#Book Snap Sunday – Home

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Home by Larissa Behrendt is about the loss of identity, connection and belonging experienced by the stolen generation and their descendants. We all want somewhere to belong, somewhere where we can put down roots, somewhere to feel connected, somewhere to call home. For the stolen generation, their identity, connection and belonging is bound to land, family and culture. It is also about memory – knowing where you belong,  your history,  your culture and your home.

This photo of Home by Larissa Behrendt is taken out at our new house. After four years of renting in Toowoomba in three different houses, we will finally have a place to put roots down, a place to call home and a place in which we are not the only ones coming home. The book is sitting on what looks like a very ordinary bookshelf. I have a number of bookshelves, but this one is special. It was made by Rob, my first husband, who died suddenly when Dan and Bec were young. So it is special to us. It is more than just a bookshelf – it is about memory. For the last four years it has remained out west. It is big and heavy. Too big and heavy to move from place to place while renting. But now finally we are reconciled. It has come home. 

Like many people, we have moved around from place to place, from home to home and while we may not experience the same kind of connection with land as our Indigenous Australians, we still have the need to call somewhere home and to know where we belong.

Happy Reading

 

The Last Stop

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The Great Australian Dream

For decades now the Great Australian Dream has been a home of one’s own. We grow up aspiring to be home-owners. When I was growing up, it was the quarter acre block. Nowadays blocks are a lot smaller, but the dream is still the same – a home of one’s own.

Since I first moved out of home, many years ago now, I have been a renter more than I have been an owner. I have lived in the city, by the coast, out west and now on the top of the Great Dividing Range. I have lived in units, regular houses and on a semi-rural block. I have moved house numerous times for a variety of reasons. Less than two years ago I wrote about my 18th move which you can read about here. And now we are gearing up for move number …19!

After four years of renting in Toowoomba, we are finally moving into a home of our own. We moved from our home out west for a few reasons, namely so Bec could finish high school and Dan could access better support. Initially we thought we would rent for a while and then buy a house somewhere. Unfortunately this took a lot longer than we expected. The boom and bust mining cycle can play havoc with the regional real estate market. But finally we have a new home and we can’t wait to move in. 

The Last Stop

Why is this post titled The Last Stop? After so many moves, Paul has asked whether I have Gypsy blood – not to my knowledge. He asked whether our new house will be “the last stop”. Straight away we knew that would be the perfect name for our new house – The Last Stop. I am certainly hoping it will be the last stop for quite some time. Bec has noted that the longest time she has ever lived in one house is six years. I am hoping we can beat that record. In fact, I told Paul the only way I was leaving this next house was in a box!  

The Last Stop is located on a block just outside of Toowoomba. It is one of those places that requires a little TLC but has plenty of room for Dan to ride his bike, for Bec to have chooks again, for a garden that consists of more than just pots and for Paul to indulge his passion for woodwork. We have been a little crowded in our small duplex. Some mornings the kitchen is just not big enough for the three of us. And when Paul comes down for the weekend, well, there is even less space. 

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We all like to have our own space. We like peace and quiet. We like to see open space, smell the country air and hear the sounds of nature. We need places where we can find solitude. And we are looking forward to finding places for all our bookshelves and books and other stuff too.  

Just knowing we will have our own home again has fertilised our imagination. Those home renovation mags which we usually ignore have suddenly become far more interesting.  A master plan of future possibilities is starting to take shape in our minds. Who knows, perhaps you may see some Reno posts sometime down the track. 

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Renting can have its advantages but it is not the same as your own place. Over the last four years we have lived in three different rentals, which were all perfectly nice places but they weren’t a home. Two of them had perfectly blank walls without a single hook. We weren’t allowed to hang anything – not even a clock. They may well have had a modern and sleek interior, but they were cold and sterile. They weren’t a home. So we are looking forward to pulling out our family photos and artwork to hang on the walls. We are looking forward to creating a home. 

In your own home, when something gets broken or needs fixing, you can fix it! You don’t have to go through the whole rigmarole of reporting maintenance issues to the real estate office and then wait for ages for them to get around to actually getting it fixed.  And, best of all, no more routine inspections!

So move number 19 is fast approaching. Another round of packing and unpacking boxes, loading up furniture and negotiating stairs, corners and hallways.  But this is a move we are all really looking forward to. We can’t wait.

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