Last week I joined my cousins as they scattered the ashes of our Grandparents and their Mother in the place where we grew up by the side of the river. Many memories were shared as we all had stories of this place and of course a relationship with those who have since passed away.
I mentioned in a previous post of how when Richard Louv was describing his special place as a child it brought back my own memoires of my special place . Well this is it, My Grandma had a house that was right by the river and when we went to Dad’s once a fortnight this became our back yard.
When the tide was out I would just wander about on the squishy sand and when the solder crabs were running about I would be fascinated by them for hours. The sound they make is like a scratchy sound and when you run towards them they scatter and hide away in the sand. The aftermath of the solder crabs is a wonderful sight and you can see their result when the sand has tiny little balls of sand on it’s surface. I particularly loved the baby soldier crabs and would let them crawl on my hands to tickle me.
Back in the day, You know?? In the 70’s we were allowed to explore our environment without the fear that exists today. There were many places to explore by the river and it was like a massive mansion that needed to be inspected. We played in the mangroves and I had a special mangrove tree that was my house and mine alone. My brother had his tree and the girl who lived a few doors up had hers. My tree house consisted of three stories and a lab on the ground level. Why I had a lab??? I don’t know!! It just had a lab!!! I would make myself comfortable on the third story and pretty much look over everyone, as you do. The view was great and I had a special technique of how to climb to the top story and how to sit elegantly on the branch when I got there. Life was good when I was a kid!!
From the house(meaning Grandma’s house, see picture below) you could see this lovely view and all seasons would provide an aesthetic pleasure. Across the river to where the trees are is a long strip of bush land that runs parallel to the river and beyond them is a beach. Often we would get in the tinny to cross the river and few times we got to camp on the other side. That is yet another world that was waiting for exploration in which we were able to as we got older.
I remember one time when our cousins were over on a particular weekend, we asked Dad if we could use the boat and he agreed but said “whatever you do, Don’t lose the rollicks!!” So of we go for an adventure across the river in a tinny boat. We had so much fun that day and in order to not lose the rollicks we hid them, but unfortunately they were hidden too well!!! Where are they??
Lets just say, rowing the boat back home was not as easy as it was at the start of our adventure and I can’t recall what Dad said???? Oops!!!!
In this last photo you may be able to spot a dead log and I don’t mean the one in the foreground. It’s between the mangroves and the river bank. Well that old log was our pet dinosaur that took us on many adventures and rides. Its name, affectionately given by the girl from a few doors up was called Summer.
Summer the dinosaur!!
May I conclude with how My Granny from mum’s side of the family had a house further up the river too!!!! Perhaps to remedy this I will have to write more.