Friday, August 10

Evening Again.

Here I am, back on the skyscape. I love looking at this photo. It reminds me of the vastness of the world. And it also has a kind of peace, to me.Reminds me of the Eagles song, Peaceful Easy Feeling.

I need some spaces like this in my life. When things dont go well, & it seems fate, life, call it what you will, is dealing me some nasty side swipes, I need some peaceful nature and scape to recharge my optimism. To give me the will to collect the pieces & move along, to meet the new challenges.

When our children were mid teenagers we had sunk most of our available money into a 'cast iron business' venture. We had good company in this venture. A Bank Manager, 2 Accountants, and a Finacial Planner.

We had sold our first house over here in Oz, thinking to go back to NZ. Then this 'Gold Plated' opportunity came our way. Plans to move were put aside. We were advised to buy the 'house of your dreams', the money was sure to come rolling in.

I am not really a naturally suspicious person, but I do always have my doubts when things seem too easy. Or too good to be true. I believe nothing is 'free'.

We did purchase a very nice house, not perhaps the house of our dreams, but very comfortable for our needs, & ideal for teenagers. Opposite a park, & with a beautiful pool in the back yard. And generous spaces downstairs for teenagers to enjoy music & laughter. Our children had many happy gatherings there, & Saturday nights would find them with a happy bunch of friends who all lived within walking distance of our place.

I dont know if the omens had been there to be read. Just before the settlement on the house, the owner had a fire in the kitchen. A friend phoned me, & said, "Meggie, I dont want to alarm you, but I think the house you are buying is on fire!"
Not the sort of phone call you ever want to get!
We dashed out to the car, & sped off to see, indeed the house was on fire. We drove away, without trying to see the damage. We rang the agent, & he took us back later to see if we still wanted to proceed with the purchase.

We were renting a house. The owners had wanted us out, having returned from overseas, they wanted to live in their house again. It had all slotted together neatly, the timing had seemed perfect. We were due to move into the new house just as the owners were due to move back into the house we were renting.

Of course the fire threw everything off kilter, & once we decided we would proceed with the purchase of the house, we had to find alternative accomodation. A house which was up for sale. We could rent it short term on condition we had it 'on show' for potential buyers.

This involved me screaming round like a lunatic in the mornings making sure the kitchen was immaculate, & the beds were all made & the children's rooms were tidy. I owned a small cafe style shop, & had that to run, & it meant a fairly early departure for work each day, to get the shop opened & food prepared. GOM had another job, & he left early in the mornings to travel over to the other side of Sydney. Life was just rush rush rush.

Our thinking when we decided to go ahead & buy the house, was it had been extensively smoke damaged, but not much actual structural damage. The kitchen had most damage, so new benchtops were chosen by us, & as it was a split level house, all the rooms had to be cleaned & repainted. It was like a new house by the time it had all been repaired, & we got to choose the colours.

There were inevitable hiccups on time lines, & painters took longer than expected, & the carpet cleaners did a really crappy job, so they had to come back.
And all the while I was going hell for leather trying to keep the house we were renting immaculate, & spending hours in the evening watering the damn huge lawn, to keep it alive & attractive for prospective buyers.

And it was Easter weekend. And we were all set to move on the Sunday. The movers had been booked, & we had packed most of the remainder of our things.

And, on the Saturday after Good Friday our son almost lost his life. We got a phone call from one of his mates, to tell us he had come off his pushbike, & was in a bad way.
We dropped everything, & tore round to the street in the car. And there was our beautiful son, lying on the road, with a badly broken arm, & a massive head wound. His front teeth had both broken off, & he almost lost his eye.

I rode in the ambulance with him, not knowing how much damage had been done to his head. We spent many hours at the hospital. We were told it was a miracle he hadnt lost his sight in his eye. A true nightmare of a weekend. His arm was eventually set, having been delayed because of the head injury. His lovely teeth could not be repaired till he got out of hospital.

And throughout it all we had to move house & also visit the hospital. And run the shop, & GOM had to work. One of those patches when everything seemed out of whack.

Then things began to fall apart with the ripoff golden business venture. It became quite clear no money would come 'rolling in'.

I managed to sell my shop. That is whole other post! Suffice to say it didnt go smoothly at all, there were dramas connected, & dirty dealing afoot. But sell it I did, eventually.

Then I managed to get a job. Only parttime, perhaps one day a month, they warned me. Well there was never a week I didnt work, & it turned into a permanant job, which I loved. And it was good money, & it filled my mind throughout all the sadness of selling our lovely house. And losing all our money.

Our daughter had saved her money by working at a cafe, & she had gone 'home' to New Zealand. It was so hard to let her go. Her best friend used to still come to visit me on the weekends, she missed her too.

