Homeward bound

The passing of a close family friend called me home this past week. Our family has known Eric and his family for almost forty years, having met them when our family moved to a small country town when I was about six years old. Eric was heavily involved in a variety of community activities and events, including the local football club and the billy cart derby (reincarnated in recent years as the Billycart Classic) and he was a popular, well known character throughout the area. One of my first paying jobs was washing old wine bottles for Eric’s ‘Murrumbidgee Wines’ business, the water in the barrels was always cold and up to our armpits, the smell of bleach filled our nostrils and even worse was the smell of old, wine and mould. Just when we thought that we had finished washing and rinsing bottles Eric would alert us to another pallet of bottles behind the shed.

As a teen I knew I wouldn’t stay in the one place forever, even though my childhood afforded me the freedom to explore the countryside on horseback and on foot without a care in the world. The desire to go to university took me away from home, returning for long weekends and semester breaks. There were always a few constants when returning home, my family, the starry skies, the local swimming hole and friends such as Eric, his wife and daughters. Eric’s daughters are still among my closest friends, our paths don’t always cross frequently yet when we meet it is as though we have never been apart and there is always lots of laughter when we recall our childhood and the antics of our families. Every Christmas morning we would gather in Eric’s garage and driveway for a breakfast feast to rival the best hotels, fresh summer fruits, bacon, eggs and hash browns all washed down with champagne and a dose of story telling from the night before.

At such a sad time it can be hard to remember all the good moments shared, and there were plenty. Each morning I was home I wandered an old familiar path for my morning walk and remembered the good and the funny things about Eric, and was thankful for growing up in a small country town.

Rest in peace Eric, thank you for the wonderful memories and for giving me two beautiful friends x

14 thoughts on “Homeward bound

  1. Fabulous Fur Friends July 6, 2014 / 5:54 pm

    Very sorry to hear of the loss of your family’s friend Eric. But what wonderful memories and photos and friendships you have that you can treasure for ever. He sounds like a wonderful fellow.

    • twoblackdoggies July 6, 2014 / 6:19 pm

      Thank you Kylie, he was a lovely, funny fellow and yes, many wonderful memories.

  2. cyardin July 6, 2014 / 11:11 pm

    Sorry for your loss. But it is good to see that you have plenty of fond memories that will live on about your family friend.

    • twoblackdoggies July 8, 2014 / 7:10 pm

      Thank you. Those good memories are so important to have and to share.

    • twoblackdoggies July 8, 2014 / 7:09 pm

      Thanks Emily, lots of great memories that will keep him alive in our minds for many years to come.

  3. kareninhonolulu July 7, 2014 / 3:44 am

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend. It seems in the past two years friends have been dying all around me and all much younger.

    How wonderful though that you were he and able to share those beautiful photos.

    • twoblackdoggies July 8, 2014 / 7:09 pm

      Thank you Karen, I’m at that age now where life threatening illness and funerals are starting to outnumber the funerals and christenings. It is very sad.

  4. restlessjo July 8, 2014 / 10:33 pm

    Sad times for you, too, Sam 🙂 We forget sometimes that life is speeding past all around us, don’t we? Despite Eric’s death it sounds like you would have had a good visit home, and plenty of hugs, I’m sure. Sorry for your loss.

    • twoblackdoggies July 9, 2014 / 8:21 pm

      Thank you Jo. Life is moving so quickly and it seems that these last few weeks have been emotional for many around us. It was a good visit home, lots of hugs and plenty of reminiscing. Take care Jo x

  5. Misaki July 9, 2014 / 7:34 am

    So sorry to hear about your friend xx

  6. megtraveling July 9, 2014 / 11:02 am

    You have really wonderful memories and I hope they are comforting to you in the days to come…

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