Thankfully they were able to come and visit for a while. Our baby boy hasn't lived at home for around eight years now and so he made sure he visited all the family and the old haunts. On the last day of their little break with us, he asked if we could all take a drive up into the ranges to the north of our city ... about 60 kilometres from our city centre and way on the opposite side of where we live.
It's a wet tropics area in these northern ranges and, appropriately, it was a dreary drizzly day where we were able to reach out and touch the low-lying clouds whilst driving through the small township at the top of the ranges.
We had a very pleasant drive, stopping to have a picnic lunch and a wander around. Not only was it a great opportunity to get the two young city-dwellers out into a rainforest area, listening to the sounds of nature and feasting their eyes on the birds and butterflies living in that area, it was a chance to remind our son of one of the links that exists between previous generations of his family and the area here in north Queensland that was his home for so many years.
Our baby boy's great-grandfather was one of the labourers who hacked out the original road up into the rainforest-covered ranges, and build the concrete arch bridge, dressed with stone, that arches Little Crystal Creek. The teams of labourers had to live in rustic camps in the mosquito-infested rainforest while they were employed on this project, and they didn't get to see their families for anything up to a year at a time. Working conditions were hard and these men were mostly living in isolation.
My husband's dad can remember his father talking about waiting for the horse-drawn carts that would take a week or more to get up the ranges to deliver a bag of 'goodies' sent from the family living back home. 'Goodies' were things like tobacco, soap, home-made griddle cakes, socks and blankets.
It was a fabulous day ... great surroundings, great stories and great company!
I'm joining Mary at Little Red House for her Mosaic Monday meme, so please drop over and visit.