It has been a very busy few days here and at The Sanctuary. And now that my blog is about more than quilts, and includes bits of my life story, I need to put
pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, and tell you about it.
Last Sunday was Mother’s Day here in Australia, and it also happened to be my birthday on the same date this year. I had not really intended to do any celebrating, as I have hesitated about turning 60! Maybe it’s where you look back at your life, and wonder if you could have changed things??? I know that I have given it a lot of thought. It was decided that we would have an afternoon tea for family and friends at The Sanctuary on the Sunday afternoon. That sounded simple enough, so I agreed. I know it was a bit tricky for some,who needed to be with family that day, and I was fortunate that I could combine both at the same time.
This post has lots of photos, most of which don’t need comments. First up is one from the garden of the only tree I have which loses its leaves in autumn. It wont be long now and they will all be on the ground, but it does look pretty.
We had a bit of time sitting around the fire the evening before. There is something really peaceful about watching a fire, but only when it is contained, and a few drinks usually bring out some good stories. It is amazing what things your children tell you about, that happened in their childhood, that they would never have told you back then.
Preparations underway on Sunday morning, making sandwiches, decorating and arranging flowers. A lot of these photos were not taken by me, I was banned from being there.
After the bonfire the evening before, I was woken by a knock on the window…. “Mum, I need the stapler!”… I did not ask why, but next day I could see. And don’t the chains look very festive decorating the pergola at The Sanctuary.
After attending a party last weekend, and listening to speeches and formality, I went home a bit worried. A public speaker I am not, and suddenly I was confronted with the thought I might have to say something! I had not even considered this possibility when I agreed to the ”simple” afternoon tea. So there I was, trying to go to sleep and all these things going around in my mind. Lots I wanted to say, but couldn’t, so maybe I could write something instead. So I got out of bed that night, turned on the computer and started to write it down. And then when I finally went back to bed, I went straight to sleep. Lots of times I plan a blog post at night, and think about doing it next morning, and then I have lost all the words. Perhaps I shall get a notebook in the drawer by the bed?
So I had my words all written, and thought I would add a bit of humour and tape all my pages together and fold it up accordion style and just unfold it, making people think I had written a book! But even then, I could not say the words, so fortunately DD2 read it for me.
Following are just a few photos taken during the afternoon.
And the last photo of my beautiful family.
It was a beautiful sunny day, made to order for the occasion, and a fantastic afternoon with family and friends. And as this posting is to be a record in my book, to be read by my family in the future, I will include a copy of my speech……
When you are young, you dream about growing up, leaving school, working for awhile, getting married, having kids and living happily ever after. (Maybe it’s not quite in that order these days, but this was 60 years ago). And when you are young, you think that someone who is 60 is old, well that’s the scary part, because I am there now. It did not seem to take very long either. And we all know now that it does not really happen like that. “Stuff” happens that you did not dream about, or even know about.
It started out pretty good, and I married the love of my life, who I had met and dreamed about from when I was age 13. By 19 years I was married, after which the next 4 loves of my life, our 4 children, arrived. During those years a lot happened, I lived in 12 different houses, I was married to a stock agent, who then decided to be a dairy farmer. Now I shall let you know that, even though I had been brought up on a farm, I had no idea that cows needed to have a calf every year so that they could produce milk. And I only ever got caught once, with that warm, thick, brown stuff running down my body, when I stood underneath a cow in a herringbone dairy. Then we moved onto the farming life, and started out by buying our sheep for $15 per head, and having to shoot them by the end of the same year, because there was no market for them.
Each property we bought needed work on it, and every house we moved into had to be painted. Then I spent 15 years working as a cook at a roadhouse. And all this time, our family was dealing with the associated effects of a husband and father who suffered and was eventually defeated by depression. And then more recently, a few of my health issues, dealing with breast cancer and other surgeries.
But, in amongst and in spite of all these things, there have been some amazing blessings. You just have to deal with each day as it comes, try not to stress about what is yet to come, and to leave the past behind. As a child I was blessed to have and still have my parents and 4 siblings. Thanks mum, dad, Doug, Geof, Dean and my little sister Beverley Jayne, who arrived in the family after I had left school. Love you all lots. As children, and living on a farm, there was not a lot in the way of material possessions, clothes were handmade, or passed on from cousins, toys were few, but very special, often home made also.
But we had what mattered most. Neville and I were blessed with 4 beautiful children. He was, and I am very proud of them, and I love you all lots. It is hard to let your children grow up and leave home, and watch them make their own life choices. I guess it was like that for my parents too.
And now I am also blessed to have 6 lovely grandchildren, to watch their characters grow, and to watch them do the same sort of things that their parents did to us!
We were blessed to have wonderful neighbours, who supported us when times were tough. I especially remember the time when our neighbours stepped in and did our whole shearing for us. It was a very humbling experience. Thank you so much, and for being great friends as well.
There is a saying in the quilting world…… When life gives you scraps, make quilts. And so I did. It was a place I went to when things were pretty hard, and it was my sanity at the time. I started making quilts, and this led to me starting my own business, Cornerstone Creations Machine Quilting. A whole new world has opened up, where I have met some wonderful people and new friends. I have been blessed to win awards with my quilting, had quilts published in magazines, and travelled Australia to quilt shows, conferences and attend classes. And now this has led to me buying The Sanctuary, which is another house that needed “doing up”, and painting. This has been the venue for some great weekend retreats. It has all kept me “off the streets”, and enabled me to work from home. And a special thankyou to those lovely friends, and family members, who helped me with this place, and propped me up when the going got tough, and dragged on so long.
Through all of this, I can say that God has given me peace in all circumstances, and provides the strength for each day. He has led me thus far, on this journey of life, and will continue to as I trust in him for the future, whatever it holds.
A big thankyou to the family for all their work in putting on today. You have done a great job. So thanks for listening so far, possibly more than you wanted to know.
Thankyou all for coming and for whatever part you have played in my life. Love you all lots. THANKYOU.
It must be time to finish the post, I have been sitting here for a long time doing this, and if you have read this far, thankyou very much.
Tomorrow is another day, the excitement is over, the family have all gone home, and it’s time to get back to quilting again.
Have a great week, whatever you are doing, or whatever part of the world you live in. Thankyou for reading my blog.
Blessings, From Jude