You've now been away for two and a half weeks, which makes this the longest time you've been away from us since you were born, almost 16 years ago.
We miss you.
In the past week since I published my blog we've heard from you twice. Each email has been the sweetest surprise. We've read them over and over, out loud and to ourselves. We've discussed all the details and tried to fill in the blanks. For me it's enough just to hear that you are well and to get a glimpse of where you are and how you're feeling. I almost can't believe that while we're still here, you are spending your days climbing to the top of mountains, visiting ancient places, jumping off boats into the bluest seas, eating meals in the ruins of castles with no roofs and watching fabulous sunsets. But for Dad, your emails just make him miss you more (he's such a sook).
Until now you've been traveling around the same Greek islands that our family travelled around last year. When you talk about Santorini I know what that crazy drive looks like from the ferry right up all those sharp hairpin turns to the top, I can imagine you strolling through the white stone alleyways with your class mates, making friends with all the cats and the old Greek men selling olives and grapes. I can feel how hot and sweaty the air is and I can easily remember that sunset and the crowds that swarm to that side of the island to watch it. I hope you managed to stay well away from their pointy selfie sticks.
But last night, or the night before, you travelled to Athens and from here your trip goes into uncharted waters as you visit places we've never been and we can only imagine. I wonder if this part will feel harder for us.
The highlight of our past week has again been the rain. (I know you think excessive weather talk is boring). Last Wednesday we were flooded in as our driveway became a raging river that tipped me over while I was trying to rescue some crates that were starting to float away. Piles of stacked firewood disappeared down the creek and we lost a bee hive that we later found at the bottom of the orchard. Jobbo had to cancel work on the renovation as he couldn't get here and we had to take the back way through the forest to get the girls to school, which involved cutting two fallen trees up with a chainsaw.
It all felt very dramatic and exciting and was all anyone was talking about, but the noise on the roof started driving me crazy and I missed the sunlight, and the garden, and I worried about our precious top soil being carried off down the valley.
In the end I made a Facebook plea to Mother Nature to let it rain all she liked in September but to please give us an October filled with still, sunshine filled, perfect bee flying weather for the apple pollination. In retrospect I probably should have said something about being kind over the school holidays too, but one can only hope...
This week the renovations have continued and just before I took my computer out to write this in my car (I can't concentrate with the radio playing loud inside) I actually stood in your room. The lining boards on one side are up, the door is framed, a beautiful second hand door has been bought, and the electrician is coming in tomorrow to work out where all of your power points will go. It is crazy exciting and I know that you are unsure but I know best that you'll love it.
Last Friday night Dad and I went to a party hosted by Instagram. By the time we drove into Melbourne through horrific Friday night traffic to drop the girls off, drove back across the city to the hotel to get changed, and then caught a cab to the warehouse, we were an hour and a half late
We missed the introductions, we missed the panel's talks and the discussion and therefore we missed the point of the whole thing. Which was a shame. We did have a drink and admire the table laden with sweet food that looked like savoury and savoury that looked like sweet (there's a couple of pictures on my Foxs Lane Facebook). We chatted to a few people who seemed very excited about the whole experience. We tried to work out what sort of accounts the other guests had, we kissed and posed for photos in front of the instagram sign (I know, teenagers) and we grabbed our show bags and left. We never did meet anyone famous and we never did see anyone else with dirt under their fingernails or accidental straw left in their beanie.
I've looked but I haven't seemed to be able to find anyone else's account of the night. It was actually weirdly noticeable how few phones there were at a phone app event. I seriously felt self conscious taking the couple of pics I did!
In the last week I finally cast off the Aztek sockz and have gone back to the scarf I was knitting in Woodend. It's kinda nice to be slowly working through those colourful balls that you wound for me before you left to keep your hands busy while your brain went crazy with all the 'what ifs' of this trip.
After I finished a horrible book that I don't want to talk about, I read a chapter of The Catcher in the Rye which I ended up finding in our bookshelves as we were clearing them out. Are you reading it too? Are you enjoying it?
I'm also reading Nina Stibble's Paradise Lodge which Bee handed over last night. Jazzy has started calling her my dealer.
And I'm listening to a podcast called Casefile which is true crime stories and pretty bleak. I'm totally addicted though and it has filled many hours of school drives this week.
The leaves on the apple trees are about to come out, as you can see by the photos we're moving the chooks and we've got a tower of egg trays on the bench, we've eaten asparagus, rocket and still loads of potatoes.
As I'm finishing this off I can hear Jazzy rehearsing her song for the soiree tomorrow night to Dad in the other room. Pepper spent the day at an art class and is shattered. I wonder what you'd be doing if you were here. I wonder what you're doing over there?
That's how I feel a bit about you. This independent, guitar playing, Greek Island hopping, beautiful email writing girl. I feel so blessed to be your mother but also to watch from the sidelines as you have adventures and find your place in the world.
I'm so proud of you.
I love your guts!!!!!