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Saying Goodbye

The last sleep—only I can’t.  I have at least said a good farewell to Brisbane, to the great people who have become friends, to the gift of reflection, renewal, rediscovery.  I think I now understand the concept of sabbaticals, and we all should have them.

It only took four days to really say the goodbyes.

Wednesday I met Annabel at Threads and More.  Mars was there with her lovely granddaughter who brought her needlepoint and joined the ladies.  Geraldine, unexpectedly, was there; the rain had canceled her trip.  Lynda, the owner, greeted me with the “Hi, Jane,” I have begun to expect.  It’s like showing up at Cheers and I’m Norm.

We talked and joked and just didn’t talk about my leaving.  I bought some cute things made by Alyssa.  A crochet hook holder and a pin cushion.

I was able to tell Marion how much I loved her work at Graydon Gallery;  she has promised me some lessons if I return.

Geraldine made me an example of the Traveling Vine stitch, the one I have been trying to figure out.  She even had written the directions for me.

Annabel, who took me on a tour of quilt shops, gave me three of her scrumbles.  She has been working on these for two years to get enough to make a jacket, but she gave me three of them.  I was so touched.  They will probably be hung on my wall.  She also wrote the sweetest note.

Lynda reminded me that if I am going to get to come back, I must give her enough notice to advertise some workshops for me to teach.   I promised.

I paid up and walked back to the train station for the last trip back to the city.

Thursday, Liz took me to the Thursday night Knitting group at Tangled Yarns.

Julia came in her new sweater. She was determined to finish it before I left and she did.  It looks wonderful on her.  We had a nice evening and then Liz, Julia and I went to this special restaurant and had desserts and wine.

Julia taught me something very important—I didn’t want to eat anything because I was wearing my new dress and I didn’t want to get the inevitable food stains on it.  She reached into her bag and pulled out this big silk scarf, threw it over my shoulders and chest and said, “There, now you can safely eat.”    I had a really classy bib.  And I did get wine on it, but Julia graciously said it would just remind her of me.

Friday—I went bib shopping.  Scarves were on sale and I bought three.

Saturday we spent with Liz and Brett.  They drove us up the Sunshine Coast to places they love.  We saw quiet towns where locals spend their holidays.

King Prawns

We visited one of their favorite seafood places for lunch.  It was very different.  It was a seafood market where you could buy whole fish, filets, prawns etc. and then they would cook them for you.

Prawn Peeler Man

Upstairs was a big room where we could eat and look out at the boats in the harbor.

We ate King prawns, Long tail Moreton Bay Bugs

and fried Barramundi.  With our fingers.  It was wonderful.  We took pictures and laughed a lot.

We drove to Noosa, where some of the beautiful people go, and shopped a bit.  Ate ice cream on the beach and watched the storm come in.  Steve bought a T shirt and Liz bought a great beaded top.  The rain came and so we headed back to Brisbane.  Steve and Brett talked every possible kind of motor sport and then relived every World War II series ever shown on the History Channel.  Liz and I just listened and laughed and I knit.

She brought us a going away bag with Anzac biscuits, souvenirs of Australia, and a calendar to mark the date of our return.  She really believes we will be back.  Wrote such a lovely card.

We came back to our place, had cheese and fig and beer.  Brett gave us lots of info as we watched the third match of The Ashes test match—cricket, against England.  Such a great day with friends.

Today I washed and packed and just thought.  Steve ran in and out to get us some food, but I was content just to sit and wait for tomorrow.  This has been such a gift and I do so hope I won’t forget the things I have learned.  I know I’ll never forget the people who have made us feel so at home here.

It’s 1:30 am and I should be in bed.  No worries.  I’ll sleep on the plane.

More later—from home.

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8 Responses

  1. Yup – a great day was had by all! We have had so much fun hanging out the past couple of months – the first of many times to come. Brett is pleased that his talents have now been recognized and that he is officially now a “Prawn Star” on the Net!! Something to brag about to the guys at work.
    I also want to thank Jane for sharing so much of herself with me. From learning to backwards knit, the magic loop and her generosity giving me her personal patterns as well as opening my mind to consider what endless possibilities exist to this thing we do with string and sticks. Not to mention our pockets are bulging with the money we saved on our austerity drives to those Yarn Stores! Thank you Steve and Jane for having the courage to come ‘Down Under’ and live like the Brisbanites you most truly have become!

  2. Jane,

    Thanks for taking us along with you to Australia. I truly believe that knitters are the greatest folks on earth!

  3. Oh Jane you had so many adventures! I’m so proud of you! Can’t wait to see you again!

  4. Safe travels Jane! We’ll be happy to have you back in Charlotte!

  5. Hi Jane,
    Glad to hear you made it back. I can’t believe I missed your updates on your blog..been busy here.
    Still raining here, though..so you’re not missing much at all in that department! I hope you’re enjoying the cold over there, and able to wear all your handknits you’ve made.
    Great piccies of your last days here in Brissie. I can’t believe you posted me in all my glory!! I was wondering would you be happy if I use your picture of my pullover for my rav page, I can’t get a decent photo due bad lighting here?
    Keep us Aussie girls up-to-date with all happenings over there!
    Happy New Year greeting to you!!!
    Julia

  6. Hi Jane,

    glad to hear that you have made it home safe and was wonderful to meet you on your trip down under.

    Liz, If you see this where is the place that you went to buy and eat the seafood? Being new to the area I am always keen to find where the locals go.

  7. Hi Kylie
    We went to Mooloolaba Fisheries on the Mooloolaba Spit past Underwater World and then we drove past Morgans at Scarborough near Redcliffe on the way back which also has great fresh seafood.
    We are at Maroochydore at the moment and had some freshly cooked reef fish and chips for $7.90! yum

  8. Liz – thanks so much for this info. Might have to come for a drive and check it out – we just had to cut our holiday to Mackayshort by 10 days and are looking for some holiday things to do:)

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