nostalgia – 1995

I was going through a ton of photos that belonged to mom, my aunt, my brother and me – trying to sort them out and put them in some sort of order. I think I mentioned mom has so many photos in frames of all sizes, on walls and on every surface in the house. I needed to contain them somehow, keep her memories while limiting the need for wall space.

I spent two days on that project alone, finishing it this afternoon. Its not really finished either. There are still too many framed photos to decide what to do with. And I’m sure I’ll come across more in my sorting and packing.

I have 4 albums I’ve been putting photos in, divided more or less: one with very old photos of mom and dad’s family, their wedding, our early life in Australia. Another with my brother and his first family, Another with my brother’s yougest son, another for me and other random pics. They’re not in perfect date order either as that’s a nightmare in itself, but at least mom can now pic and album knowing what she’ll find in it.

I bought 2 pretty frames that hold 8 photos each, one has a small corkboard on the side so mom can pin up new photos when she gets them. I plan to buy a piece of cork to put in another frame to do the same, perhaps even adapt the Christmas frame with wire and pegs so mom has plenty of places to show new photos.

Anyway, while doing this I found a couple of small albums of my own. Most of my photos are in storage already, but I found these in the attic above the hallway. They’re from 1995 when I was leaving Australia the first time to be with my father who was sick. At the time it was like now: I came for dad and had no idea when, or if, I would return to Australia.

Looking back brings so many great memories, and I look at my younger, gorgeous self and wonder how I could ever have thought I was fat! I was perfect.

Before I left I had a couple of goodbye nights out – one with one of my favourite Melbourne country bands, Rough Cut and my cowboy hat wearing, two steppin’ friends:

With the singer of the band, always a groupie.
With my rocker, non-cowboy hat wearing boyfriend.

The other night was with my most favourite Melbourne rockabilly band The Straight 8s.

With the boys in the band.
Me and my best friend Jamie.
My boyfriend in his element. Too cool to dance though…
Rock’n’Roll with Jamie.
Who said you can’t twostep to a rockabilly band?

A few pics from a holiday in Queensland, where I met up with some line dancing friends.

Loved them boots!
Love affair with Syvester at Movie World on the Gold Coast.
Trm and roller blading fit!

Some random rockabilly event pics…

With his pride and joy, a ’52 Chevy.
Where else would we be? At a car show. Wearing my two tone dancing shoes. I still have the pencil skirt I made – its impossibly tiny.

Oh boy. Its bittersweet. I miss that girl. I realise I’ll never be her again, but I miss the slimness, the fitness, the lifestyle: the dancing mostly. I guess I could have that in Athens, more or less, as there’s a swing/jive thing happening here, but without a dance partner and with COVID… eh.

At least I have these wonderful memories.

z

grade school autographs

One of the best (and worst) things about packing up a house you/your family has lived in for 50 years is finding things you held onto, thinking you’d value them so you couldn’t get rid of them.

Well, I’ve found a ton of stuff. Some mine, some my brother’s, a ton of mom’s. Not so many of Dad’s things.

Among my things was a little autograph book from when I finished Junior High – Ursuline School in Athens.

The poor little book was falling apart but I photographed the autographs for posterity. A lot of these people I don’t remember or have lost touch with over the years, some I’m lucky enough to still have in my life.

One thing I always say is that I never win things. As in luck. I have won lots in my life, but always for work I’ve done. This was the second thing I won in my life – an essay competition.

That same year I won a drawing competition for an animal welfare society with a poster showing a puppy who just wanted a loving home. We never got the poster back. Mom still laments its loss.

The stack in my old bedroom.

Today was another day of packing and stacking. Well emptying cupboards and piling up things for mom to sort through. I am trying to be ruthless but you know mothers… I have to make sure I’m not giving away anything she wants to keep. So I piles tuff for her to check out. And only toss out what is obviously not worth keeping.

z

a little christmas

Somewhere among all the sorting and searching and packing and getting rid of stuff, I took the time to make a little Christmas display for mom. I’d seen this on Pinterest and though mine is nothing like it, not vintage, just cheap dollar store decorations, it inspired me to make my version.

This is how the frame looked before I painted it white. Too gold for me. Now you can only see bits of gold.

I added two photos of the grandkid/great grandkid for mom and voila, a little Christmas in our 70s kitchen.

The little trees and little house light up.
In my clearing out of old drawers I found this key. No idea what it’s from but I love it!

The beauty of this frame is that it can be used for anything, any time of the year. All you need is imagination.

Meanwhile I’m working out daily. Up and down 2 flights of stairs countless times. With weights (bags and boxes). I’ll have a body to die for come spring. And no gym fees!

Today I went up and pretty much finished the laundry phase of the tidy up. My theory is that once the laundry is empty of stuff that’s been in there for decades, there will be room for newer stuff mom can’t bring herself to get rid of.

Actually, I’m still storing old stuff in there – stuff I brought from Australia that don’t fit in my little house, old photo albums and sentimental stuff my brother and I both left years ago etc. The only stuff I’m getting rid of is the stacks and stacks of old clothes, linen, towels and bags etc. Things which were stuck in there and forgotten. Some of the stuff is still in its original wrappers.

My pile of stuff to donate is growing. The pile of stuff for mom to sort through is growing. And I’m listing the odd thing on Facebook. A lot of stuff would sell well in a garage sale, but we don’t have those here, and FB isn’t a good place to sell things worth little money. Athens is too big for someone to drive to pick up something unless its worth it.

If the weather is good tomorrow I’ll have another go at the ivy. Well, after I finish up upstairs, photographing and listing.

For today I’m done. Tired. Sore. Worn out. But satisfied that things are happening.

z

Update:

I found some old baubles so I was able to give the frame a more vintage look after all!