Friday, August 10, 2012

from the south coast: are we there yet?

We've just returned from a week on the south coast; the beautiful land where green rugged hills meet the ocean. Quite strange to stand on a windswept beach and have cows grazing behind you. 

In the days before we left home I wrote list after list. As I went about washing, gathering, packing and checking I couldn't help thinking about the work of the muma before a holiday. I began to reminisce about the times, as a child, where my brother and I would sit in the packed-to-the-roof Datsun and wonder what on earth our parents were doing. "Can't we just go..." we'd moan. 

If I could, I would tell my ten-year-old self that mum was:

  • doing a final check of every room to make sure the necessities were packed
  • adding an extra this and that for every family member - just in case
  • doing a quick tidy-up of the house (there's nothing worse than coming home to mess)
  • washing the last of the breakfast dishes
  • watering the plants
  • making sure there were enough snacks for the trip
  • filling up water bottles
  • checking the supplies in the first-aid kit
  • grabbing the ice-cream container and a few towels (we were carsick kids)
  • packing the half-full bottle of milk, the butter and the fruit that was about to turn (no waste in our household)
  • reminding our neighbours to collect the mail and put our bins out

...and dad? He was closing all the windows, setting the timer on the lights, loading the esky, unplugging the appliances and checking that the chooks had enough food and water.

Now I know exactly how mum was feeling when she would lock the door and get in the car, completely exhausted and absolutely ready for a holiday. After she asked us if we needed to go to the toilet she'd declare it time to go and with the windows rolled down we'd settle in for the drive north.

And I would try my hardest not to ask the dreaded question...

"Are we there yet?"

We found four ViewMasters and a collection of slides in an op-shop for $2. The perfect holiday entertainment that sparked oh so many childhood memories.


  1. Totally hearing you on this one Jodi...sometimes I wonder if it is more effort to stay home or to go away?! Of course going away is wonderful but it certainly takes some effort when you are a mum!

    1. always worth the effort Jane! It's the unpacking I really don't like (we got home on Tuesday and the suitcase is still full!) x

  2. Such an evocative post! Makes me clearly recall those pre-holiday moments!

  3. Ah yes, the lists! I had a list with headings when we went to the farm recently. Scary stuff. I really don't think I comprehended the mammoth work load my Mum put in when I was little until now. And car trips...such fun. Ferdinand the Bull on cassette, 50 cents for the first person to see the sea, seeing who could make their life saver last the longest on their tongue. Great times. Wishing you a beautiful weekend :)

  4. It is true...there is a mammoth effort that goes into taking a holiday. But it is always worth it!

    And I cheat at least with the clothes...I just dump them all in the hamper and deal with them later!

  5. Great op-shop find. I'd love to get my hands on one of those. So nostalgic. Glad you all made it home safe and sound x

  6. I grew up down that way and it is a beautiful part of the world. x

  7. Oh the old light timers! My dad was always setting them before we drove off too. I was always responsible for the ice cream bucket - I was the only spewer.

    Kesh xx

  8. We are going overseas in a few days and I am already writing a list as long as my arm. We will definitely be setting the old light timers. One of the best inventions ever!

    Those view finders are gold. Abi plays with an original one that used to belong to her Daddy. She loves it so.

    Whenever we head up north to our weekender, we always pack the half used food too. No wastage in this house either.

    Can't wait to see some photos of the south. It really is an amazing part of Australia.


  9. you have siblings? i am going to guess and say a brother. or two.

    1. one brother. he's younger (but bigger!) and he returns home from overseas next week. He left when I was 36weeks with he's very much looking forward to meeting her x


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