#9 It Happened in New Zealand…or Was It Australia…

After a brief hiatus…I’m back!

Completing WordPress Writing 101 was a phenomenal experience!  Five days a week…Monday thru Friday…for four weeks…the firmament was lit with the brilliance of hundreds? or more?? of talented writers/bloggers!  And now I am part of that family.  What a gift!!

Writing/posting daily assignments, then reading and responding to what my fellow bloggers wrote and posted set me on fire!

Now it’s up to me to stoke those dying embers…

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Our next stop is Wodonga, NSW, AU.  Our host is Margi.  She greets us at the airport and we head for “home” in her Toyota SUV.  We approach the gate to her almost-on-top-of-the-mountain homestead.  It reads “Yalca,”   Funny…there’s something…almost surreal about this setting…It’s almost as if…well, almost as if I”m on a movie set.  Great guns!  If that’s the case, just think of the photo ops awaiting me!  Welcome to…

 Yalca…the Sights and Sounds at Home on the Range

Yalca.  An unfamiliar name to me.  But then being on another continent, in another country, I’m getting used to the “unusual.”  Margi shares the history of Yalca, the name she chose for her homestead.

IMG_1771For starters, acquisition of these 100 acres was quite a challenge!  Many folks desired this location, but were turned down because to build a house on a mountain top would change the skyline.  It would chop up the continuous mountain view which was not allowed by Wodonga “law.”  Well, Margi got around that one with her proposal to build on the “side” of the mountain.  It worked!  Although it’s a relatively “new” house (built in 2000), the exterior has a weathered look of one built in the 1950s.

IMG_1757Yalca’s six Tudor Gothic windows are from the  dismantled remains of the Yalca Church of England built in 1888 in Yalca, NSW.  Margi artistically continues the Tudor Gothic “church” theme both internally and externally as you will see.  Yalca.  With this one word, Margi immortalizes the memory of these hallowed windows.  Viewing a sunset through one of these windows is the only needed explanation!

http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/770668

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The shiny sound of welding (Can you hear it??) continues day after day.  Len and Margi work on her “Family” sculpture.  The family members of Mom, Dad and Child are represented by augers of different heights.

IMG_1794 IMG_1775

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Back to me…
My journal entry for 1/7/15 says:
My spirit is happy here at Yalca.  It is a safe place to cry…not out of happiness or sadness…just tears/emotions that wish to be released.  I cried some tears today while I danced.  I love dancing and twirling around Margi’s house…it is sooo spacious!
And it’s this same spacious house I vacuumed from front to back and from side to side! Not just once, mind you, but twice during our two week stay.  No carpets…just hard wood floors accented with decorative rugs here and there.  Now picture this!  Here comes Margi carrying some crazy looking apparatus.  It’s a vacuum attached to some kind of a back brace with straps!  And I thought my backless, strapless bra was complicated!  She straps it to my back.  “You’re right handed so this should work OK.  How’s that feel?” she asks. My head wobbles a bit. “I’ll just lengthen the back strap a…bit…more.  Yeah, that’s better!”  She shows me how to change the nozzle heads, helps me find the “start” button,  assures me I’ll get the “get the hang of it,” and with a parting “Hi Ho Silver and away we go!”,  Margi heads for the door and I stumble around the floor.  Now, if I do that “Donald O’Connor thing” and skew the left side of my lip, I could pass for Quasi Modo’s twin!
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IMG_1742This is another fun thing I got to do!  You are looking through Margi’s screen door from outside to inside.  See those hearts? They are cut out of metal screening material and  hand sewn over tears/holes in her screen.  I didn’t do these particular ones, but did get an opportunity to mend tears in her side door screen.   I’m a seamstress and thought it would be a snap…but it wasn’t! It’s a real balancing act to hold the door open while pushing the needle through the screen with my right hand and catching it on the other side with my left.  I only lost one needle!
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More about Yalca:  The Sights and Sounds at Home on the Range in my next Post!
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