For a Christmas gift, Ian gave his step-mother-in-law an essay he had written about walking, biking and canoeing in and around the Nornalup/Walpole inlets. It brought back memories of her childhood to Elaine.
Made a mess of all I wished to tell you in thanks for your Christmas gift, your writing gift.
So euphoric for me.
From Manjimup to Tinglewood Lodge when my first ride through the old road – crowea in full bloom and karri trees sheltering on either side. Do you have an email address? My mind slips away to all the memories.
|Elaine, her sister and her brother, 1941|
The later years as we grew older and Dad had an outboard motor. Across the inlet to what is a national park now. My father's friends made a summer campsite and we were able to book our time each year. Swimming, fishing. Herring mostly and a smouldering fire to smoke them to take home with us.
Later from my school in Manjimup. We hired a boat from Swarbricks. Picnic on the inlet and on our return Mr Swarbrick cut the engine and one of our teachers, with a beautiful voice, sang 'Oh, Danny Boy'. The banks on either side so close to us as we drifted. The last year for me. My mother very ill and my sister and I went to board with the Mercy Nuns in Bunbury. When my mother's health did not improve we finished our education at Santa Maria College. A very hard time for us.
Years passed and when our children were teenagers my brother bought a small farm on a road north of Walpole. My sister and our children, also his, spent the summer school holidays there. A small creek tumbling down and through. A few cows and back to paradise.
Had a break now and then from family and found a track north to a point where water tumbled down over and through fallen logs and rocks. My favourite place to sit and rest and watch the movement of the water.
On another day found a small path frequently used. Climbed up and when at the top, high above the karri trees, a view east, west and round. Summer time and bushes with flowers. A rock to sit awhile.
Then down and back to my brother's farm. Meals and children and a patient old horse to ride.
Story book memories.
Now no longer in the family. However my sister and I loved all of that time.
So, thank you Ian.
Did I ever speak to you of any of this time?
I have read what you gave me more than once. You have a fantastic skill.
Happy New Year.
My love to you,