You're at the airport. My son Callum is there to meet you. I would have come myself except I’m hopeless when it comes to driving through Sydney: so many intersections and lanes and traffic. You're better off with Callum. I would only get us lost.

I guess you are tired. It’s a long flight all the way to Australia. You’ll be relieved you are here. Hey! Do you realise you’re a time traveller? All your family are living in today. But you have arrived at tomorrow. 

Have you found Callum yet? Will you recognise him from his photo? Just look for a broad man with a beard and smiling eyes. He’ll make you feel welcome. He’s good with people. Must be all those customers he deals with at work.

Now don’t look dismayed when you see Callum’s rust-studded ute. It should get you here in one piece. Callum should only stall a few times on the journey home. No, just kidding! He’s a good driver.

Are you on your way out of the airport yet? Can you see the blue, blue sky? It’s a beautiful time of year. Of course that sky is going to disappear a number of times as you shoot down all the tunnels and fly up again for air. You’re heading south. Soon you’ll leave all the traffic behind. It’s not a bad trip once you leave the city. You'll see paddocks of cows and bush: lots of native plants. You might see a sky diver floating down over the fields. Don’t worry. I’ve never seen one land on the freeway.

I look at my watch. Time is flying by. I think you'll be here in about twenty minutes. I can’t sit still. I walk around the house straightening an already tidy house. First impressions, you know. What will you think of our home? What will you think of me? Will you stop in surprise and think, “Sue looks much older than in her profile picture”? Will you suddenly wonder if you know me at all?

I stand at the sink filling the kettle with water. You’re sure to be thirsty after a long trip. Do you like tea? I’m not sure. We have coffee as well. There is so much about you I don’t know. But we have time to chat and chat. We shall get to know each other properly... as long as we hit it off.

Do you think we’ll suddenly be shy when we see each other? Will we not know what to say? What if we can’t get a conversation going? What if we can't understand each other's accents?

You will be travelling along the cutting by now. You’ll be whizzing through the tunnel of sandstone rock, gum trees forming a cathedral ceiling over your head. Out into the sun and back into the dappled shade. Roll down the window. Sniff the fresh damp earthy smell. You might be able to see little waterfalls trickling off the rock. We’ve had a bit of rain recently. You should see the cutting when it really rains. Water rushes along the road with nowhere to go. It’s quite exciting if you have a sense of adventure. Don’t worry about the ditches either side of the road. Only a few people have driven over the edge, hit the rock, and upturned their vehicles. Callum isn’t one of those people. You are quite safe.

Can you see the village sign? You are almost here. A couple of turns and you'll be heading down our street. I’d better open the door and get outside.

I’m standing on the driveway peering down the road. My legs feel a bit shaky. What am I so nervous about? I practice a smile. “Hi! I’m Sue,” I say. No, that’s ridiculous. Who else would I be?

What will you notice as you come along our road? Are our houses different to yours? You’ll see a mixture of old cottages and new houses. We live in one of the new ones. Watch out for a light brick house with a brown roof. It’s half hidden behind a shrubby garden. We’re right down the end of the road close to the bush. That’s where we run. I wonder if you’ll come running with us while you’re here. There’s gum trees everywhere, and wattles and bottlebrushes. Perhaps you won’t be looking at the trees. You might be trying to spot me.

“Look! They’re here!” I yell. Everyone comes running. My whole family is anxious to meet you. “Don’t overwhelm our guest,” I warn. We’re rather a crowd.

Callum turns into the driveway. I can see you! You’re smiling. You slide out of the ute, and then you stop. I stop too. The moment I've been dreaming about for so long has finally arrived. What do I do? What do I say?  I wonder what you're thinking. Are you glad to be here?

We stand still just for a second or two. And then all of a sudden, we both move. We open our arms. We hug! We hug real hugs for the first time ever. I’m grinning and so are you. Then we both start to speak. The words come tumbling out… lots of them.

