What follows is a short story from Rosemary’s past. After talking with her, I have taken our discussion and turned it into a series of small stories highlighting the incredible life that she has led. Direct quotes from our discussion are highlighted in quotation marks. All else is a retelling written by yours truly.
So Rosemary and the family slowly crippled into Perth, in a heavily dented car. Not the best way to arrive but they made it – which, considering the ordeal they just went through, is saying something.
There was no house waiting for them in Perth so their first step was to find a hotel. Rosemary doesn’t remember too well what happened in those first few days and weeks in Perth. Work and life sort of took over as it always does. For Bill there was the need to find a house for the family and to get into work. For Rosemary there was the need to care for and feed the growing number of mouths in the family. Very rarely was there a moment’s rest.
Perth, unlike Sydney and Melbourne and the rest of the eastern coast of Australia, is remarkably quiet considering it’s a big city. It was somewhat isolated from the rest of the major cities of Australia and at the time – around fifty odd years ago – it was even quieter.
In this calmer side of Australia, Rosemary and Bill soon found a house. It was a lovely house in one of Perth’s suburbs. In front of their house, across the road, stretched half a mile of scrublands and sand dunes before meeting the Indian Ocean.
This was their home and they stated their intent to stay by buying the house, not renting as they had so often done previously. After they moved in, Rosemary got to work making the house a home, finding schools for the kids, and in general setting up their lives, and Bill got to work settling into his job – which occasionally saw him travelling up and down the coast to various sites but, luckily, was nothing like the intensity of their time in Iran.
Outside the front of the house, on the sandy scrublands across the road, Rosemary discovered that a certain grass – known as horse grass if Rosemary remembers correctly – grows remarkably well, all things considered. All it needed was a little encouragement in the form of watering and it was content. More than good enough for the boys to play barefoot football.
And in the afternoons, after the kids had come home from school, Rosemary would prepare a picnic and the family, minus Bill who was still at work, would stroll on down to the beach and they would relax and play and enjoy the afternoon sun. Then Bill would drive home, quickly change into his swimming trunks, and run down to join them.
“And we’d sit on the beach and eat our meal. There was always cool air coming off the ocean and it was so nice because there were hardly any other people around.”
Then the family would walk home and ready themselves for another day. It was a lovely time for Rosemary, and a time that she thought would never end. After all, was this not to be their permanent home?
Little did she know how much things were going to change. Their lives as world travellers were about – more or less – to end.
But that’s not yet. There is still much to enjoy in the present and Rosemary, whose life is already full to the brim, is hardly concerned with what the future holds.
Stay tuned for more stories from the life of Rosemary. Please note: these stories will not necessarily hold any chronological grounding. They are designed as snippets of understanding into the life of Rosemary and while some will hold chronology, others may not.
Photo Credit: The photo in the logo was provided by Josh Spires on Unsplash. It is an aerial image of a beach in Perth. If you would like to see more of their work, click here.