Through the window – A Musing

It’s raining, it’s pouring, I wish I was still snoring. All the animals are inside, and slightly damp, the visiting teens are inside, and watching telly loudly. The view through my lounge window is of looming grey clouds and rain. All the plants are holding their leaves to the sky and laughing.

I’ve loved the power and light show though. Only because we have not lost power, for which I am most grateful. Parts of the town have. Trees down, creek rising but on the bright side, no fires. The ‘fire season’ is officially over. On the first day the fire bans were lifted, which was hot and incredibly windy, people went to town burning off. Guess what happened? Yup, fires out of control.

Reminds me of one year a neighbour down the road, lit debris at the base of a tree. The fire began racing up the trunk and the neighbour began batting at it with his plastic rake, sending embers off into the wind. I stopped and told him I’d rung the fire brigade. He gave me a few choice words as he ran for his hose.

Then there was the other neighbour who lit a fire near their fence and a tree. Youngest Daughter and I stood watching as the flames took over the fence and leapt to the tree. I called the brigade.

We’ve watched a fair bit of weather through our lounge window. One year, hail stones as large as golf and tennis balls bounced into our front garden. The car received a lovely array of circular dents in the roof. Youngest Daughter, being seven, raced into the front yard to collect some hail stones and proudly showed me three. We put them in the freezer to keep them.

Another view was our first year here in a bush fire area. It was Black Saturday. I was already freaked out and the power kept cutting out. I was very aware of how fast fire could spread and there were four big fires well within 20 kms of us. The winds of change could easily bring them our way. I was bravely staying, encouraged by a fire-wise neighbour, when Youngest Daughter went to the window. “Mum,” she said, “Look how pretty the sky is.” I whipped around and saw vivid orange smoke clouds. We cut and ran to our friends for the night.

Other views through my window have been spider webs of rain drops in the trees, gymea lilies silhouetted against the sunrise, children making mudslides down the embankment, cats sunning themselves and pouncing upon one another. I’ll keep watching and let you know what we see next.

What spare room?

I have been keeping a spare room. Daughters have slept in it, mother and friends. It’s been good. I’ve kept the animals out of it because not everyone can sleep with a stack of furry bodies. But no longer. Youngest daughter has moved back in and it is now her room. Where will I sort my towels?

There’s been me and three dogs and three cats for the last six months. While what precipitated this alone time was heart-breaking, I have been happy living by myself with my Fluffy Floozies (ergo, ‘fluffy floozies’ collective description for said furry peeps). Now I have to share again.

Oh, I want to, happy to do it, more than happy. It’s just confronting. It’s been 30 years since I lived alone and as a young woman, didn’t do so well. As myself now, did absolutely fine, better than fine. Who knew? It’s been a revelation that I can live happily by myself. I hope it’s equally a revelation that  can live with my youngster again.

So, no spare room for awhile. Day trips are us for the rest of the family. Sharing a bathroom again. Ugh. Oh well, I’m thrilled to have her here, we will see what the future brings.

My entourage

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Here I sit to write again and I am surrounded by my entourage. The inevitable Gem is on my right arm and a flotilla of floofy fluffy canines are milling at my feet. (Hmm, flotilla and milling? Oh well.)

When my grandson was crawling he joined my entourage. My entourage is usually made up of three floofy fluffs and Gem. The little fella was staying with Grandma (me! I know, right?) from the age of six weeks. Night after night, he went to sleep in my arms only to protest the laying down in a cold cot. (I tried warming the sheets while he snoozed on me but he was never fooled.) The floofy entourage watched this with decreasing interest as the nights waned.

My poodle, Miss Daisy Mae Starr (and yes, they do all have names like that), was enamoured of him from the get go. Absolutely besotted, she would stand on arms of armchairs to view him in his cot, wagging and talking all the while. He has taken the dogs attention for granted, never giving them more than their due and seemed to assume that he was one of them.

Wherever I go in the house, my entourage follows. It’s as if they are never quite sure what I might do. They follow in case I do something interesting and they don’t want to miss out. To the computer, check. To the kitchen, double check and hopeful wagging! To my room, check. To the laundry, check. To the toilet, check, check, check. I suspect they think that I will disappear when I go into a room where they are not. Fair enough. The toilet is a bit baffling though. I am often heard to call out in sheer exasperation, “Look you guys, I can go to the toilet by myself!”

When my grandson was finally crawling, he joined the entourage. He would faithfully follow the crowd down the hallway to the toilet, bathroom or laundry. If I had to answer the door, five little bodies came with me. Fortunately he’s never taken up barking though he did startle more than one visitor when bending to pat the menagerie, they noticed a baby in the mix. He didn’t seem to mind.

Now that he’s walking, running and exploring, the dogs are less interested. The cats have always been very tolerant of him, seeming to know that there is much he doesn’t understand. While the dogs generally treated him like a wayward puppy, my senior canine, Mr Wallace Gumble, has always kept his distance. The poodle is enamoured all over again as he is now of the correct height to hold his food just so, which Daisy delicately removes from his fingers. Portable snacks! My grandson always looks up at me with such consternation across his face, ever surprised by this turn of events. As I am an excellent Grandma, I laugh.

We went with the little fella and all the family on the local steam train, Puffing Billy, for his third birthday. He was so excited, he shivered and shook. It’s amazing how many people a cheeky, charming three year old can con into letting him clamber over them. Fortunately we only had the one carriage he could take over.

He still follows me much like my youngest did when she was small. It seems they never know what I might do next.