“Welcome to our home,” I say, as I link my arm through yours. We move towards the house. Soon we’ll be sitting at the kitchen table, mugs of tea in our hands. We are going to talk and talk and talk… Not know what to say to each other? We’re not going to have any trouble at all.

So when are you coming? 

Post a Comment

  1. You're a born writer, Sue. This was great!

    Of course, it doesn't really apply to me - I already know and love you to bits! But, it was an exciting read.

    You really ought to write that book, you know.

    Cyber-hug xoxoxo

    1. Vicky,

      Thank you! I hope one day you'll be able to take a trip down to see us. I'd love to share our home with you, and show you all the places I write about. We'd hug real tight too, even though we already know each other very well!

      I'll think about the book!

      Hugs coming right back towards you!

  2. This is so very touching.
    I felt like this post was written exclusively for me. As Vicky says, you're a born writer.
    If I ever win in the lottery, or inherit a rich uncle, or get just a little money to save up each month, I'll make this dream come true. So far we're rich in children and laughter, but not moneywise.
    Like you I am no good at driving through big cities ;) But as I'm the only one with a driver's license so far, I would be picking you up in our likewise rusty mini-bus (10-person thingy), if you all came here, and hope not to get lost on the way home.
    PS. we drink tea and coffee both. Do you like homemade cakes?

    PPS which book ... please write it.

    1. Uglemor,

      I am glad you felt my words were directed at you. I would love to meet you one day. I can just imagine that special moment when we finally see each other in person.

      We are rich in children too, and laughter, but not money. But sometimes the unexpected happens. One day you just might pick us up in your rusty mini-bus. That would be so exciting! By the way, I drive a 24 year old 9 seater van.

      I love homemade cakes. I can't wait to visit and taste yours!

      The book? A few friends have been suggesting I collect some of my stories together and publish them in book form. They are very kind!

  3. I'll be on the next flight out Sue!! Lovely post of emotions and anticipation. You do have a way with words that draws your readers. God bless!

    1. Noreen,

      If only we could get on the next flight out! Wouldn't that be wonderful? We should have a bloggers' conference somewhere central, and all meet each other. I can just imagine how we'd talk and hug and talk some more. Thank you for your kind words!

      God bless!

  4. Oh my, I so wish we could come!!!
    You are so gifted, Sue. Love your words, love them. The descriptions of the houses, gum trees, the cutting ( hedges? love that word though)make me feel I am there. And I can just picture the homes coming with the crowd and then sitting at the table.
    Funny thing is, of course we've never met but I just know this is how it'd be if any of us visited you in the land down under.

    OH! and BTW, my kids know of you from that adorable ferret picture you posted a while ago....we were in teh car coming home from somewhere; I forget where now. A few days ago.
    "The Land Down Under" came on the radio...they went nuts..."MOm, you should buy this song on CD and send it to your friend!" they were saying.
    I told them that I am positive you and everyone who has a pulse who lives in the The Land Down Under has heard it by now is probably sick to death of it.
    Kev said, "Actually that's kind of like someone sending us a copy of Sinatra's "NY, NY!" True.
    I sort of have a love/hate relationship with that song. It was so darn over played when it came out. But I do love Ol' Blue Eyes!
    You know, my Dad's singing voice was much like Sinatra's and in fact there was a singing competition back in the 30's at some radio station in NYC that my Dad entered b.c everyone told him he had a great voice and he should make a record.....he entered and lost but came in in the top 10....maybe top 5...he was pretty high up there but I don't know if I ever knew the exact details.
    Guess who came in 1st? That's right. And they're still playing his songs on the radio. I just love Sinatra. And that's why I can't write abt my Dad still, 20 years later....getting teary eyed with just that one story. I do need to work through the emotion b.c I have a lot of great stuff to tell but it's still very you well know. None of us is a stranger to grief.

