Mother Made it So

Mother Made it So

I was a well groomed young lady because my mother always made it so.

She stressed ironed clothes, well brushed hair, and the best selection of hand-me-downs and St Vincent Wear, with the occasional new bargain thrown in.

Early photo albums always show her well dressed, but not conventionally so.
Sometimes she’s in saris, other times she’s in mini dresses with bee-hive hair.
Sometimes she’s in a grass skirt with a bikini top (because it’s Australia) ready for national dress events.

Make-up carefully applied, long lashes, now she looks like a Supreme.
Later there are leopard print clothes and bright vibrant purples and blues.
She’s usually slim, sometimes a little well- rounded, but only for a short time, then she’s slim again.

She moves (on a budget) with the times.
She moves with new geographies, Australia, not Papua New Guinea now.
She was generous with everything, including my time.
I was often the unpaid baby sitter for her friends and an old lady who once lived next door.

She was adopting the old ones to remind her of her mother.
She was making sure I knew how to clean, wash and cook and care for the old and the young.
She was taking me charity collecting for Red Cross, and we were running from big dogs guarding houses that don’t want charity collectors or anyone else at their door!

I was making mistakes, putting sugar with rice, wearing clothes that were out of fashion plus drawing on my sneakers.
I was trying to learn.
Patience has never been her strong point. Generosity has.

I didn’t know how to absorb what she was trying to teach me so, often I learnt something other than what she intended.

I learnt some people take too much from generous souls;
you can make a young boy leave his wheel chair with sheer will and lots of physical and emotional therapy and
you can change your future no matter how life begins.

She never gave up on the underdogs.
She was and still is critical, caring, and ferocious, all in one day.
She is my mother and she made me so.

My latest contribution to ABC Open.  A new project beginsWho Shaped Me

Image Credit: Mum from the Family Archives

First Published on my blog in 2012  https://gumbootspearlz.org/2012/11/02/mother-made-it-so/

Bicentenary Event – University of Queensland

Following the Crow Song

setupbicentennialevent34Saturday 21st of October

We arrived earlier in the day to set up.   Nine pointed stars, royal blue and gold, found their way around the room.

Tables were covered with cloth.

Food platters  semi prepared.

Flowers were laid out.

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It was raining.  The Jacaranda’s shed their purple flowers  and birds sang in trees.

Everyone worked together in unity to have everything ready for when the guests arrived.

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Some of my photographs were placed in the room for a mini exhibition.

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As people arrived they were met by the usher who offered them a program.

He did not leave his task until everyone was seated.

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A table of information for the event was available. The Youth had helped package the Hidden Words, as well as make the nine pointed stars for the event.

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The Harpist arrived and began to warm up.

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Friends greeted each other.

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Soon the hall was filled and…

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Walking

Following the Crow Song

13217164_10208374301688052_2122945924710784762_o Early sunset autumn

Early autumn and our sun begins setting around five.

We head out for a walk before the evening chill sets in.

My youngest son and daughter walk, then run, then walk.

Youngest is speedy, fluid, fast – he loves to run but not in competitions even when asked to consider the school cross country team.  Instead running is, moving like the wind, being in the moment of freedom.

My daughter sometimes wants to catch up, to attempt to pass the speedster, but he just turns the speed on and then playfully circles back to run and walk with her.

Their Dad and I walk behind, observing the siblings chat and race, and walk, as well as having our own chat.

There are cyclists everywhere on the track, some just ‘ting, ting’ others yell out ‘bike.’

The joggers count their kilometres and listen to their plugged in music. …

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Shoeful of Rain

From my Blog Vaults . . . A post about a Shoeful of Rain

Following the Crow Song

PIC00759.JPG Shoes and Blossoms – June Perkins

“A shoeful of rain. a heart full of friendship: imagining a world connected with strands of love.”

Above are some thoughts after meeting up with a friend at a cafe to talk about life, art, dreams – in our extremely busy schedules.

It was meant to be for one hour, but was two.

I never had sisters growing up, so friends who feel like sisters are very precious.

Going home I stepped in a puddle, but my heart was too happy to notice it much.

Life has been busy, working on a video for the kick starter, meeting up with friends, having friends not seen for over 14 years reconnect.

Stories wait to be edited, whilst one book is about (I sincerely) hope to be brought into the world.

And now a week after seeing my dear friend, who has such courage to follow…

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Today I Remember 2#

I have been adding a few more things to my research memoir blog. Feel free to go and see what’s happening over there. Some of these ideas are for development into longer pieces, or a different kind of piece.  Identity and second generation migrant themes are emerging again.

Following the Crow Song

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Where were you born?
I am often asked that.
What country please?

And if I say Papua New Guinea
the next question is Where?

And I have the village name ready,
‘Maipa Vilage’
and a story about the yellow face paint of the bush mekeo
but no real picture of where it is?
See I left there when I was two.

Sometimes people then want to insist
but you want to go back
don’t you
to understand who you really are
and the next question
is why haven’t you done it yet?

So I try to explain my Papua New Guinea is
my mother’s Papua New Guinea
in snatches of motu
and village language
never deciphered.

My Papua New Guinea walks
around dressed in my mother’s life
which is itself dressed
in experiences of a new land.

She is sometimes Papua New Guinea
missionary raised girl
and other times she…

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