It’s funny how sometimes I scramble around looking for something to write about. I cast my mind back over the week and think of things that have stopped me in my tracks, made me smile, or perhaps made me sad. I’m at the tail end of what has been a hectic but productive week. There’s been heaps going on, all of it positive but still the subject of todays blog eluded me. And then! in a flash of inspiration, or maybe desperation I thought , why not actually write about our verandah and of course the dreaming there on.
The first thing I’ll tell you about verandah is that it’s a big bugger. It’s about ten meters long and nearly five meters wide. Impressive hey! But I’m old enough to appreciate that size isn’t everything and it’s what you do with your verandah that counts, not how big it is! We’ve been renting this place for nearly four years. I still remember doing a walk through with the agent, stepping out the back door and getting my first glimpse of the outdoor area. My bride and I scooted home to our old place hastily filled in the application form said a quick prayer and talked non stop about the verandah.
We had to wait a couple of weeks to move in and during that time I’d pretty much forgotten the inside layout of the house, all I keep seeing was the verandah. In my imagination I saw the four of us whiling away the hours under the shelter of treated pine and colourbond. I pictured alfresco dining, coffee sipping, story writing and of course a comfy spot to have a smoke. When the agent rang to tell us we’d got the verandah, ‘I mean house,’ our packing took on a manic pace. Our old house had a nice spot out the back , but this new joint had the Taj Mahil hanging off of it, and it was all ours.
Looking back over the nearly four years that we’ve been living here I realise that nearly every plan, most arguments and all of the wonderful bits in between have taken place under the corrugated big top. Out on that verandah, my bride and I have laughed and loved. We’ve worried about the kids, thanked god for the kids. We’ve planned the budget, and adjusted the budget when my overspending has got us into bother. The night of my stepdaughter’s deb, me and the bride sat out there till six in the morning savouring every moment of our girls coming out. The old verandah has probably lost count of all the, ‘I love you’s and all the I’m sorry’s. The verandah is where we’ve had our fights, made our peace, planned our future and listened to 100’s of hours of radio ads.
It seems whenever life gets a bit much Caz or myself utters that comfortable line, Let’s go out the back. Those five words are an unspoken code for lets talk. Lets start again away from the business that is the kitchen. Lets go over it with a coffee in one hand and our hearts in the other and find our way forward. There’s something about sitting out there and having a smoke that makes all the hard stuff seem doable. Something about looking out at the sky, looking into my brides eyes that makes me think we can handle anything.
I reckon they should make our politicians move out of that big building in Canberra and stick them all on a shady lean-to. Occasionally I’ll see a snippet of parliament on the telly and I’m always struck be the closeness of the chamber. I’d defy anyone to try to solve problems in a place like that. The honourable members need to get out in the air, here the roof creaking from the sun and listen to the rain playing a tune above there heads. We should have a national verandah, with comfy chairs, mugs of coffee and maybe then we’d see politicians talk like real people and act like they care.
I’d be lost without our good old verandah. It’s where I do most of my thinking. It’s my place to take stock. My spot to think about the day that was. To think about what I achieved and to rethink things I may have buggered up. Sometimes out there I catch a glimpse of a world where everyone gets an even break. It’s a nice picture, you should drop by some time. See ya, I’m goin out the back.