    Ok Sue, I think you may need to put a limit in the com box for me so I don'r write my own post here! LOL

    Take care and thanks for the lovely "greeting" in your post today! Seems like were actually did visit!
    Love ya

    1. Chris,

      I don't think we need to meet in order to become friends. I have made so many good friends online, including you. But meeting would be the icing on the cake! How wonderful it would be to talk in person, to share our homes, to hug properly...

      The cutting... the road into our village was cut through solid sandstone. Walls of stone rise up both sides of the road forming a tunnel. Water drips off the rock, especially when we've had rain. Many people say it's a dangerous road because it would be easy to drive into the rock in adverse conditions. We have got used to the road and it doesn't worry us. We just take care!

      Isn't your son kind and thoughtful wanting to send us a CD of The Land Down Under? I am touched. Yes, I remember that song. It's become an Aussie icon, I guess.

      Thank you so much for sharing your Dad's singing story. What a beautiful memory! Yes, it is difficult sometimes to share the grief that is so close to our heart. I'm sorry you have lost your father. I have just written my own post about losing Andy's dad. In the Memoir Project, the author suggested we write our stories even if we aren't able to share them yet. The day might arrive when we are ready, and then we can pass on the legacy of our loved ones to others. Thank you for sharing a special memory today.

      No limit on comments here. I LOVE long comments!

      God bless!

    2. Well, love this conversation!
      Congrats on finishing your A to Z!!

      Have a great day.

  5. LOVED THIS!! I felt like this was written just for me, though I see I am not alone in feeling that way!! :) I felt anticipation reading this, and got tears in my eyes when I pulled up into your driveway and saw you and jumped out to hug you! :) Love love love!!!

    1. Susan,

      I can just imagine you pulling up on my driveway too. I bet we'd both cry. The only question is who would cry most? It's a wonderful dream, isn't it? Maybe one day... My other story is me coming to see you! Thank you for sharing my imaginary meeting.

  6. Sue, I hope you're building an addition onto your house, because it looks as if we're ALL busy packing our bags. I have actually lived through this exact scene several times myself, and everything you wrote was spot on.

    In particular I relate to the time a dear Australian friend came (with her husband) to our American home. Kathleen wrote simply to thank me for an article I had in a magazine in 1993, and we became fast friends (does this sound familiar to all of Sue's dear friends here?!?). Long story short: they made a trip over. Kathleen and I were exactly as we'd imagined, we NEVER stopped talking, our husbands became immediate pals, and my husband and I then came over to your side of the earth a year later. Kathleen and I began chattering by snail-mail exactly 20 years ago, and we haven't shut up since.

    Sue, you wrote of this as if you'd just experienced it. Every emotion, every concern, it was all so TOTALLY real that it ushered every one of your readers to your door - for a thoroughly wonderful visit!!!

    1. Nancy,

      You've lived through this SEVERAL times! See! Dreams do come true. My story might actually happen.

      It's amazing the friendships that can develop from one comment. It is so lovely to hear you and Kathleen hit it off so well. I am sure if you or any of my online friends came to visit, we wouldn't stop talking either. I just KNOW we'd be immediate pals too.

      Nancy, I remember you telling me about your trip to WA. That's only the other side of Australia from here. I am sure if you got to WA okay, you'll find you way here with no problems at all. Now I know your joints are giving you trouble and you might not feel up to a long journey at the moment, but when you do feel like having an adventure you must come and visit!

  7. If there is an "award" anytime, anywhere for
    Best Blogger Relpies to Reader Comments, you've got it!

  8. Replies
    1. Chris,

      You are very kind. I love chatting in the comments box. That's the best bit about blogging. I have made so many friends this way. It is a real pleasure to reply to everyone's comments. Thank you for your comments!

  9. I just have to pop back in and second Chris' "nomination" for Sue's Best Blogger Replies. No wonder we all love you, Sue! You GENUINELY HEAR each and every person, and we can feel your sincere caring across the wireless-wires :)!

    1. Nancy,

      Thank you! I am so blessed. Look at all the wonderful people who stop to say hello and chat. How could I not reply to everyone properly? Would you guess I love a good conversation in real life?


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