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Looking Back… July 21, 2015

Posted by Robbie in Musings.
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Researching family history is not a competitive sport yet there are some out there who evaluate their success as family historians by how many people they have in their tree or by how far back they have managed to trace their various lines. The further back you are able to go, the more points you score.

I think not!

For me, its not the numbers nor is it the distance back in time I can take my trees.  Its all about the stories, the people, the memories, the contributions they made, the trials and tribulations they faced and how these stories have helped to shape who I am and those who come after me.

21 July is my father’s birthday. If he was still with us, we would be blowing out 87 candles this year. It is my plan to spend this day writing and researching a little of my father’s story and making pancakes for breakfast.

Why pancakes?

Because the tradition of birthday breakfast pancakes is a part of my story and that of my siblings and their children we owe to Dad.  It was Dad’s way of celebrating our birthdays.  He would storm into the kitchen early and announce to all and sundry that he was making breakfast for everyone and especially for the birthday girl or boy.  There would be messily mixed bowls of batter on the bench, spoons dripping excess onto the kitchen floor, lemons being cut into wedges and the smell of hot butter melting in the frying pan.  Enthusiastic sprinkling of sugar usually resulted in a delicate crunch underfoot.

It was loud, messy, sticky and delicious!  They were never the best pancakes in the world as Dad’s cooking prowess was a trifle suspect, but who cared?  It was a special way to start a special day and we loved it.  We have carried this memory into our own family’s lives and shared it with our children.  This little piece of ‘history’ for our particular family makes our story just that little more about the people as people not just another name on the tree.

Gerhard Douglas Noel Stockfeld 1928 - 1997

Gerhard Douglas Noel Stockfeld 1928 – 1997

 

Wordless Wednesday July 15, 2015

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Winter feeding

Winter feeding New Holland Honey Eater……

Wordless Wednesday July 1, 2015

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Sundew

Sundew

National Volunteer Week May 13, 2015

Posted by Robbie in Musings.
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Are you a volunteer?

Many people contribute to the welfare of our communities by generously giving of their time and skills for the benefit of others. Some 20 years ago I attended a function in Melbourne Central celebrating the contributions of volunteers.  At that event the contributions of volunteers were estimated to be worth many millions of dollars to our economy.

The Country Fire Authority and Meals on Wheels were the main organisations mentioned for the work they do in helping our community.  If the work done by these organisations wasn’t voluntary, our community would be significantly worse off.

Not all voluntary work is about providing health and welfare services that would otherwise be the responsibility of government. Many people contribute skills in event management, driving, personal care, financial skills, editing, writing, researching, translating , mentoring, teaching, cooking, childcare, building, fundraising, gardening ….. the list is endless!

Twenty years later and the value of the work of volunteers cannot be underestimated.  It forms a significant part of our economy.  Volunteers may not receive financial remuneration for their work, but that doesn’t make it any the less meaningful or worthwhile.

I volunteer.

I have volunteered in one capacity or another for as long as I can remember.  I have been asked to speak on Friday at a function celebrating and recognising volunteers in my local area.

What to say?

I would be speaking to people just like myself ….. people who love to give of themselves for the benefit of others. I couldn’t imagine that there was anything I could say that would be ‘enlightening’.  I’m still struggling with writing my ‘speech’ but I realised that what was important was to share the pleasure and the joy in being able to make a difference to someone’s life.

This year’s National Volunteer Week theme is “Give Happy, Live Happy”.

Luckily for the community, there are lots of happy volunteers out there who give …. and give…. and give….. and give!

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Wordless Wednesday May 13, 2015

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