I always lived in a tight knit community. I had lived there my entire life. My friends were life long friends and in my neighbourhood, we all knew each other. It was great. I knew all the mom’s, the kids, the postman, the guys who worked in the shops and fast food chains, there was a real sense of community. Of course, this does come with a flip side of everyone knowing each other’s business. I never minded it, but if you liked your privacy, forget it!
I was born in the house I now live in. I used to live with my mom in the house but she passed away a few years ago, so I now live in the house with my dog.
There have been so many changes in the area. The school I went to is now a shopping mall. Most of the land and open fields have had houses built on them and there are more malls and superstores than you could ever wish for.
I grew up in such a happy household. I had 4 brothers and 6 sisters, my family was huge. We spent a great deal of our time in the local parks and fields running around just being children, having a great time. My parents were very happy, laid back parents. Obviously they taught us right from wrong but they weren’t controlling parents, they loved our exuberant, playful natures and I just remember how happy we all were. I was particularly close to one of my brothers, Alex, he was similar to me. We loved sports and being outside more than inside and we always had a laugh together. Having a large family was great, our house was full of noise and laughter and there was never a dull moment.
Alex was the family clown and was always playing practical jokes on everyone. One of his favorite’s was covering the toilet in suranne wrap or wiping the toilet seat with chilli. He never stopped. We didn’t mind though, although it wasn’t particularly pleasant, we knew he meant no harm.
The whole town had changed too. It had gone from being a small community of around 1,000 to 50,000 people. There were no fields left, just a play park and there were houses, shops and people everywhere.
This did not change the close knit feel of the place though. It was a large town with a small town mentality.
When my mum died, my dad moved in with my sister. My entire family had moved out of the town for various reasons, marriage, kids, bigger house, jobs. I was the only one left. Of course I visited them in their various locations and they came to visit me, but I sure did miss them.
The house was quiet. I loved the house which is why I stayed and eventually bought it from my dad and I enjoyed living there, but I did get lonely from time to time and spent most of my time out and about.
I studied a lot. It kept my mind ticking over, as I was now retired and sometimes it was the only human contact I had. I enjoyed the social aspect and the classes were fun.
Sewing class was my first class. I had no idea what I was doing at first but after a while I became proficient, bought the best sewing machine under $200 at www.sewingmachine.today, I was retired so budget was important and started making my own curtains and duvet covers at home.
I learned languages. My favorite was Spanish but I also learnt Italian. Travelling to Europe was on my bucket list, so I knew learning these languages would come in handy when I eventually travelled there.
My favorite class of all was painting. I started the class thinking it was just another string to my bow, I would do it for fun and would get to meet people at the same time but it turned out I was actually quite good at it.
Before I started the painting classes, I had never done it. I started off with still life and then branched out into painting the human form, landscaped and pretty much anything that took my fancy. I really enjoyed it.
After a while, when I became more confident, I started to experiment with color and texture and tried oil paints and charcoal.
Not only was I painting in class but I started painting at home too. I matched the colors of my paintings to the curtains and soft furnishings I had. I had learnt how to make frames too, so I put some together, framed my paintings and hung them in the house.
It wasn’t long before my friends and family were asking me to paint for them. It was an honor. I didn’t want to charge for my work, I enjoyed it too much, so it felt wrong but they insisted.
I had finally found something to occupy my time, make some cash and was enjoyable at the same time.