This might be our last Christmas lunch on the farm (the Jungle). Since we were kids, my mum and dad took Amy (sis) and me to my grandparents for school holidays. When December came around we would be ready to have Christmas on the farm. We would help my grandmother decorate the place by making crepe-paper decorations and hang a little tinsel over a freshly cut pine tree. Nothing fancy, as we are people from the land.
Traditionally lunch is the biggest meal at my grandmothers table. Dinner is called supper and is leftovers from lunch or a sneaky cheese, tomato and onion sandwich. My grandparents are now getting very old, my Pop who is turning 93 this year in February and grandma will be 89. Over the years like clockwork, breakfast was eaten, morning tea would be served at 9.30 where cakes would be put on the table and tea brewed. Lunch is ready for 12.30 and afternoon tea is at 3.30 and dinner, well, when it gets dark.
During my school holidays I watched this routine of food being made, after morning tea, lunch would be in the oven or getting cooked. Cakes, slices and biscuits made for the coming days. Usually Amy and I would eat at least three of my grandmothers chocolate cake‘s during our stay which could be 7, 10 or 14 days. This is were I learnt to cook, this is a place that has so many memories.
After our Christmas lunch we took a stroll around the paddock they have over 1000 acres over rolling hills. My uncle Joe was with us for our walk over the property, all of us talking about our memories of different areas. Joe is the youngest of the three boys, he was still at home when Amy and I would visit when we were very young. I remember him pulling out my splinters from my hands or feet while sitting on the top step of the house. Dad and Joe remembered a spot where they use to come over and play under the trees far away from the house. We also looked at the pump, just like Pop would do at least once a week. A machine that is well oiled and loved.
Another job that I remember doing was driving the tractor for the men as they were hay-bailing. I must of only been about 11-12 years old, stopping and starting in the paddock I did not have enough muscles to lift the bales of hay yet. Pop’s shed is a treasure trove of things that have been used on the land for over 100 years.
Joe and my dad getting the bales of hay down for Pop. Pop is supervising.
In December my pop had his licence taken off of him, his eye sight is poor and his attention span has gone. Angry with us that we could do that to him, but you know we all do get old one day. Soon he wont be around, the stories will disappear and all that will be left are the memories we had. Fingers crossed for another Christmas lunch at the farm in 2013.