The all too brief sojourn in the Hunter Valley is over for the family and I. And on we have moved to the slightly busier city of Sydney for three nights. After that it’s on to Pretty Beach before heading back to Brisbane and the realities that being back home will entail.
The trip to the Hunter has created many memories. There’s the night in Tamworth, a place I’ve stayed in or driven through many times over my 28 years. And then there’s the wonderful stay in Mount View where we spent some time with my great aunt and her family over three days.
The Mount View part of the trip has produced the fondest of memories. I have spent the last three days catching up with my great aunt and her husband, one of their children and their children’s children.
Over the last few days we’ve visited wineries and gardens and stayed for the duration at Bonnay, a gorgeous French style farm cottage next door to Aunty Nita and Uncle Ron’s place.
Over a few lunches and dinners we have shared photos and memories, all fondly remembered. In particular, the ones I remember most are a photo of me, all of two years old ‘steering’ Ron’s boat. The other was of me using the boat’s radio as a phone, apparently because I dad had a car phone and I couldn’t tell the difference!
One thing in particular has dawned on me over the last few days- Ron and Nita feel like grandparents to me. Perhaps that is because of some subconscious void in my life, with all my maternal and paternal grandparents gone- the only one who remains is my step grandfather in Bundaberg. Or perhaps it’s because I feel so loved by them. Either way I will cherish my time with them.
I will not forget my time with Dale, Kelvin, Jade and Jenna either and the memories and laughs shared just as much with them as with Nita and Ron.
Yesterday we also spent a little time with another great aunt and uncle- Ron and Joan. That too was special as we have not seen them for well over a decade. But it was also sad. Joan is very frail and Ron in the early stages of Parkinson’s- a big change from their health during the last visit all that time ago.
I will cherish my short stay in the Hunter Valley. And I will never ever take for granted the beautiful, loving and caring extended family that I am blessed to have been born into.