Last weekend, we had to travel to my home town for the funeral of a much loved aunt (my mum's brother's wife) who died suddenly and unexpectedly. She was, as they say, a pillar of the community, in the way you can be in a small country town. We think around 500 people attended her funeral, which is pretty amazing given the population of the town is around 3500-4000 people.
While it was terribly sad, there were some upsides to the trip - we were able to see how Connor would handle a 6 hour drive (very well!), and more importantly, we were able to introduce him to all of his uncles and aunts on my side, as well as many of his great uncles and aunts, some of whom are in their late 80s and early 90s. And of course he charmed them all!
Another thing I always enjoy about travelling "home" (it'll always be "home" to me even though I'll never live there again) is the trip itself, driving the familiar roads, seeing what has changed and what hasn't. For example, the last time I went home, I'm pretty sure these wind turbines weren't a feature of the trip:
And there wasn't nearly this much water alongside the road (my home town is in a very dry area of country NSW):
But the fields of canola:
And the wattle in flower:
And the grain silos alongside the railway line which runs parallel to the road:
are all things I'm very familiar with, and look out for along the way.
And I thought you'd like to see some sheep too, of course! Not sure what type these are, ours is a wheat/sheep district, it's too dry for dairy. It's lambing season already, and I spotted many of the little dudes with their mothers along the way.
The other thing I love about a country town is the way people are supported in times of crisis. My aunt's family had casseroles and cakes and biscuits and slices coming out their ears, and even my mum had friends bringing her food because they knew she'd have all her family at home for the funeral. Have you ever seen a sponge cake this yellow?
That's what you get with fresh eggs straight out of the chooks! Amazing! While I don't think I'd want to live at home again (there are a lot of downsides to the small town), the community aspect is a huge positive they have to offer. Not to mention being able to walk everywhere!