I TREAT music the same way I do shoes.
Play it to death long before I’m willing to step into the next thing with just the right size heel.
With this in mind, The Waifs Ironbark CD has been on high rotation in my car since they performed in their 25th anniversary tour in Albury earlier this year.
My primary school aged daughters know the 24 tracks by heart.
It sounds slightly odd when our youngest sings from the haunting tune Syria: What's a man to do, what's a man to do, When everything's been taken from you.
The other day in the car passing Albury post office she was harmonising with Donna Simpson's melodic vocals in The Shack: You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
The next thing she said almost made me crash the car. "Mum, I've got lots of sunshines and you're one of them!"
Luckily I got a red traffic light at the Dean Street intersection to regain a grip.
"You're one of my sunshines," she continues.
"Then there's Polly (our dog), Dad, big sister, grandparents, nine cousins, my teacher, friend 1, 2 and 3, and Polly again because she's double sunshine."
With winter taking hold on the Border I was reminded to count our blessings and our “sunshines”.
1) Who doesn’t love the seasons? The Border gets all of them; probably the best autumn of anywhere in the world and the chill factor of winter that comes from being within easy reach of the high country. The snowflake on my car dashboard when the temperature drops below 4 degrees on my way to work is a good indicator of sunny skies to come.
2) We are surrounded by prime wine producing country on the Border. Here’s cheers to that! The longest-running wine festival in Australia, Rutherglen Winery Walkabout brings an influx of wine-lovers, festival goers and tourism dollars over the June long weekend. Weekend Fit for King food and wine festival goes from strength to strength in the King Valley.
3) Having found my book club by accident, I have loved catching up with a bunch of like-minded ladies once a month for the past nine years. Though my neighbour couldn’t recommend a playgroup when our eldest was 14 months old and we’d come back from across the ditch, she knew of a good book club. A dozen of us talk about a new book every month and enjoy cheese, wine and sometimes a whine. Better than therapy! Highly recommend.
4) Comfort food and winter go hand in hand. My husband and I are working our way through the Chin Chin Cook Book and have settled on a few favourites. As we’ve already fed our friends from this book, we may need new company to keep cooking the same dishes. Thai tonight anyone?
5) Each winter offers a new opportunity to finish off last year’s knitting project. I may pick up a crochet job I started in rural Denmark in 2016 but probably not the knitted vest I began there in 1989.
6) I am grateful to get a park right out the front of the yoga studio at 6am in winter. It means I don’t have to walk past cyclists sitting outside Star Cafe at 7.30am wearing silly socks and clogs. Namaste!
As winter settles in on the Border I am grateful in the words of The Waifs, sung out loud by all who travel with me:
Take it in, take it all in
Now is a time that
Will not come again
Take it in, take it all in
This is a day that
Is here for the living.