Life has challenges when moving from house to house for so many reasons; each house has its own story with its own atmosphere. I can always recall the first house I lived in. It was not until I revisited it after about fifty years that I realised the struggle that my parents must have had to rear a family.
My first home was on a small rural property 3 miles from Kingston in the South East. Many years later while travelling through the area with my sister and brother we were given permission to revisit our home. The home was a galvanised iron shed that had been lined and divided into four rooms. There was no electricity and would have been lit by kerosene lamps. Entering through the back door was the kitchen with its woodstove and wooden table. The room was incredibly small we would have sat on a long bench for our meals as there was no room for chairs. All I could utter was “I can’t believe this”.
The main bedroom went off the kitchen it would have contained a double bed with the smallest space on each side with my younger sister sleeping in a cot. The lounge room had a fire place was furnished with a lounge and a sofa that was my sister’s bed. The other bedroom had two beds where my brother and I slept. The front door went off the lounge room, it was like walking threw a doll’s house, and how a family of six lived in such a small place was incredible.
A shed that was the laundry with big round tubs and a wooden scrubbing board was just outside the back door and a rainwater tank being the only water supply that was bucketed to the house. A wind mill pumped up the water for a well a kept vegetable and flower garden. One event that stands clearly in my mind is when we had had a pig which I thought was a pet but that was proven wrong when it was killed and cooked to supplement our diet. I refused to eat it. This was a dilemma as we where supposed to eat everything on your plate. Meat and potatoes, vegetables and fruit in season was our main diet with eggs and milk that was produced.
They were happy days I never realised that raising a family just after the depression would have been so difficult. The time we had in that house has only happy memories as it was a time of acceptance, knowing no other existence.
As we drove away I was grateful for the huge effort and sacrifices my parents made to give us such a carefree and happy childhood.