It’s the first day of school holidays here. Some are enjoying it as ‘Good Friday’. You’ve probably guessed, we’re not. But there is definitely a holiday vibe here regardless. Are we going away these holidays? No. We’re just happy to slow down and relax, get things in order. My man and I have been relaxing on our front veranda, and this is our view. Because the place we live is much like a ghost town, you’re looking at our main attraction. The drawcard that ensures tourists and travellers always stop: the rest stop, the public dunny. Across from the rest stop is the general store, where you can buy your newspaper, collect your mail (we don’t have fancy things like mailboxes here), buy a drink or some hot food.
There’s also an antique store, but the general store is the main attraction. Anyway. We sit on our veranda on this, the first day of the holidays. There’s more cars on the road, and for a change, they actually seem to be in a hurry. We even saw a case of road rage today which was very unusual out here. There are vans: quirkly, cool, retro vans, well-travelled daggy vans, with stickers plastered all over, and high-end, luxury vans. All passing through to the promise of a fabulous holiday. Some have bikes or boats strapped to them.
The tired travellers get out and stretch their legs. Bored teens pace around the rest area with their mobile phones, cursing the crappy reception out here. A school aged boy stomps on the gigantic bull ants and I silently cheer him on. A different bored teen sits in her family’s car with the door hanging open, staring at my partner and I. My man, who doesn’t like to be looked at at the best of times, gets stroppy and asks me, ‘why does she have to stare at us?’ I said, ‘well, she’s probably shocked to see actual people living here. She’s probably wondering why the hell you’d live out here and how do we stand it.’ He laughed and agreed.
Out here, we can feel the holiday buzz passing through, only stopping long enough to take a pee, stretch its legs, make a phone call and grab a burger. Sometimes in the holidays, I see this activity passing by me and yearn for a holiday away. This time though, I’m tired. I want to have an Autumn holiday, snuggled up at home, sheltered from the worries of the world. I collect old papers and cardboard boxes and burn them in the fireplace. The kids exclaim once again with fascination at the flickering flames, as they always do when a fire is on. The sun is out, there is a chill in the breeze outside, but inside it’s toasty.
I want to lounge around these holidays, interspersing my time with bursts of getting this home in order somewhat. Maybe I will knit. Once the fireplace cools down, Sookie, our large cat will lay on top of it and not move a muscle until the steel box is stone cold again. I will make hot soups, hot chocolate with marshmallows and other comfort foods. I might lay back with a good book and dream about taking a holiday away in the Spring.
What will your holidays look like?