It’s a rather sorry fact that, given the choice, we would usually opt for hanging out here on the Homestead over lingering in the outside world for long periods of time. The same goes for letting the outside world onto the Homestead; in general, our gates are pretty fiercely guarded. Having said that, we all acknowledge that it is only in opening up and going out that you truly appreciate the sanctity that is the Homestead and the grace of well chosen community. Sure, sometimes you end up in a different place than you envisaged, but it’s always just what was needed and you’re invariably left feeling invigorated, enlightened, alive…and totally entitled to sit back and enjoy a lazy day basking in the autumnal sun on the deck.
This week was the perfect example.
Sunday saw the Homestead partake in a progressive Easter egg hunt masterminded by that virtuoso of event management, Auntie Jintersection. Following her unambiguous instructions, three clues as to the location of chocolatey wonderfulness were penned in rhyming couplets and concealed cleverly, but not too much so, around the Homestead. Similar clues had been composed and distributed at the Intersection abode and also at Westend Manor, the family seat and residence of Oma and Pop. The Homestead was utterly privileged to host the final three clues which Farm Girl, Miss Minter and Master Linter quickly decoded while the adults said all the right things about newly refurbished rooms, future renovation plans, winter plantings, proposed duck casseroles and, of course, the gorgeous new goat-in-residence, Miss Geraldine. Gossipings, gigglings and general gabbing was then relocated to the wonderful establishment of Crema Sandwich and Coffee Bar, one of our most favourite places in the world to be not-at-the-Homestead.
There’s nothing like spending time with extended family, people who know you for who you are and don’t need explanations, to put all your figurative planets back into alignment.
Three days later it was our turn to be hosted. Off we trundled to the magical Kingdom of Johnsonia for a barn raising (or to provide the very basic labour in the construction of a cow shed thus earning a mouthful or three of home-reared pork, but the former sounds way more wholesome and likely to include banjo music – Yee harrr!). What an awesome way to spend a day: in the company of like minded folk. Our arms know they’ve had a workout, one of our number now understands the workings of electric fences and our sides ache from laughing. Despite almost two decades without clapping eyes on each other, it is astounding and invigorating to rediscover a family with such parallels in ethos and experience (we’re still waiting for the interpretive dance recital, though).
There’s nothing like time spent with kindred folk to turbo-boost your own dreams.
Today is ANZAC Day. Every 25 April, communities around our country and Australia get together on the anniversary of men and boys from our two countries landing on the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915 and remember those that didn’t come back, those that did, those who have done the same again despite it being dubbed The War to End All Wars, and also the beginning of true Kiwi and Aussie identity. Today, we Homesteaders pedalled down to the cenotaph to join our community in paying our respects. The New Brighton RSA hosted a service that was poignant, valid, fitting and family friendly and there was a distinct absence of self promoting posturing.
There’s nothing like a common history for connecting with the people you live among and reminding you that there’s a heap of different ways to live this life.
Afterwards we wandered off to another of our absolute favourite off-Homestead haunts, Pierside Cafe and Bar ,where we hung out for a while longer in the wonderful suburb we call home, enjoyed an awesome lunch (and a bottle of Dusky Sounds Riesling, but don’t tell anyone) and chatted about our community filled week.
We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: It takes a village…to raise a child, our goats, tolerate our foibles and make us feel good about ourselves. We’ve had a bit of a torrid time lately with doubters and debaters and detractors and disemblers. This week fixed all that. Thanks to our wonderfully diverse, geographically widespread community; you collectively refueled us.
We’re up and running again.
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