If I (re)build it, she will come
The big trip north has come and gone.
We drove from Canberra to Cairns in mid August and flew back on Tuesday.
We saw cute creatures and met up with loads of old friends we haven’t seen in a long time.
When we first left the farm we were only going to be gone for twelve months and we’ve now been gone twelve years! Where does the time go? But the thing is – nothing has changed. It felt as if we had never left. Such is the nature of country living.
As soon as I mentioned to friends we were thinking of coming back to care for my husband’s aging parents (my father-in-law recently suffered a stroke) we were offered free accommodation for as long as we wanted. I love country people – they are truly the salt of the earth.
Our old house was built early last century as a cane cutters barracks. It resides near the ‘main house’ on the farm and has been vacant since we left. We’ve been gone so long it’s now uninhabitable. Before we left we had a family of goannas move into the roof space and who knows what creatures live there now! I liked the goannas – they chased out the snakes (who chased out the rats).
So I turned to hubby the night before we left and said, ‘I think you can fix it.’
He looked at me as if I was nuts.
‘But I love the old barracks,’ I said, ‘it’s got character and life. It’s my muse. I first started writing in this house. P-L-E-A-S-E.’
The following morning we had people drop in to say goodbye. I told them I wanted the barracks fixed so we could move back in. There were a lot of blokes lifting their hats to scratch their heads, some of them lay on the ground and looked under the house, took a look from the road and walked inside to test the strength of the old floorboards.
‘Big job,’ they all said.
My hubby looked at them and said, ‘If we rebuild it, she will come.’ (note: the exchange of the word ‘I’ for ‘we’)
My beautiful polished black penda hand rails were painted purple and green by my sister-in-law after we left – which didn’t leave me with that warm fuzzy feeling…
Do you think I’ve given my hubby a big enough project? Or should I tell him I want an olympic size pool as well