27/52 {winter holidays with Gram}

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Being at the beach in winter reminds me of my Grandma, who we affectionately called ‘Gram.’

My Dad’s mother came to stay with our family when her husband died and, at the time, my parents had four children under seven years old. It was a short term arrangement until Gram was ready to go back to her own home again. But she never did return to her own home. She lived with us and our big chaotic family until she died at home just before my 18th birthday, 26 years after she’d first moved in. Oh how we loved her.

Living with nine people under a relatively small roof must have been an exercise in patience for Gram some days. Around the middle of the year, Gram would go and have a holiday at her little beach house on Bribie Island. No doubt she deserved a couple of weeks of peace and serenity. Trouble is, I found it difficult to let her go, so I’d convince Mum and Gram to let me accompany her for a week.

I loved my holidays with Gram at Bribie. We would sit quietly and do crosswords, or go and visit Mrs Brown next door for a cup of tea. A trip to the local shops for supplies always meant stopping by the little island gift store to see what treasures I could purchase with my pocket money. (When my eldest sister and her fiancee became engaged, I bought Jen a pair of plastic ‘ruby’ earrings and Neil received a jumbo Bribie Island pencil. There were quality treasures in this store 😉 

Gram and I took long walks along the beach, breathing in the sea air and finding shells, soldier crabs and other gems on our journey. When our dog, Mindy, was allowed off the leash, she would race madly up and down the beach, and around in circles, relishing in the new found freedom. It was too cold for swimming, but a trip to the beach was never wasted.

Now, if I’m on the beach at winter time, breathing in that chilly sea breeze, I can’t help but think of my Gram and our cherished time alone together.

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nicholas: On this holiday, you have demonstrated a very particular love of tennis. When we arrived at our friends’ party and had to walk through the tennis court to access the gathering, you had no interest in going any further. You had found a racquet and a ball and you were happy. There were also daily trips to the tennis courts when we stayed at the farm. Do we have a tennis pro in our midst?

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charlie: You had such a great time at the party, rugged up in your flanno and beanie and indulging in the delicious lumberjack themed cupcakes. I laughed at how many times you and Nicholas dragged me into the photo booth, picking out the headdress we should wear in the photos. 

Joining in the 52 Project at Practising Simplicity ~ a portrait of my youngest boys every week in 2015.

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