of flavour. Our only years of financial abundance were when the bananas in Queensland were wiped out in the occasional severe tropical cyclone/hurricane.

Jen Price said...

Love the trees covering the drive.

Linda R said...

What an amazing place to grow up. So much history. I really enjoyed reading your post. And I enjoyed the photos. Thanks so much for sharing them with us..

Hugs~

Blog Me Travel said...

What a beautiful heritage you have, and how wonderfully preserved through these photographs! I especially like those that depict banana growing - but why only did harvesting bananas last one generation?

Dave said...

What a wonderful selection of photos Karen. The scenery is great, and I enjoyed seeing those old photos. They were great too. You are very fortunate to have them - Dave

Giga said...

Byłaś w miejscu, które przywołały miłe wspomnienia. Pokazałaś piękne zdjęcia, te obecne i te, z tamtych czasów. Czytając Twój post czuje się Twoje wzruszenie. Pozdrawiam.
You were in a place that recall fond memories. You showed beautiful pictures, those present and those of the time. Reading your post feel your emotion. Yours.

Annmarie Pipa said...

wow..lovely story and pictures!

Wenche said...

Thankyou for a lovely story, and showing picture of this beautiful scenery. Have a nice day :0)

marijke said...

What an emotional story about your memories. Great to have pictures from that time. The landscape now is so beautiful.
Have nice evening Karen.

Cathy said...

Karen,
This was beautiful. What a rich heritage you possess. And I got a better understanding of why photography becomes you so. I loved the older photos you shared of your family at work and at home.

Has your family always been believers in and followers of Jesus Christ?

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Lovely to hear form you Cathy. Both my parents, an uncle and two aunts made commitments at Billy Graham crusades in Australia during the 1950's - before they were married. They have continued as strong believers. There have been followers of Christ in each generation on both sides of the family, some actively living out their faith more so than others.

Rod said...

God bless you and your family.

Digi-Irma said...

What a wonderful selection of photos.
Greetings Irma

Heather said...

This is a great post. I enjoyed looking at these and reading. lovely pictures.

Jennifer said...

It was interesting to see history and the present in the light of your family's history. It is nice that you have the connection of sharing a love of photography and gardening with your grandmother.

MaryL said...

Just wonderful! Thank you for the 'visit' to your part of the world and the trip down memory lane...which in turn spurs memories of my own... really enjoyed it!

eileeninmd said...

Great memories and photos, you have an interesting family history. The tree lined street is beautiful and I love the shot of the Mt. Warning. Thanks for sharing, have a great day!

Laura said...

thank you so much or the honor of meeting your family and home past and present!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Normally, I zoom through lengthy posts, but yours drew me in and I savoured every photo and word. Thank you for sharing your story!

Desert Sky

Liz said...

What a beautiful post, Karen. I love taking a trip down memory lane. I stirs up the most wonderful memories and a great deal of emotion too.
You grew up surrounded by beautiful senery. But your children are also growing up surrounded by beautiful scenery too.

HansHB said...

A great post, and beautiful pictures. Lovely to see!

Lindsay(PACountryCrafts) said...

WOW! That was so beautiful! I loved seeing the pictures, both old and new! Thank you for sharing!

chubskulit said...

Captured so beautifully! I love the old photos.

My Sky Shot, have a great weekend.

BellaVida Letty said...

It is so beautiful how you weaved photos along with the story between the past and the present. This post is a real treasure.

Arija said...

Heavenly views down your memory lane. Always sad to see changes in a place we love but at least here, with permaculture, they do seem for the better.

A lovely post . . . I fully understand the feeling of going down the dirt road, we live on one too and as soon as you turn onto it, it feels like home.

2BPhotog said...

Enjoyed your post! Thank you for sharing your family pictures and history. Enjoyed the pictures!

Liz Needle said...

Fascinating post about your family. What hard lives these old pioneers lived, yet somehow they must have been very satisfying. We live in an area which was settled very early by German pioneers and I love the old buildings and stories they left.

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