Be The Best

My Mum loved poems and seemed to have a great memory for the lines. Much better than me! She used to encourage me with the words “if you can’t be a tree, be the best little bush” or something like that. I decided today to search for the words and found it online in no time. It must be better known than I thought. Here it is:

BE THE BEST

It you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill,

Be a scrub in the valley – but be

The best little scrub by the side of the hill;

Be a bush, if you can’t be a tree.

If you can’t be a bush, be a bit of the grass,

And some highway happier make;

If you can’t be a muskie, then just be a bass-

But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,

There’s something for all of us here.

There’s big work to do and there’s lesser to do

And the task we must do is the near.

If you can’t be a highway, then just be a trail,

If you can’t be the sun, be a star;

It isn’t by size that you win or you fail-

Be the best of whatever you are!

Douglas Malloch

http://www.english-for-students.com/be-the-best.html

It brings back fond memories of my Mum who passed away nearly 15 years ago. I often think of her.

Time to write!

It is weeks since I wrote anything on my blog! Not necessarily a bad thing. Instead I decided to start a hand-written journal to capture some of the experiences of living through a pandemic. A strange experience for all of us and continues to be pervasive one way or another.

As I go about my day I think of things to blog about but before I know it, the day has gone. One thing that struck me recently was the concept of ownership – a new perspective for me. I sometimes ‘google’ the addresses of places I used to live and quite often the houses come up from the most recent real estate listing. You can do a walk-through of at least two of my former homes. I have even found some homes where my grandparents lived in the 1920’s!

Getting back to ‘ownership’ – I look at my former homes with a sense of permanence even though I only lived in them for a short time. One house in Melbourne we only lived in for 12 months – 40 years ago! The people we sold it to still live there. Any yet that house appears in my dreams and has grown in my imagination.

I shared this rental home with another couple in the 1970’s

In actual fact these homes were just a roof over our heads for a period of time before the next family moved in and it became ‘theirs’. We can’t lay any claim of ownership on our friends or family either. We are just fortunate to share some parts of our lives with them. Perhaps it is a sign of me getting older and a sense of gratitude for the people I share my time with. Things we purchase can be useful and even beautiful but they do not last forever.

I got hooked on this song 6 or so months ago (it kept turning up wherever I went) and maybe it sums up what I am trying to say …

Just for Today (7)

How are you holding up with the current restrictions? It seems that most people are finding some positives in slowing down the normally fast pace of life.

Here is another quote for your consideration/reflection:

7. Just for Today, I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low,  act courteously, be liberal with flattery, criticize not one bit  nor find fault with anything, and not try to regulate nor improve anybody.

Author Unknown
Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

Just for Today (6)

6. Just for Today, I will exercise my soul in three ways, to wit:

(a) I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. If anybody knows of it, it will not count.

(b) I will do at least two things I don’t want to do, as William James suggests just for exercise.

(c) I will not show any one that my feelings are hurt. They may be hurt, but today I will not show it.

Author Unknown

Something to think about during this strange time with Covid 19!

Photo by Ikhsan Sugiarto on Pexels.com

Just for Today (3)

3. Just for Today, I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my luck as they come, and fit myself to them.

Author Unknown

How did you go yesterday with remembering you are as happy as you make up your mind to be? Confession time – I didn’t do so well but the quote kept coming to mind so I wasn’t totally unaware that my happiness is in my own hands.

Brothers …

I am the youngest of five children with two sisters and two brothers. This story goes back to when we were kids.Somehow my brothers had me twisted around their little fingers.

For example they would con me into polishing their shoes. I would spend ages doing it and waiting for their approval which was very hard to get.

I remember we had an old cupboard in our yard (no longer useful in the house) and I used to love playing “house” (as a good 1950’s girl would do) and the cupboard was the central prop. My brothers got some ferrets (which I didn’t like at all) and they convinced me that they needed the cupboard to keep the ferrets in. I think they may have given me one shilling (ten cents) in exchange. I think they got the better deal!

My brothers had a lot of friends that used to hang out at our place. As long as I remained inconspicuous they didn’t mind me tagging along. That was fun and had a sense of danger!

Another time they had some friends around – I was a bit older, about 12 I think – and they dared me to smoke a cigarette. They were all smoking and promised to give me 10 shillings if I could smoke a cigarette and do the draw-back. I was a willing student and to their surprise they had to hand over 10 shillings. It went a long way in the 1960’s. That was my first ever cigarette (it was a roll your own one at that), and unfortunately I later took up the habit. I have been off them from a long time now.

The other memory I have is of my stubbornness when it came to swearing. I absolutely refused. They tried many times to bribe me without success. The first time I was known to swear effectively was when I was in my late 30’s in an argument with a politician!

