We have lived here for over forty years. The house wasn’t ideal but we bought what we could afford and got a small basic house on a large sloping site. We had great hopes of making improvements. The house had none of the added features that modern homes now offer like driveway, garage, landscaping, outdoor entertainment area etc. but we had our ideas about all those things. The reality was that money was not plentiful but most people we knew were in the same boat and DIY projects were the usual thing. So my husband set to and started by excavating the area next to the house for a slab to be laid for a garage. He used a pick and shovel and pushed toe of soil in wheelbarrow loads to the backyard to create a more level yard with a gently rolling slope. He worked so hard and there was still so much to do. I started to think it was all too hard and that we had made a huge mistake getting this place. I started to wish for a house that didn’t need all this work, but my husband was committed to his plan and had already invested so much of his time and energy that I kept my thoughts to myself. Next he excavated along the back of the house and laid a wide concrete area to replace the narrow path which couldn’t have been more than 60 cm wide. He continued to work hard for years to make the yard liveable and planted fruit trees, native shrubs and a Jacaranda tree. The DIY projects just kept coming and my secret yearning for a “finished” place continued. I would have moved in a flash had the opportunity come up but I came to realise that my husband’s mindset was that this would be our home for life. The house wasn’t really great for entertaining so we used the yard a lot. When our children came along my happiest years started. I realised today that my happiest memories are mostly about times we had here… not at our house, at our HOME. I think of the children under the Jacaranda tree among the blossoms, birthday parties outdoors, the space hopper races across the yard, the swing hanging off a large gum tree, the heart-stopping sight of kids on ride-on toys speeding down the concrete ramp towards the house with a gleeful last second change of direction to avoid crashing into the house…the memories just keep coming. I’m smiling now just thinking about those things and also about how my husband’s commitment to his plan now gives so much pleasure to me when the grandchildren come over.Yes, they live in a great house with all the features I would love, but as with most places now the yard is very cleverly landscaped but tiny. Oh, the fun is endless when they are here, rolling down the slope, watching the frequent bird visitors splashing in the birdbath, playing in the “jungle” ( under and around the Jacaranda is a rambling rockery with rock orchids and tree grasses and includes a flat area screened by low hanging branches which is just the best place to be). My grand daughter even loves my “round and round” clothesline. Yes I do not have a perfect house but I really do have a “Home Sweet Home” and count myself as truly blessed.
Posted anonymously, 19th May 2014