Echoes of Leaving

Echoes of Leaving 1 - posted

I just had to get some last little contributions to the family before he flew the coop. The dining room chairs badly needed recovering. So off I went and bought the necessaries. YouTubed the instructions. Then set the boys to work. TRH (The Retired Husband) did the first test run. Then taught young Marc how to do the rest. Actually, they did it together. Patterns and cutting of wadding and fabric was my job. End result – brilliant!  TRH also got the boys to help with some badly need gardening. Removed some hedges so we can put in another bank of rainwater tanks. We hope to get them all filled while it’s still raining. This winter has been an unusually wet one. What with less bodies living in the house now, we figure the rain water will last us a long time.

Echoes of Leaving 2 - posted

Monday this week was Marc’s last day at home. We had decided to have a family celebration, farewell dinner in the evening. In the afternoon, TRH and I took time, whilst we were home alone with him, to give him the leaving home gifts we had prepared.  TRH had lovingly crafted him a tool box of sockets and man-stuff. It is an exquisitely beautiful piece of craftsmanship.  Mine? A mumsy gift – natural, chemical free  first aid products. Along with instructions for use. And a credit card size flip thingy of photos of us all for that heart first aid when the need hits.

Echoes of Leaving 3 - posted

Monday was  pack up day for Marc. He was restricted to what he could take for the first three months as he will be in a four share room with limited space.  We had a nice home cooked dinner. Well, truth be told I supervised TRH as I was not well enough to woman the kitchen myself. He did a good job. I did try to make a cake the day before. That’s it at the top right. It was an unmitigated disaster best wrapped in newspaper and relegated to the bin. Don’t ask me what happened. I have no idea. Somehow I managed to turn a four ingredient cake into an inedible lump.

The menu? We started with dry fried meat balls, prawns two ways. Mains was steamed vegetables, mashed potato and our 4 meat version of a Finnish slow cooked casserole called Karjalanpaisti which is awesomely delicious. Desert was my version of a warm rhubarb soup served with icecream. I have a habit of improving recipes. This time I cooked (I actually did make this one) the rhubarb in freshly squeezed orange juice, added vanilla beans, and sultanas and thickened with potato starch. It was yum. All of it. Then we cleared the decks and played poker. And finished off with a family hug.It was a good night.

Echoes of Leaving 4 - posted

Early Tuesday morning TRH dropped Marc off to the swearing in venue in the city. We followed a few hours later to take part in the ceremony. Well, observe it, rather. It was all a bit anti-climactic. Lots of sitting around waiting. There were only five recruits from South Australia, the rest coming from all over the country. They were chuffed off by bus to the airport leaving us standing at the kerb waving a tearful farewell. It was a long day for the young man. He did not arrive on base in Wagga until after pm.  From the videos we were shown the program will be pretty full on for the next three months. The first week and a half will be learning to iron, clean, sew on name badges, clean – all the fun housekeeping stuff! Here Marc has a head start. He can do all those things. The day starts for them at 5am. There will be yelling. There will be lots of gruelling physical activity. There will be lots of bonding and team work.

As you would have gathered by now, Marc has left home. Sealed his fate for the next four years. Signed on the dotted line. Monday to Friday he is out of communication with family and friends. Mobile phones are returned only for the weekends. That is gonna be tough.

Slowly, I am beginning to get my house in order for life to continue with one less child living here. It’s all good.

© Raili Tanska

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30 thoughts on “Echoes of Leaving

    1. He phoned us tonight. Although tired, no spare time from a very full program and lots of pressure, he is happy with his decision. It was nice to hear his voice. You’re right, it is life and we have all left home. Little do we realise what it means to our parents until we are in that position ourselves. we will adjust our lives accordingly as we move into a different type of relationship with him.

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      1. It was. He’s very little in stature so the thought of him battling it along with some of the giants (in comparison) raises some interesting mental images. For all that he’s tough, determined and strong. They have all had their hair shaved off. He was hoping that would not happen 🙂 And of course the relentless yelling and drilling started when they hit the tarmac at Sydney already!

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  1. You know, just the title of this made me tear all up… I’ve often said that I can hear echos of the kids in the corners of the house when I’m hear alone. It makes me cry. You guys handled it all so beautifully. I hope you print this blog out and keep it. Would be a shame to lose it.

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    1. I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to that too 🙂 I keep back up copies of all my posts on my laptop. Obsessive like that, I am. Marc has read it too. He phoned last night. He’s not regretting it, but has not got a minute to himself. They’ve all had their hair shaved off and the yelling started already at Sydney airport!

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      1. Wonder how I knew that? (all mystical souls tend to gravitate toward it) I am watching the rain today much needed, much appreciated and I am thinking of you and hoping today is a day of cooling, where the wind reminds you of your strength and brings you peace.

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      2. You shall always have them, meanwhile just do what you do, no more, no less, that’s all you can do sometimes until the waters are smooth once more.

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      3. A savior for all maladies I believe
        is it true btw that Australia has declared war on the creatures brought over on boats who are killing the national birds? I read about this – fascinating – heard that they are dying in droves so something must be done or they will become extinct?

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      4. Not sure which story you are talking about. There are a lot of introduced species here that have become a curse to native wild life. SOme were brought in to control pests and have become pests themselves. Domestic cats are wreaking havoc on native wildlife too, esp. lizards and other smaller species. There is a move to have cats registered and compulsory to confine them indoors at night, when they usually hunt. However, there are many irresponsible cat owners and feral cats due to dumping instead of euthanasing. I love cats. At present we don’t have own, but when we did they always slept inside of a night and we had them desexed.

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      5. Gosh I wish I could recall. I think it was the national bird of Australia? And rats. They want to rid Australia of weezels and rats, both introduced, killing local species. I don’t know if they will succeed but it’s an excellent endeavour!

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      6. I am glad you are feeling a little better. It is the worst. Especially when hot (but you are in Winter at the moment aren’t you?) – do feel better. I always swear by vegemite so I hope it cures all

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      7. Just out of curiosity how cold does it get where you are? And how hot does it get in the peak of Summer? Here I would say it does not dip below freezing but a few days a year, and it often is over 100 degrees in the heat of summer. Just curious because I always thought Australia to be really, really hot and it is odd in a way to imagine winter. Then again when else to wear those lovely UGGs? I’m glad you hear you are feeling a bit better. I send you lots of healing light and a big hug for a really lovely and peaceful weekend

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