Both brothers joined the armed forces around the time of the Vietnam War – one in the Royal Australian Army and one in the Royal Australian Navy. I didn’t see a lot of them at that time.

I think I am lucky to have had two brothers and two sisters. I believe it has helped me in being able to relate to men and women plus lots of interesting memories from growing up.

The five of us – taken about 15 years ago.

Going back in order to go forward

Barbara Mallon (A Year of Creativity) says that:

Sometimes in order to go forward you have to go back to earlier times when the path you were starting out on was still covered in virgin snow.

She poses the following questions and suggests you write your responses in your Creative Year Journal. I will include my answers to the questions in this blog.

My favourite childhood game was…. “let’s pretend.” This included dress-ups, shop keepers, TV characters …

The best TV program I saw as a child was … Lassie Come Home or Black Velvet or Mr Ed. I also loved Popeye cartoons …

My earliest memory of school was … my very first day! I did not want to stay there and I got stuck into Sister Kevin by kicking and screaming – much to my mother’s horror!

The toy I loved most was … paper dolls that you could dress in paper dresses (anyone remember them?), dolls & teddy bears, musical jewelry box and wind-up toys.

If I had the perfect childhood I would have grown up to be … the person I am now but maybe would have got there a bit quicker in a more favorable environment.

The best gift anyone could have given me as a child would have been … their full and undivided attention.

NB My answers included multiple items whereas the questions mostly asked for one thing. I couldn’t decide so included those strongest in my memory.

Even if you don’t want to blog your answers you may enjoy giving some thought to what your answers might be. My answers were a surprise to me!

Kahuna or Cohuna – my home town?

Today I went to Bunnings to get a few garden things and at the entrance there was a colourful display of plants called The Big Kahuna. Now, you may have heard of the movie:

The Big Kahuna is a 1999 American business comedy-drama film directed by John Swanbeck, and produced by Kevin Spacey, who also starred in the lead role. The film is adapted from the play Hospitality Suite, written by Roger Rueff, who also wrote the screenplay. John Swanbeck makes few attempts to lessen this film’s resemblance to a stage performance: the majority of the film takes place in a single hotel room, and nearly every single line of dialogue is spoken by one of the three actors.

Wikipedia

I grew up in a small country town in Northern Victoria called Cohuna – about 3,500km away from where I currently live.

Surrounded by dairy farms, and situated on the banks of Gunbower Creek, (an anabranch of the Murray River), the town is a popular holiday spot as well as a regional sports centre with a wide range of facilities. Cohuna is the main access point to the attractions of the vast red gum and box forest covered Gunbower Island, which lies between Gunbower Creek and the Murray, and is home to diverse native birdlife, kangaroos and emus.

Wikipedia
Cohuna from above (Murray River)

So, the reason I am telling you all is this is because I just had to buy the flowers with that name! And here they are …

We have given the garden a bit of a makeover this week so it was good to add a splash of colour with the Big Kahuna name tag!

Many Happy Returns

Well I have heard of people who have ‘near-death’ experiences where their life flashes before their eyes. I didn’t know that having a 65th birthday could also bring on this phenomenon!

A little bit of background – nearly ten years ago we moved from Perth to the South West of Australia. I didn’t have much prior knowledge of the region so there are not a lot of cues for past memories. It is a bit like living in a bubble where much of the past fades almost to non-existence.

For my 65th we decided on a family catch-up in Perth with an overnight stay at Joondalup Resort. As it happens I used to be a regular guest there every Monday evening in my role as President of the Joondalup Rotary Club. I used to work in Joondalup too. The next morning we had breakfast in the street where my old office was. It was across the road from the Chinese Restaurant where I often went for a $5 lunch special (in the 1990’s). Also in the same street is where my original office was and I met a lady who came to see me looking for work. She had only been in Australia for three months. I was able to assist with some contract work and she stayed on for over 20 years. She is still a good friend today and actually outstayed my time at the Department.

We traveled to Kalbarri after breakfast – approximately 600kms north. We passed through Yanchep where I often took my three sons when they were little. Lots of happy memories there. Further along we passed through Geraldton where I lived for a short time in 1993-1994 until my marriage broke up and I moved to Perth.

Our destination of Kalbarri held some memories too. While working in the region I visited there to assist a community group who had funds from the Department to set up a local bottled Spring Water enterprise using unemployed youth. Then there was the Greenough Village where we investigated an employment project.

I won’t go on as it is probably boring to anyone except me! I felt the need for the trip to come to terms with reaching 65 years old. I am grateful that I have reached it and hope to have a few more decades yet.

The photos are from our stay in Kalbarri.