Sharing is caring

Before I ventured into the realm of share houses, I followed tradition of many country dwellers, moving out of my family’s small town home, to temporarily reside with family members in a nearby town, large enough to boast 2 sets of traffic lights. Their sons, one slightly older, and one several years younger than me also lived there with the two elder daughters coming and going as well. It was a hustle bustle household. Not least because the property was located in the middle of town, only metres from the rail line and crossing gates, adjacent to the Anglican church, a supermarket car park and aged care residential complex. 

It wasn’t a spacious house. My ‘room’ was a caravan in the backyard. In an attempt to encourage domestic order, applied to the horizontal surfaces in the house were plastic shrouded signs advising “Please Clean Up After Yourself. Cups and Dishes Go In Sink”. “DO NOT Leave Mugs Here”. And at the sink, “DO NOT Leave Dirty Dishes In Sink. WASH THEM UP”. Mostly the signs served as placemats and coasters, evidenced by the imprint of rings.

Dinners could get a bit interesting if the Man of the House was cooking. This occurred only when we’d been out socialising, aka to the pub for a few after work drinks. If we hadn’t had a counter tea, upon arriving home he’d announce I’ll make dinner. I need an apple and an orange. If we had the misfortune to have these at hand, he’d chop them up and they’d go in the frypan with whatever else could be found. With a slice of toast it was edible. Mostly. Especially if you were hungry.

Shortly after I moved in, I caught up with an old friend who didn’t know the details of my new living situation. Over drinks he regaled me with his recent adventure, which went something like this… I went to score off this bloke who had some good stuff. I called ’round to his house and while we were doing business these other 2 blokes came to the back door, one had a sawn off shotty, so we bolted through the house out the side door and over the railway line up the street where the ‘wagon was in the car park but they came after us and chased us until we lost them at… 

A couple of days later, the Lady of the House caught up with me for a chat, which went something like this… It’s ok now, but there’s been some trouble. Senior Son had a mate over and a couple of young blokes came around the back looking to break in. They had a gun so Senior Son and his mate took off out the front to get away from them, and were able to escape… Just so you know. 

Younger Son and I got along well. So well that he decided to play a trick on me. As I entered the kitchen through the back door, he jumped out from behind, launched himself at me yelling gaagggghhhhh. Unfortunately he didn’t clear the door’s path before doing so and in shock, screaming, I slammed the door at him, knocking him senseless to the ground. When he came around he got an earful from the Lady of the House for scaring me. This was a little unfair. I thought we were even.  


The Lady of the House when it came time for me to leave, kindly, generously handed back to me all the $50 per week board I’d been paying. We continue to debate to this day over who pays what 

My brief stay in the caravan was comparatively peaceful: quiet in between coal trains, signal bells and church bells chiming each quarter hour.

“Sharing is caring. Caring is loving. Loving is amazing.” Unknown

27 thoughts on “Sharing is caring

    1. I can only imagine if my family had control of the nations…mmm… there’d still be the odd disagreement but soon forgotton, and no shortage of food or liquid refreshments 🙂


    1. My family was also small and quiet… this was extended family, and it was a great to be able to have it as a stepping stone to making my own way further into the world 🙂


  1. Families are funny things aren’t they? 😀
    I laughed at the instructive signs, I have a series of them on the inside of the washing machine lid for when the kids do the washing, including;
    “Jeans and towels have no other friends”
    “Mum’s black T-shirts. Just don’t. Wreck them and you die”

    I think a stint in a caravan in the backyard is part of many a young life isn’t it. We had a friend’s son living in our camper for a while when the kids were tiny. They were hugely amused by him ‘camping’ in the driveway. 😀


    1. Families give us love, and laughs… in between driving us mad 🙂
      They are great signs, especially “Mum’s black t-shirts…” 😀
      We had until only a little while ago a “clean out your pockets” sign on the washing machine. It didn’t make any difference, at 58 the G.O. knows to do this, and his best efforts are never going to change.
      When I was a little kid, our neighbours had a converted bus in their backyard that their 5 kids plus numerous foster kids graduated to live in as they became the oldest prior to moving out… I so much wanted to live in that bus.
      And yes, it’s one of the many rites of passage.


      1. If my black tshirts end up in with the towels there is a good chance that all members of the household will be destroyed. It is so hard to get the ones I like and if they get fluffy… well…. grrrrr 🙂 All it would take is one towel in the wrong load and I wouldn’t have anything to wear!

        Pockets!? Argh! It amazes me just how much Number 2 can fit into his tiny pockets! I’m always scared to put my hand in and see. I suspect that when he is 58 his missus will be saying exactly what you are about the G.O. 😀

        I suspect that with housing prices the way they are more kids are going to be staying in a converted shed or caravan at mum and dads than ever before.


  2. A great story, EllaDee, climaxing when the surpriser became the surprisee. Too funny! I would have loved to have read his mind the instant he realized that the door was being slammed and headed his way.The earlier commenters were right. This post reveals the true essence of family.


  3. I was an only child, and as we had no family here in Australia I had no experience with that big family feel until I married and joined my husband’s rather large, extended family. The Daughter and I have some fond, and very wacky memories of short road trips with my sister-in-law, her two kids and the two of us. The respective husbands were always too busy so we had some amazing adventures. We’re still close and they’ve always felt like real family instead of borrowed family. 🙂


  4. EllaDee you must compile these stories into a book. They are so engaging and when I got to the end of the post, I wanted more. 🙂


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