Lost down memory lane


The kids are having their first holiday at Nonna and Pop’s house. It sounds like it will be bulk fun: there’s been talk of going bowling, seeing a movie, going to the pub for dinner …

As I drove home on Sunday – with a pit stop for caffeine on the freeway to keep my eyes open, geez I need a holiday – I started reminiscing about all the awesome years at my grandparents’ house as a kid.

We spent every school holidays at Hawks Nest with my Nan and Pop. They were beautiful times.

Things I remember … making our own pastry and baking meat pies on dinner plates … the heart-attack-inducing slice she prepared every time we came to visit – biscuit base, caramel filling, Dessert Whip topping and sprinkles … posing for photographs in fields of her favourite flannel flowers … packing picnics of cold pie slices and heart-attack slice and wandering along Hawks Nest beach to the base of Mount Yacaba to hunt for cowrie shells in the rock pools … filling an old wash-tin with sand and salt water, then adding guppies and brightly clawed crabs caught among the mangroves on the riverfront … buying mullet and bream from a local fisherman, tossing them in flour and Season-All and frying them with hand-cut chips in well-used oil … growing peaches and plums and lemons and mangoes and mulberries in the backyard and eating them straight from the tree … exploring the mysterious and overgrown “fernery” down the side of her house … waking at dawn to swim in the Myall River during a chilly king tide … eating so many biscuits,  heart-attack slice and potato chips that we’d get heartburn … watching so much TV our eyes went square … Nan buying us holiday pets – guinea pigs, ducklings that mysteriously grew into geese, cockatoos …

I could go on.

I might forget my closest friends’ names sometimes, but those memories never fade.

My eldest meeting my Nan.

My eldest meeting my Nan.

I want to give my kids those sort of magical memories. So we bake and breed tadpoles in jars and erect swing sets in bedrooms and pack picnics for bushwalks down to the waterfront near our house.

I don’t think I’ve nailed it quite as well as my Nan did, but I’m giving it a red-hot go.

I miss my Nan terribly. I miss the way she’d smile at me – a big grin with scrunched eyes and a wrinkled up nose. I miss calling her on Sunday mornings for a chat. I miss the way she’d answer the phone and say “Hello darlin’.”

I even miss how she’d ask every single time I visited if I would like a cup of coffee or tea, even though I never drank neither.

I wish I could boast to her about my kids’ latest achievements. I wish we could marvel together about what gorgeous, lovely kids they are.

I’ll never quite get my head around how someone you love so much can be gone forever.

That’s why I’m thrilled my kids are (finally) getting a week with their Nonna and Pop, even though I’ll miss them heaps.

Grandparents are very special people to have in your life.

Don’t you agree?

Song of the day: Barbra Streisand “Memory”






6 thoughts on “Lost down memory lane

  1. I want to be a grandma like your Nan. That sounds like a perfect way to spend holidays. Not that I am in a hurry to be at that stage of my life but when I get there I am going to make my grandkid’s hearts sing with the simple joys of life. #bigsmiles #lifeisgood

  2. Thank you, thank you for that post. It’s made me think of my Grandma. She was an amazing, fun, wonderful woman who was adored by all her grandkids. She gave us similar memories to yours. Special memories. Your kids are lucky that you had your special grandma in your life because they get to reap the rewards of what she taught you.

  3. Happy memories of Nanna’s HUGE house in Yallourn North that, in adulthood, is just a small 3 bedroom California bungalow!
    There was a creepy outside loo and a locked shed that housed my uncle’s latest race car that you could barely see through the cracks in the timber doors. The mysteries of the cellar fascinated with it’s concrete drains where my grandfather, who I never knew, made his own wine and cobbled the family’s shoes.
    The laundry shed in the backyard next to the enormous fig tree (around which a multitude of chooks scratched and clucked!) was also of great interest with it’s copper washtub, wooden mangel and the bleached stirring stick for transferring the wet clothes from the copper to the mangel.
    The old horsehair mattresses with wire mesh bases meant that once you were in bed you couldn’t move so we never really looked forward to bedtime.
    Oh, and the threat of my uncle’s razor strap on the back of the bathroom door meant we always behaved at Nanna’s house!
    Memories….there are so many more for another time!
    Thanks for today’s post, Alana. It was a ripper!

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