Our son met his partner-to-be, & they moved out to a flat in the city. And GOM & I carried on working & trying to come to terms with the fact that we would have to sell the house, as we were not going to 'make it' financially.

One of my girlfriends told me she thought I was very calm about having to sell the house, which she knew I loved. But really, a house is a house, & I think, our son's accident put that into perspective. Lives are more important than dwellings.

Over the course of our lives, we have ridden the crests, & floundered in the troughs. I guess you could say our lives have been 'well rounded'.

And if someone asks would I change any of it, I dont think I would. After all, there could be much worse things waiting in the wings! Better the devil you know!

Neil Diamond, Brooklyn Roads


DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

Love the skyscape photo. I can send hours looking at the sky.

You and your family have had many ups and downs in life. Now I know why your blog has the title it does.

Stomper Girl said...

That sounds like an absolutely hellish time Meggie.

ancient one said...

Hard times make us strong. I still want to hear the story of selling your cafe. Your skies are lovely!!

fifi said...

Love the sky- always look up!!

Good to hear these perspectives from one who has been through it,
cos there but for he grace of whoever, go all of us....

Hope that makes sense!

meggie said...

Debbi, yes the free treats are not always the ones we would like...
SG, It seems worse on retelling. I think at the time you dont think about the awfulness..
Ann, the cafe might make a future post.
Fifi, It made sense. And I always look up. It does work!

jellyhead said...

Meggie, I feel like I just got a window into your world. You have lived such a full and fascinating life thus far, with many twists and turns.

Thank you for sharing some of your stories.

Don't forget what fifi says - keep looking up!

Fond regards,

bluemountainsmary said...

Thank you for the photo, the post and the thoughtfulness of both

joyce said...

You have the great talent of making even bad times sound funny or at least not so bad.

riseoutofme said...

Get cracking on the book, Meggie!

I feel honoured to be allowed these glimpses of your life less ordinary.

velcro said...

Oh Meggie that sounds awful, but I am so glad that your son was ok after his accident. I think that life owes you a bit of peace and quiet time now!

Aunty Evil said...

Meggie, I believe the true test of a person's spirit is how they come through the hardships at the other end.

A lot of people whinge and sook and expects the world owes them a living. Then there are the people like yourself who just put the head down, bum up and get on with things.

Good for you.

Joke said...

The trick is for the crests to outpace the troughs...


Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Mountaintops and valleys to be sure... love the views that you paint for us from the tops, never wallowing in those valleys, but learning from their rocky terrain all the while to look up and beyond the steep walls.

Guðrún said...

You sure have had your downs in life. I hope it is only up now.

Bren said...

Something about life giving you a kick in the pants make the sky more appealing! I posted a pic of the sky today with the same feelings of life not quite unfolding just the way I want it to.

Sheila said...

When the life of your children hangs in tha balance everything else pales doesn't it ?
Wishing things could have been different changes nothing, and just makes you miserable. Bloom where you are planted, and things will unfold as they should.Another great story..thanks Meggie..!

Finn said...

hi Meggie, sometimes don't you just wonder if this is all a joke and we are in some sort of fish bowl being viewed from all sides and the top?? Seems like you cup of 'coping' would be nearly empty by now...just doesn't seem the least bit fair to have sooo many things go badly.
But they say 'God never closes a door but what he opens a window' and I would be hard pressed to prove that wrong. You've got TRUE GRIT girl...and I'm sure much stronger for it. Big hugs and many thanks for the lovely land/skyscape. Gotta love it! Hugs, Finn

Tanya Brown said...

My goodness, you and your family have had some adventures. This particular set sound thoroughly unpleasant, the "bad" which let you recognize when you're reached the "good".

I'm glad your son lived. You're right - possessions are replaceable, but people aren't.

QuiltMom said...

Thanks for sharing your stories- I was having kind of a blah day and your stories were a good reminder of what things are really important- Sometimes one loses their perspective and one needs takes a step back- Your comments helped.
Regards from a Western Canadian quilter,

Alice said...

No wonder you need the peace of serene and beautiful skyscapes, Meggie; I do too, and I've only READ your story, not LIVED it.

You have an amazing capacity to cope, and then come out the other side with humour and resiliance intact.

Thank you for another insight into your always interesting life.

Ali Honey said...

Meggie it has made you a wonderful caring, fun person. You were taught well by those write so well! I love to read your Blog! Thanks from Ali.

Isabelle said...

There's nothing left to say - previous commenters have said it all - except wow! And as I've said before, there's surely material for a book here. Get, as Rise says, cracking.