GANEIDA'S KNOT.

Go mbeannai Dia duit.

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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Friday, June 25, 2010

No man is an island...

Australia, n. A country lying in the South Sea whose industrial & commercial development has been unspeakably retarded by an unfortunate dispute among geographers as to whether it is a continent or an island. ~ Ambrose Bierce.... We just live on one of the 365 you can choose from in Moreton Bay ~ One for each day of the year. Mainland Australia is just 14 ks away in the giggly~gurgly round~about route necessary to negotiate the mudbanks & islands ~ or 20 minutes by boat ~ & dugong, dolphins & turtles are regular sights along the trip. The skippers will even slow the boats so we can have a good look & the new boats are jet propelled so there's no propeller to cut up unfortunate sea animals we bump into. Very different to the way things were when we first moved here more than 20 years ago.


Twenty odd years ago we had 3 small boys & were living in suburban Toowoomba, which was a large country town & home to the University of Southern Queensland ~ which is why we were there; I took my degree there. Even the big 1/4 acre Queensland blocks were obviously never going to be big enough for 3 rumbustious boys but we had been looking for an alternative for years before we decided on the islands. We wanted space ~ but somewhere accessible to unis. As it turned out we didn't have the sort of kids who needed uni but the islands gave us the sort of lifestyle we wanted: space, bush, water, community. True, travelling has always been a pain in the butt. No doubt about it. We used to shop on the mainland. Juggling 4 kids, a twin stroller & a baby in a sling with the mountain of groceries necessary to feed 6 people & a couple of cats for a fortnight was no joy. The last boat of the day left the mainland at 6pm & there wasn't another till 5 am the next morning.


On the other hand the school had a whole 30 kids. Everyone knew everyone ~ & looked out for each other. Our kids walked to school, trained for long distance runs & fished, crabbed & camped in a way I would never have been comfortable oking on the mainland. How things have changed! Now there is a police station, a swimming pool & an IGA supermarket. The primary school has close to 200 kids & all 7 grades are full to capacity. The population has tripled to somewhere between 3 & 4 thousand residents. We no longer know everyone by sight. Our house was one of 4 on our 50 acre peninsula & our kids had the freedom of the bush acres & the shelter of the bay. Ditz is far more restricted as houses mushroom up around us & the bush disappears.


Dearest is both a bricklayer & horticulturalist by trade. He travelled in his own tinny to & from the mainland until he broke his back. Now he's trying to turn his hobby into a home business. The net makes this a feasible possibility.


Some things never change. The mainland is just there. My older kids travelled regularly to play sport. Ditz travels all the time for music. The cost adds up but none of us like Brizzie. You step on that boat & it becomes a different world. The pace slows. The air is cleaner. People relax & chat. In summer you can sit outside with the salt breeze & the modern world disappears over the horizon.


Islanders, the ones who last, are a different breed. We have our share of ratbags, rebels, outlaws & criminals. There are the recluse & the certifiably mad. Like many small isolated communities world wide alcohol is the biggest social problem. Drinking is what people do. We aren't drinkers but we know how to appreciate our own company & like all long term islanders we can manage things for ourselves that most people take for granted. For years our first aid kit consisted of elastoplast. It covers most contingencies. Salt makes a good antiseptic cleaner. Mail delivery, town water & garbage collection are fairly new. Our older kids grew up without them. Ditz would die. She likes her modern conveniences & toilets that flush.


For all I've loved living here Dearest & I are talking about moving once Ditz is out on her own. Most of the things we loved about the island, the things that made putting up with the inconveniences worthwhile, are slowly disappearing & the islands are being swallowed up in the great Brisbane urban sprawl. We are talking somewhere further away, more isolated, smaller, enough land to put in a decent orchard, run a large cat or two...I reckon I've got a few years left to talk Dearest into seeing big cats my way!

7 comments:

Jeanne said...

I hear what you're saying, but I do hope I get to visit you on the island before you go...

seekingmyLord said...

Everything has its season. We may want a season go on unchanged and unending, but then we would miss out on the excitement of entering into birth of another with its new experiences. This attribute of life here often causes me to wonder about heaven....

Amanda said...

Can I ask which island it is? If you don't want to advertise it to blogworld, that's ok lol.

Apart from the travelling aspect, which on a nice day would be lovely, I can fully appreciate what you have enjoyed for the last 20 years.

I am sure the Lord will lead and guide you and your Dearest into the next phase of your lives...

Ganeida said...

Jeanne: You are always welcome but I'm pretty sure we're nothing like your Peaceful Home.

Seeking: What an interesting thought. I don't mind change. It's the inbetween waiting I find hard. At this point I would move tomorrow if we found somewhere but it doesn't work for Ditz & she is the qualifying factor.

Amanda: I will e~mail you. I don't want to advertise all over the net but you will know it. This was mostly for Bonnie who wanted some questions answered & a post was the easiest way to do that. ☺

Bonnie said...

Thank you so much for the beautiful answer! It is fascinating, especially to someone who grew-up in a 1 million+ city in the great state of Texas (that takes 14 hours to drive across). Living in biggest city (only about 40,000) in Northland NZ has taken a lot of getting used to, but now I wish we lived even further away--like Russell or the Bay of Islands. I think we need new adventures from time to time, they keep us fresh and young. After moving here with my Kiwi husband, I can't imagine what our next great adventure might be. We both keep saying we hope God isn't calling us to Africa, which makes me think we might just end up there some day. Thank again for sharing. Now I can more fully imagine your island life.

Jo said...

I know what you mean about the drinkers. I lived in Darwin for 14 years and people drank, and drank a lot. You couldn't go out for the evening without being surrounded by lots of alcohol. People would bring slabs of beer. I don't drink so I was always the odd one out. My husband does, so I was the driver. But I never felt comfortable - I just don't see the point of sitting about all evening drinking non-stop.

PS I couldn't live on an island as I get sea-sick, 20 mins on a boat would not be very pleasant!!

Gerry Snape said...

It's lovely to learn a little about you life and family.Although we live in suburbia, you may have realisedf already that we don't really live the way that our dear neighbours do. Today Alan went across town to collect another load otree that had been cut down....sad.... but we will use to keep warm next winter. I think of Robert Frost with a change of a word.." there is someone who does not like a "tree". They tell me it's the leaves!!