Sundays in 1901
If you read my previous blog, you would know some of Agnes’s story.
It’s a story from quite long ago, but does not go far enough back to tell any of her childhood. I don’t have much to say about those days, as she was an elderly lady well before I met her, but I have in my possession two embroidered biblical texts that she sewed as a child of 11 years old. In those days (these were made in 1901), in any Christian household, it was usually a rule that no work (and maybe no play?) was to be done on the Sabbath and Agnes would have sat sewing such as these on Sundays.
The other one I have says, “The Lord is My Shepherd”. They are beautiful antique works of art, done by a child. Each framed ‘picture’ measures about 24 inches, x 10 inches. They are hung on my bedroom wall.
The things we find to stir memories
Currently we are sorting out all the framed photos and paintings we had on the walls of our ‘old’ house in an attempt to see which ones will look ok hanging on the walls of this ‘new’ house.
In amongst some old photos I found this one.
It was taken in about 1915.
The mother is Agnes and the father John.
The bigger girl is Jean, aged about three or four and the younger one is Iva.
Agnes was an excellent seamstress and would have made the girls’ dresses. She most probably would have sewn her own outfit as well.
John and Agnes went on to have two more children: Twins, Agnes (known as Ness) and Oliver.
When the dreaded disease of diphtheria came to their area, Oliver, at the age of three, contracted it and died. Jean, who had a milder case, was in the hospital at that time and remembers hearing her mother quietly crying through the thin walls of what was the makeshift hospital rooms,
consisting of canvas army tents…the amount of ill people being too many to be housed in the hospital building alone.
I have the lovely old leather-bound small Bible belonging to Agnes and, in the back of it, she has
written: “Little Ollie went home March 3rd, 1921. Waiting for dear ones coming, coming some day.”
But the weeping was not over for Agnes.
When her husband, John, was in his early 40s, he took it upon himself to chase a thief who had robbed a nearby shop. After exerting himself to the extreme in order to catch the thief, his heart was strained beyond endurance and, without catching the thief, he returned home, only to collapse
and die, with Agnes and Jean watching on helplessly.
Agnes then became the breadwinner, with the help of Jean, who was then aged 16.
A few short years later, Iva joined a city hospital to train as a nurse. She was embarking on a promising career and was engaged to be married, when an unnamed bacteria in the hospital entered her system, presenting an illness for which there was no cure and she died just weeks before she was to be wed.
So, who knows what is behind old photographs we find. I am fortunate to know some of these stories. This one in particular holds some sadness for me.
From huge water dragon lizards to tiny (about 8cms long) geckoes. This is wild life in our part of Queensland.
Two little geckoes came inside this evening. So hard to focus the camera lens on them as they run around very quickly. Geat suction tips on their toes...or, as in the Dictionary description, 'adhesive pads on the digits'! Cute!
In the grounds & surrounds of our last residence we had many, many little lizards. They were what are commonly called ‘skinks’. They ranged in size from about 3cm long to about 12cm or so. Beautiful they were (are). Occasionally one would come inside and I became quite an expert at catching them, with the aid of a piece of stiff paper and a plastic container. Some that managed to come inside were (sadly) not discovered until they were well-dead, dehydrated and stiff. But, somehow they still looked beautiful. We would sometimes find their eggs in the garden; soft, tiny, white and (usually) recently vacated by a tiny hatchling. I have see a few (veryfew) skinks since moving north to Queensland.
I guess they do things bigger here, as this (in the pic) is what nearly came into our home the other day. We heard the little dog’s excited barks and, on investigation, found the reason. This giant lizard was on the inside of the open laundry door.
It too was beautiful...but, oh, so different from the lizards we were used to seeing.
So, it seems there are more creatures other than cane toads that I will have to adjust to here.
But, at least these lovely big lizards present no danger to us in any way. Or, that’s what I’ve been told. They are what’s called ‘Eastern Water Dragons’, so are perhaps lizards, with a little dragon attitude, but still friendly.
PS: I have been having trouble attempting to post blogs lately. It seems as though Weebly changed its format for us bloggers and I, being a person who rarely takes notice of memos about up-dates on anything, was blissfully unaware that I had to format my blog posts very differently from what I was used to. But I have persevered, and with the help of the ever-patient team at Weebly, have adjusted my posting ways...and my attitude.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.