We have had a week away, driving up to Warren out west from Dubbo which is in central New South Wales, then across to Sydney, then home. We always take a picnic to start the journey, cups of tea...rather wishy washy in the photo! With chocolate of course!
A t this stop there were wildflowers, lots of them!
I wish I could tell you all the names and could probably do so if I dug out the little book Kate gave me years ago about wildflowers. Maybe another day! Suffice to say I loved to see them all growing along the sides of the roads, E coming to a quick stop when I called out, 'LOOK!!' It was very windy and my legs are there to protect the everlasting daisy from the wind!
There has been a lot of rain in this very dry part of the country so everywhere we went was green, grass growing very tall wherever we stoppped.
Warren, our first destination, is in cotton growing country and the cotton is planted at the beginning of October but this year the paddocks are too wet to go on, what a change fro them when the cotton growing has been very spasmodic over the last ten years or so.
When there has been a lot of rain on this heavy soil, as it is drying out it tends to crack, sometimes very deep.
Our Warren visit was mainly to attend a family reunion and a dedication of a tombstone erected paid for by the American Consulate. Our boys' grandfather's grandfather fought in the American Civil War, so their great, great, great grandfather. He was from the South, left his beloved mother and family to fight in the North and he never saw them again. He served in the navy and marched in Abraham Lincoln's funeral march. I am not much good with dates but he came to Australia as a youngish man, had many setbacks along the way and eventually was inan unmarked grave in a little contry town. I think by someone researching those Americans who had fought in the Civil War and had settled in Australia. There were two of his grandsons at the service, one of whom remembered visiting him as a small boy. It really does make history come alive when there is something like this to put it all in perspective. Two family members, one of them a young man who has always been interested in the family story, spent hours and hours researching the story and have found so many photos and stories, the young fellowhas collated them into a small book which we will get soon.
The highlight was a certificate with the American gold seal on it, signed by Barack Obama in recognition of this ancestor and thanking him for his war effort. There were copies of this for all the young descendants, something to treasure and remind them of the family that went before them. I was very moved by it all, especially the story of the beloved mother, in the south, in secret sheltering and healing a wounded soldier from the north, writing later that she hoped there would be someone from the North who would care for her son if he were wounded. She would have been tried for treason had she been caught.
From Warren we drove for another 9 hours this time in just the day. We stayed with Son M, at least we stayed in his studio flat and he went to stay with a friend. We had a lovely morning breakfasting out and then we just spent the day together, always a real treat for us. we also had a beauuuutiful dinner on the second night, vietnamese/japanese, and at the end were given a dessert platter, a gift from M's friend who is a waiter, delicious!!!! And visually superb. Where was my camera you may well ask!!
We walked along the above street to get to M's flat. The trees were in the divine lime green stage, lacey as you look upwards through them to the sky.
Wednesday we set off home, another 9-10 hours of driving, collected our dogs from our very noble family who had cared for them and arrived home very tired. The only things I can say about all the driving are, a. I didn'nt drive at all, and b.I knitted a huge amoung of the wrap I am knitting for the new baby to come in January!!! A real bonus!
A walk around the garden the next morning was a must and there were Kate's iris's from Ripponlea, an old historic house in Melbourne where she had worked in another lifetime, glorious purple. Behind them was the 'winter' buddleia, something the bees just adore.
And now time for me to think of my favourite book for the year for Kate's birthday blog and giveaway tomorrow. I have said I can't win but it will be good to see all the choices every-one makes! Happy Birthday to Kate!!