Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I'm far, far away with my head up in the clouds (Slade)

You angel, you (You may say I'm a dreamer - Chapter 2, pt 4)

Kawau Rd., One Tree Hill

After a traumatic event people tend to toughen up, build some outer layers of resistence. Not me.

Emotionally, after my Uncle Jack's death in 1967 (yes we're still in that stellar year), I transferred love to Ma.

Lucy Adsett had the uncanny ability to make you feel special. Outside of my parents, I've only come across a few with that knack. Jacky Smith, Colin Prentice, Margo/ Clay and Patrick Cameron have that genuine ability.

I'm pretty sure she didn't treat me any differently than she did her other grand children, but I felt she did.

Eleven Kawau Road, One Tree Hill, was a state advances home of peculiar design. A long path at the front led to the front door but we rarely entered there. Instead the big back stairs led up to the kitchen diner (where all the action took place), through into the bedrooms and the lounge.

Ma, Uncle Mel, Uncle Jack
It housed the Adsett family until two sons and a daughter were married and left home, leaving Ma and Jack to themselves. It had a big back section with a bird aviary attached to an outbuilding. The aviary, in particular, always fascinated me.

This is the house I would visit often during the sixties/ early seventies. I went there for special trout dinners - Ross was allergic to fish so we never had it at home, and I LOVED fish, especially trout, and especially the way Ma cooked it. 

Typically, mum would drop me off (it's a 10 minute drive from Korma Rd to Kawau Rd). I'd do some gardening, maybe mow the lawns, do some painting - whatever odd jobs Ma needed doing, and I'd be rewarded with a trout  lunch, cooked to perfection. I've had trout cooked for me since, but it never tastes like Ma's.

I would often stay overnight and have special treats like being allowed to stay up late to watch The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Then mum would pick me up the next day. Life was warm and safe and happy at 11 Kawau Rd.

I can't remember ever having an argument with Ma. She was small of stature, but a little dynamo of energy - still washing walls and beating carpets in her 80's. She had a wonderful combination of steel and compassion. She never tried to buy us with presents, as Grandma did. She bought us with love.

Her influence is incalculable. Looking back, I can trace many positive aspects of myself ultimately to her.

I knew something was wrong in 1974 when dad picked Ross and me up after school from Mt Albert Grammar. That had never happened before.

Ma had been unwell ( I was living in teenage boy fog at the time, so I'm not sure of the details) and it was decided that she move into our new Ramelton Road house with us. Specifically she was in mum's sewing room by the front door, and that's where she passed away.

I don't remember crying. I didn't need to. She had given me much more than I had any right to expect. She had lived a long, full, rewarding life and she was at peace, passing away with my mother by her side. She was back with Jack again.

Love and peace - Wozza

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