I Remember When …

August 2, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Posted in Australia, Experiences, Family, History, Society, Ways of Living | Leave a comment
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Prop clothesline

I remember when…

The lake shore, the farms and the local streets
were all places where children could safely roam;
And we played pirates, and cowboys and Indians
and wandered ‘til dark in the bush near our home.

I remember…

The milk and bread being delivered to our door
on a cart with a horse that knew when to stop;
When it was exciting to travel on a steam train
and a penny bought four lollies at the local shop.

milk cart

And I remember…

Walking three miles to church on a Sunday
With my family and wearing my best frock;
And the joy of reading a library book
or of being allowed to stay up until eight o’clock.

Aah, the memory of…

Our excitement when Christmas morning arrived
and we couldn’t wait to see what Santa had brought;
When the family came together to share a meal
and we sang the old songs that we’d all been taught.

Do I want to remember…

Going outside down the path, in sunshine or rain,
to the backyard dunny with its newspaper and pan,
in daylight or dark, with the smell all around,
hoping they’d not come when you’re sitting to pick up the can?

Dunny can

I also remember…

The long hard hours Dad worked to get enough
for the basics of life and a deposit on some land;
And Mum, never knowing if ends would meet
or if there’d be enough money to go around.

And the polio that changed our whole way of life
when it struck down my brother and sister – and Dad;
How Mum coped with all the worry and stress;
Her fears we’d never keep even the little we had.

But the things I remember best are these…

the love that our family had for each other
and the strength this gave us in bad times and good;
the joy we took in life’s simple things;
the hard work that was something we all understood;
the respect that we knew was earned and not bought;
and the strong moral lessons that our parents taught.

Maybe rose-coloured glasses have changed my perspective,
But I believe that our past is always subjective.
What we do with our memories shows who we’ve become –
So let’s use them to help us in times that will come.

(c) Linda Visman

First published in “I Remember When” an anthology compiled and edited by Julie Athanasiou, Legacy Books, Melbourne, Victoria, November 2006.

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