|Apologies for the lack of beach photos - it appears my camera taking mojo was on holidays too...|
We are home. After a few days away we are settling back into our usual days of the things we do when Daniel is not working.
We spent our trip visiting family. First off there was Daniel's parents in the beachy town of Kiama. We watched the New Years fireworks from the footpath. We had a lovely laid-back time taking in the salty air and sea breeze. Little tours around the garden, followed by longer walks through the town and to the blowhole. I remember remarking to Daniel that there is something about that salty air that encourages you to slow down. Having grown up on the coast, I do miss the rejuvenating qualities of the ocean.
On the way home we spent a night in the Southern Highlands visiting my parents. I even managed a little antiquing at Berrima. I discovered that the Peppergreen Antiques is all it's cracked up to be. A veritable treasure trove of antique goodies. Thank goodness for the large park across the road (and a patient husband)! I came home with a pretty blue glass bowl and some baby Alpaca wool from next door.
The trip back and the days since have seen us re-evaluating our life. As seems to happen whenever we visit the coast. We do miss the ocean, but at this stage living coastal is just not practical, and most importantly, affordable, for us.
As we enter into our third year here, it seems that not too long ago it was just a vacant block. We love our home. We love the idea of a simple life. But we do need to work out some sort of balance. To not feel entirely slaved to our property. The reality is it can be a huge challenge to balance a (self-employed) single income, with the daily demands of work, family, school, home maintenance and (a small degree) of self sufficiency.
We live in a harsh climate here. Summers can soar to 40, while we've experienced frosty -15 and the occasional snow fall. Most likely a result of this unusual summer, our vegie garden has not amounted to much at all this year. All the lettuce bolted to seed overnight, half the tomatoes died and all the seedlings were eaten by snails. Garden heartbreak.
So where to go from here?
This year we want to try and recapture our original dreams for this place. In time we will have shade, we will have fruit (those trees are thriving), and there will always be the next planting season.
This year may see us extend our three bedroom into a four bedroom house. We may install a greenhouse to get a start on those frost sensitive vegies. There are Autumn plans for chickens. Our trees will grow bigger. And so will the kids. We need to be mindful of our relatively small window of time (in the grand scheme of things) that we still have them at home. And at this time, they are happy here.
We are hoping that 2012 will be a time of readjustment. Of finding what works for us and our kid's. To continue towards our dream of clean food, cleaner air and a slower and simpler paced life.
Wishing you all a wonderful 2012.