Posted by: learningwoman | December 19, 2007

The lull

And now I have a few minutes in between last minute Christmas shopping, reflexology treatments, school nativity plays, delivering books, singing, more shopping, making biscuits with the kidlets, to give to their friends, writing cards, decorating the tree and the house etc, etc, etc…..

‘Tis the season 🙂

At bedtime last night, S. asked me to tell him a Christmas story about when I was a little girl. I told him about the Christmas when I was four and there was a cyclone on Christmas Eve. I remembered that we’d only moved into the Northern Territory six months before, from Sydney and were living in a house on stilts, as you do there.

In the middle of the night, Mum and Dad woke us up and led us into the loungeroom to hide under the table. The wind was fierce and howling and as we all crouched together, our windows imploded!

Cold wind rushed through the room and my little brother and I were rushed into the alcove between the bathroom, toilet and cupboards, where the house was strongest.

I don’t remember being scared but I’m sure I must have been. Some time during the cyclone, my Dad had to go to the toilet and as he looked up, he saw part of the ceiling and the whole roof blow away. At about the same time, the caravan parked in next door’s garden flung itself into our wall and embedded itself there for us to marvel at later.

When we finally went outside, everything was flattened, cars were on their sides or roofs, trees were blown over. Later, most of the women and children were evacuated to Sydney until the small, pioneer town could be rebuilt.

Ironically, the part of our house that was least affected by the cyclone, was our bedroom. It was also, thankfully, the place Mum and Dad had stored the Christmas presents, so Santa found us even through the storms!

S. decided that Santa must have left his sleigh and Reindeer in the eye of the storm and magically dropped off our gifts. He seemed quite satisfied to have worked this out and we moved on to a discussion of what they were.

It was then that I remembered the cooking set.

Brightly coloured, tough plastic, in a net. It was beautiful! No flimsy bit of stuff this, it was strong! (And it had little me-sized teaspoons…)

Mum had made us a stove from a large cardboard box, it had drawn rings, cut-out doors and shelves. It was so exciting and it kept us occupied for ages.

I was enchanted.

Later I reminded my mother and told her how much I’d loved that present. She said “Really? I didn’t know that. It was fun to make and I hoped you’d like it but I didn’t realise you’d loved it so much.” I couldn’t believe I’d made it to thirty-eight and never told her.

Today when I was sorting out the kids’ presents, which to wrap, which to go into the Santa pillowcase, I realised that that’s what I do, try to recreate that feeling of almost unbearable excitement I felt when I saw that stove and cooking set.

I’ve tried to get them things I think they’ll enjoy but maybe I’ll never really know which were their favourites. At least, not for another thirty years or so………. 🙂



  1. Another lovely post. What a wonderful gift from your mother to you, and your fond remembrance is your gift back…

  2. 🙂 How lovely it is for me that you come to visit my blog.

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