Road Trip

Last weekend, we had to travel to my home town for the funeral of a much loved aunt (my mum’s brother’s wife) who died suddenly and unexpectedly. She was, as they say, a pillar of the community, in the way you can be in a small country town. We think around 500 people attended her funeral, which is pretty amazing given the population of the town is around 3500-4000 people.

While it was terribly sad, there were some upsides to the trip – we were able to see how Connor would handle a 6 hour drive (very well!), and more importantly, we were able to introduce him to all of his uncles and aunts on my side, as well as many of his great uncles and aunts, some of whom are in their late 80s and early 90s. And of course he charmed them all!

Another thing I always enjoy about travelling “home” (it’ll always be “home” to me even though I’ll never live there again) is the trip itself, driving the familiar roads, seeing what has changed and what hasn’t. For example, the last time I went home, I’m pretty sure these wind turbines weren’t a feature of the trip:

And there wasn’t nearly this much water alongside the road (my home town is in a very dry area of country NSW):

But the fields of canola:

And the wattle in flower:

And the grain silos alongside the railway line which runs parallel to the road:

are all things I’m very familiar with, and look out for along the way.

And I thought you’d like to see some sheep too, of course! Not sure what type these are, ours is a wheat/sheep district, it’s too dry for dairy. It’s lambing season already, and I spotted many of the little dudes with their mothers along the way.

The other thing I love about a country town is the way people are supported in times of crisis. My aunt’s family had casseroles and cakes and biscuits and slices coming out their ears, and even my mum had friends bringing her food because they knew she’d have all her family at home for the funeral. Have you ever seen a sponge cake this yellow?

That’s what you get with fresh eggs straight out of the chooks! Amazing! While I don’t think I’d want to live at home again (there are a lot of downsides to the small town), the community aspect is a huge positive they have to offer. Not to mention being able to walk everywhere!
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18 Comments

Filed under holidays, home

18 responses to “Road Trip

  1. oh passionfruit sponge! i havent seen one of those since i left tamworth. and the countryside is very similiar too. probly out there they run merinos, cos its a bit rough. and grain silos….ah memories. im so glad your mum was supported and your aunt so well loved. and so so glad that connor handled such a long drive ok. dare i suggest you got some good car knitting time too??

  2. the yellow! That's amazing. I just love driving out to the country like that. So much to take in and yet so much time to just zone out. Thanks for the shared road trip.

  3. It's all so familiar – did you go through Grenfell, my home town?This sounds so like my parents' funerals. The sense of community that's so obvious and welcome on such occasions is the upside of the pressures for conformity that are the downside of country towns. Like you, I'm grateful for having grown up in a small rural town, but have no desire to return to living in one.

  4. Oh, I'm so sorry about your aunt… but what a great post. OK, that doesn't sound right. But I hope you know what I mean. I really do love your way of showing and sharing a part of your life. It is always so interesting. And how did Dr. K know that was passionfruit sponge? I did not even know there WAS such a thing. I bet it's AWESOME. I LOVE passionfruit. I am going to look that up. But seriously, I am so sorry about your loss.

  5. I'm sorry to hear of your Aunt's passing, but it is a beautiful area of the world for funeral, and Connor deserves to be shown off. I love all things passionfruit…

  6. Jo

    That looks like my region with the new wind turbines and the lovely pools of water appearing everywhere. I went for a drive last weekend and saw lots of gorgeous tiny lambs springing around playfully.

  7. I'm thinking those sheep are Merinos or Merino first crosses!I am thinking of moving from Sydney to the country next year. My parents have had a property in the country for 20+ years and I think my kids will relish in the new adventures …I hope!P.S. I added you to my list of Australian Knitting Blogs!

  8. I'm so sorry for the sadness for your family but so glad the three of you could make the trip home and that there is such a strong community there taking good care of your family. Thank you for the countryside pics so lovely to see something of Australia.

  9. A sad reason for your journey, but there is nothing better than going home, and seeing the old familiar sights, and some new ones!!Good on Connor for his good road trip behaviour and charm!!No, I have never seen a sponge that yellow!! I love passionfruit too, Nelly Kelly and Banana.

  10. It's so true about the community spirit and real support you get in the country. My great uncle's son – some kind of cousin, only 23, recently drowned in the country. Literally half the town lined the streets for the cars. It was astounding.I love to see the tradition of country life is still alive – in times of crisis what is more comforting than a nice cup of tea and a peice of sponge? Is it mock cream or real?

  11. I'm really sorry to hear of your Aunt's passing. But you are so right about small communities pulling together. If more people baked for each other, I wonder if we would still have wars?

  12. I'm sorry about your aunt. What a wonderful tribute to a well lived life. I live only about a mile from where I grew up and I still like to drive through my old neighborhood and see whose houses have changed and what's different.

  13. Condolences.I'm glad Connor is a good traveler. I have friends who have had to endure hours of crying to travel!I grew up in a small city, and I've appreciated it more as I've gotten older — not that I want to live there again!

  14. Condolences on your loss. Family funerals in a small town are so multi-layered. Like a family reunion on steroids with the neighbors involved. I do love that you wre able to bring Connor so everyone could welcome the newest family member as they said farwell to your aunt.

  15. Ann

    Sorry to hear about your aunt.

  16. I am sorry for your loss – I hope your family were able to put aside the grief and celebrate her life.thank you for the photos, too – we lived out past Wagga before moving down here, and fields of canola were one of my most favourite things about spring in the Riverina.

  17. Sorry to hear about your loss Jane, but wonderful memories šŸ™‚

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