Things become a little blurred between grades 4 and 5. We shifted around quite a bit in the early years. My first recollection of that school, with Miss Handcock, is when we lived in a semi rural area. There was only white sand, with spattering’s of brush, around us.
I’d arrive home from school, after walking through that sand and bush, with a wild kitten in my hands more often than not, only to be instructed to, ‘Take it back!’
My older sibling and I walked, what I think I can rightly say, at least 5-km’s to school, then, back again. With no street lights, or floods lights, the walk to the thunder box was dark and scary. It stood about 5-metres from the back door of our house, and the Red Back on the toilet seat wasn’t just a song.
Sometimes huge spiders would climb into the cardboard holder of the toilet roll. We kids learned fast to shake it and check the hole before putting our fingers into the middle of it. Toilet roll holder? What the hell was that!
There was a shed full hay, and the white sand paddocks around us were littered with old bones. Sometimes those bones were found in the shed.
When I broke my wrist, two of my siblings, and I, would climb the hay stack, then jump from the top. We had a flawed belief the hay on the ground would protect us–I jumped, when it was my turn. The hay stack was probably about two metres off the floor.
As I landed, my right wrist landed in an old horses hoof. Not the shoe, the hoof, and broke it in several places. We did a lot of things, that even today, my father would cringe over. I also have a memory of jumping from the roof of one of the houses we lived in.
In grade 6 and 7, we lived somewhere that had a creek running along it’s edge. It was about 500-metres from the house, and sometimes the creek would get swollen.
We were made to promise we’d never go swimming in it, but we did when we were alone. Looking back, I shudder. Anyone of us could’ve been taken with the rushing water, and if I found out my children were doing it, as a mother, I would’ve panicked, but dad never found out… unless he’s reading this… Uh Oh!