Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Forgotten value of Time.

Recently Abbie, the daughter of a friend that I grew up with at Crowdy Head, asked for some thoughts of that time. That she might be able to use in a school project. This conjured up the following little walk down memory lane…..

Our two enjoying time with Mum [behind the camera] & Dad at our beach


I was lucky enough to grow up at Crowdy in a time when it was a thriving fishing village; the houses were beautiful little cottages, mostly made of fibro, sitting like jewels on the Crowdy headland. I was bought home to Crowdy in 1965, by this time the Hansen family [Abbie’s family] was well under way with only Ben and Kerrie [Abbies Mum] still waiting to come into the world. I already had a big sister Sue, who was born to Crowdy around the same time as Abbies  Aunty Marion.

Sue and Marion crawled around the rock pool together, went to tennis and played on blankets while our Mum Dolly and Abbies Nan Betty socialised with the other Crowdy and some Harrington Mums. They then started primary school together at the little school on the hill with the best view in the world, and would later go on to high school together. Some years later the youngest Maddalena daughter, Debbie was born and one month later so was the youngest Hansen daughter, Kerrie…and the story for this little pair of cuties would follow in the footsteps of their older sisters.

In between and forever after, lifelong friendships have been formed. You see Crowdy kids weren’t just a bunch of kids who went to the same school, we were family; we played at school together and after school too. We swam in the pool and the harbour and explored the cliffs. It was open house no matter whose home you found yourself playing at, and I can tell you Mr & Mrs Hansen’s house was a favourite. I remember the many hours we spent playing on the miniature trawler made of wood in the yard, or on the pool table in the back room. I also remember falling in love with Michael Jackson when I saw a poster of him for the first time on Marion’s bedroom wall! Forever loving the song Ben from that day forward :)

Another clear memory was the big rope swing just down from the Hansen’s house, in the Gully behind Underwood’s old House. One afternoon after school we all decide to see how many Crowdy Kids could hang from that rope! Low and behold it took us all…there must have been at least 12 of us clinging to each other laughing and swinging before we heard an almighty crack, and the branch came tumbling down, flinging Crowdy kids all over the place. I don’t think one of us escaped without a scratch or a bruise. But not a bone was broken.


Crowdy Harbour


The very last thing that comes to mind is the excitement of seeing all the Dads coming home on their trawlers, pulling into the co-op wharf one by one to off load their catch of prawns, fish and lobsters…us kids would all run down to meet them, if we weren't at school, and it didn't matter whose Dad it was unloading, if you were a Crowdy kid you got to grab as big a handful as you could of the freshest, tastiest prawns you would ever eat. This always made you feel like you were very important, especially if there were tourists around watching…you just knew they wanted to grab a handful of fresh salty prawns too.

This was back in a  time when a village still raised a child; it was the combined effort through love and friendship between our families that would see all of the Crowdy Head Mums, Dads and children remain firm friends for a life time.

While taking my little walk down memory lane today, it didn't occur to me once that we had very little money back then, and at the time I certainly didn't think that for a moment, because we always had plenty of time. Not always with our own parents but always with a Crowdy parent… depending on whose house you were at, at the time. Freedom, time and space were at a premium and for that I will always be grateful.

Fast forward to this afternoon; I overheard Brendan talking to Bades about some fantastical toy that was no where near in our budget at the moment…and this is what Brendan said.
“Mate I know, they’re pretty cool hey, but it’s like this…we can’t always give you guy’s expensive stuff, but what we have always given you is our time. And not all parents can afford to do that.”

When I heard this I couldn't help but think how lucky our kids are [although I'm sure they don't think so a lot of the time]; I hope that one day they will both look back, understanding that the things they never got would not have lasted anywhere near as long as the memories that have been and will continue to be created with the time they have always received from Brendan, myself and their family who love them in abundance.


I hope our two kiddos will always understand just how valuable and what a precious gift time is.

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