My house is not a mansion. It is a little rough around the edges but it is home to me.
I remember the day we moved in. It was a wet June day in 2002. David and I had driven from Adelaide to Melbourne to catch the overnight ferry to Devonport and then driven for another five hours to reach the Huon Valley. We hoped that our payment would be transferred that day and that we would be able to spend the night in our new home.
It was late afternoon by the time we pulled into the driveway. Someone, the previous owner perhaps, had lit a fire in the wood heater and left us a few logs to get started. We had no furniture except what was packed in the back of the station wagon, air mattresses, sleeping bags, a couple of chairs and a card table. Our dog, Tessie, made the trip sitting on top of a pile of blankets on the back seat.
The next day the rest of our things arrived and once we had our books, pictures, knick-knacks and familiar furniture the place began to look like home. The final touch was the arrival of our cat who was flown to Hobart a few days later.
Over the years this house has become a home. Everywhere I look I see familiar things, some of them were in my childhood homes or David’s. There are things that belonged to his grandparents and mine and of course things we have collected ourselves along the way.
I think I have always had a strong sense of place so the town has become home too. If I go to the local shops I know I will almost certainly meet someone I know, if I am walking more often than not someone will stop and offer me a lift. I think I’m lucky to have had that, not all country towns welcome outsiders so willingly.