Thursday, 26 March 2015

good to be back home!

edited to add photos

Between last Friday and Tuesday, we (WM, mum and I) notched up over 2,000 kilometres (1250 miles) by driving out to Bathurst to collect my nephew from university then to drive to Tamworth, where my sister lives. Saturday was the wedding of my sister’s older daughter – the wedding itself was held in Quirindi (the town where my niece lives) and the reception in the village of Duri. After the wedding we returned to Tamworth where were staying in a motel; DD and SIL had the room next door – it was lovely to spend some time with them.
the bride and her maternal grandmother
 On Sunday, we drove the 153km (approx 95 miles) to the town of Bingara, where my parents retired twenty-nine years ago. We spent a couple of days going through mum’s extensive wardrobe and her personal possessions and WM did an amazing job of cramming as much in his small sedan as was possible. It took him more than four hours and I never thought the unloading would finish when we arrived home at 8pm on Tuesday (after stopping for lunch at my sister’s in Tamworth).
goodbye to mum's newly-roofed house
Most of Wednesday was spend unpacking and finding homes for all this paraphernalia! It won’t all fit in mum’s bedroom so it’s going to have to be culled again when we finally find a room for her in an aged care facility. Right now, we are waiting for my sister to get an appointment with Centrelink (the Australian government’s Department of Human Services); we can proceed no further without their approval and assistance. Today my sister is seeing a solicitor and the only real estate agent in Bingara to get some guidance in how we proceed from here.

The property market in major towns and cities in Australia is booming; houses are selling in less than a month of being on the market. But in small country towns like Bingara, where there are no jobs and no prospects, the population is mostly elderly and more and more properties keep coming on to the market as they move into aged care facilities or die. The last home mum and dad owned in Bingara took several years to sell; and it was less than ten years old. Mum’s current home is nearly 100 years old, in need of TLC (it will probably be a knock-down-and-rebuild) so we are under no illusions that this home will sell in an over-saturated market. We are considering renting it rather than having it stand empty; but that means clearing out the accumulation of fifty-plus years of marriage – and both my parents were hoarders in different ways! Much of dad’s stuff is gone but there is still a lot of stuff to be sorted!

Today WM has gone back to work and mum and I are having a quiet day at home – just three loads of washing (laundry) separate me from my sewing machine! Mum is not happy in new or strange environments so it’s good to have a day where she can completely relax!

How’s your week shaping up?


  1. Your mum will probably need a few days to settle after being here, there and everywhere. I know I would. We found it much easier to go through MIL's stuff without her being there, both her house and later her single room in nursing home when she moved to bed care. DIL and I did the house originally and got rid of an immense amount of garbage, truly garbage. Three skips worth over several days. Her son went through her clothes from the single room as he had no idea what state the house had been in and disbelieved us. Even in a room, she had accumulated a pile of things. He was amazed at her clothes, stained, cigarette burns etc. Cosmetics twenty yeas old etc. He saw things in a different light. However, it was definitely easier without her there.

    Take care and rest up to unwind. As I suggested in email, the Centrelink professional financial advisors are helpfu.l They know what they are dealing with but make suggestions to you of options, not lay down the path you must go unless it is something laid down in law.

  2. Everyone is tied after a trip so I can imagine your mum even more so. Happy sorting; it's so much fun!

  3. I am glad you are home safe and sound.


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