A few weeks ago the weekly photo challenge was to capture the life of a street. I considered heading out into the main streets of my beloved Frankston, there’s so much to see there. Instead, I’ve captured my humble residential street. There’s my front fence to the left, next door is the drive way that leads to the Dawson’s, where I used to live. Next stop is the brick fence of a block of units, a lady and her children live in one of those units. I’m not sure if there’s one or more kids, but even from two doors down I can hear her talking very loudly (aka yelling) to her offspring.
It’s an empty street in this moment and yet it’s one that is full of life and people. Over the past six months I’ve had plenty of time to see what this humble street holds. From my couch in the lounge room I see people walking their dogs, joggers, kids on their bikes or scooters heading to the milkbar, an elderly man with his walker and jack russell go by every day, kids going and coming home from school and various other people from all walks of life. I often tell myself off for people watching from the couch, memories of my aunt and mum doing the same as I was growing up. Yet each time I see movement from the corner of my eye I can’t help but glance out to see, to wonder who they are, what they’re doing, if they’re well, to smile at the excitement of kids or wonder if that paper bag holds a few cans. It’s just too much for a self confessed people watcher to resist from the comfort of her couch!
I love our little street, quiet but full of life.
A Friendly Neighbour
The Street Where I Live.
Little Sarah at Local Park
Springtime Garden On Our Street
Feet On Frankston Beach
A few weeks ago the Weekly Photo Challenge was My Neighbourhood. I’ve been a little distracted but I am so excited to post about my home town. Frankston is actually the place where I was born. I grew up in Sorrento/Blairgowrie until I was 9 and love the peninsula. Frankston itself has a bad name, it has for years. My parents wouldn’t let us swim at Frankston beach as kids, it was too dirty.
Back in the old days it was a holiday destination, now it’s an outer suburb of Melbourne with it’s on culture and varying demographics. Here in Frankston there is a wide array of people, rent can vary from the cheap to the ridiculous. It has everything I need – the beach, paddocks close by, all the healthcare you need and bustling shopping centres.
People think I am nuts living so far away from the city in a place where crime and “weirdos” are common. They play classical music at the train station and seeing police around there is not uncommon. Yet it’s my home, it’s a community I can live in and love people from all walks of life. It is beautiful, from the smelly rubbish filled corners to the natural beauty of the beach.
During my recent mini trip to Sydney I visited Madame Tussauds and entered a whole other world. I expected the exhibition to be mostly a spectator sport and had thought that my little friend Levi would find it boring. I was looking after him as his parents were working in Sydney and so my two days were focussed on fun times for him.
I found instead that it was quite interactive and I was actually disappointed that I’d timed the visit for little Levi’s nap time. He was awake for the beginning but too tired to fully enjoy pretending to be a pirate on a ship or a pilot taking off. He actually got distressed when I hopped in the “plane” and waved goodbye. (Note to self: 2.5 year olds sometimes find it difficult to differentiate between real and pretend).
As I wandered through there was plenty of opportunity to take photos with the “celebrities”. I had my fancy pants camera and had a great time snapping lots of photos, lost in the details of a man made wax likeness. Some were uncanny in their life likeness, I had moments of thinking there were people in my peripheral vision only to turn and realise it was a wax figure. I couldn’t take full advantage of the props and photo opportunities as I was on my own. Levi can work a camera quite well, but he was sleeping soundly in his stroller soon after arriving. I don’t like others using my camera anyway. I couldn’t help but chase someone down to take a photo of myself with one of my heroes though.
Hot, bothered and having a bad hair day I had to have a photo with Albert Einstein. Misunderstood by so many he continued to explore and share his knowledge. If he’d been afraid and shut down because he was different, he wouldn’t have changed the world. He inspires me to keep sharing who I am with the world rather than my introvert inclination to close up. What an amazing man and this is the closest that I’ll ever come to meeting him.
Part of the exhibition details the process taken to make a wax model. It is intense! I won’t repeat it all as you can read about it here . One of my favorites was Queen Elizabeth. Her wax model captures not only her likeness but her dignity and grace. It truly was a captivating time of becoming lost in the details.
I had a whirlwind trip to Sydney and am catching up with my photo challenges. Sydney is such a fascinating city, it’s old and new all rolled into one. Kind of like Hobart but much, much bigger. I spent two days looking after my little friend Levi while his parents were there for work. We had great fun in Darling Harbor, visiting the aquarium and Madame Tussaud’s and a few other activities.
It was an interesting place to think about the a photo for the word “Forward”. A place that like Hobart, carries a deep history of our nation. I didn’t get time to explore much of the history of Sydney but from the magnificent old buildings and my glimpses of the Australian Maritime Museum, you know that Sydney has many old stories to tell.
As little Levi ran across the Pyrmont Bridge in Darling Harbor, I snapped this picture. A little boy running forward, surrounded by the old and the new. A little boy with his life in front of him.
This one is late. It’s a blinking obvious photo too. I’ve put the word in there. Wait though, there’s a story behind it.
First, the pictures!
The story is this, I have moved around a LOT throughout my life. As a child my family moved about and I continued the habit through my early twenties. Fortunately I’ve slowed down over the past decade and I tend to settle in one place for at least 1-2 years. Finding a new home has not always been fun, at times it’s been exciting but other times it hasn’t been a choice that I made. There have probably been more times that I have been forced to move on than a choice in my hands.
When this photo challenge came up I was thrown into a lengthy discussion with myself (sanity is overrated!). What IS “home”? Where is MY home? If home is where my heart is, where is my heart? Is that really where my home is? Definitions of my home included bland words such as “dwelling” and “residence” but they also include words such as “refuge” and “place of safety”. I’ve always had a residence in which to live, but is that what a home is? To add further confusion to my home discussion, I have always sought refuge in other homes – those of friends and family. I tend to have 2-3 “second homes” where I am comfortable, this of course is due to my relationship with the home makers there. At times my actual home of the time has not held safety or refuge and I have been more at home at my “second home”.
All of this has lead to a bit of messy thinking when it comes to “home”. I tend to live with the anticipation that I will be uprooted and forced to move again. Despite the fact that I have a wonderful homely home that I live in, I will sometimes feel more at home at one of my second homes. I will literally live with boxes unpacked and have a list of things to do in that home that never gets done.
Today, I am blessed. I live with a wonderful family who have embraced me with kindness, compassion and I have become a part of their family. It was thinking of this home concept that I’ve realised that over the past 20 months I have grown deep roots into this home and family. God gave me a wonderful place to grow and a true home. I knew it, but I have had a deeper revelation that physically, emotionally and mentally I have been planted into this home. Home is where I am planted, where He guides me to go. I bought these letters to remind me of that each and every day. I have a home, a refuge and safe place in this house and with this family. I just realised I have no boxes unpacked here and most of my “to do” list to organise my bedroom is done! That in itself powerfully reveals how much I have settled here.
No longer will I live with itchy, anxious feet, anticipating the certainty of change before it happens. God goes before me and with me, He provides my home for me. I will not be living here forever, my physical home will change and yet I will create another home with unpacked boxes and to do lists completed. Perhaps, I will welcome others into my home and give them a safe place to be loved and treated with kindness.
The beauty of who we are is there is no one else that is like us.
The beauty of God is that He created each of us.
He knows each of us down to the tips of our fingertips and the tips of our toes.