I was walking along the Warburton Trail the other day and I passed through a grove of pine trees. There was a breeze and the pine needles soughed in the wind.
For an instant, I was ten years old again at my grandparent’s house and I could glance around in 1967.
I tried to grab at the memory…
… and then it was gone.
It triggered a cascade of memories from the old farmhouse in Glen Waverley that my grandparents rented.
It was in the middle of ten acres of paddocks surrounded by orchards and their long driveway came off Crow’s Lane. The lane is still there according to Google Maps, but it’s now just a name on a suburban street. In 1967 it was paved with bricks and lined with blackberries. It also led to the residence of “Mr Crow The Farmer” who ran, and probably owned, the orchards. My grandmother had a forelock-tugging respect for him. She told us he was not to be crossed, but we roamed the orchards anyway.
We actually took that story seriously, despite its obvious contradictions. I guess that’s how legends start.
Eventually the quarry was turned into a landfill tip…
The driveway ended in a garage with a lean-to shed on each side. The garage had two enormous timber doors which we could prise open a bit to see my grandfather’s dusty Standard Vanguard sitting in the gloom.
We assumed the car didn’t work – we’d never seen him drive it. It turned out there was more to the story. Apparently my grandmother, who was a notoriously anxious passenger, freaked out so much when he was driving that one day he parked in the garage and never drove again. Problem solved.
I always found him to be a gentle soul, but I rarely heard him say much.
One of the lean-tos had a bench and scattered tools which we assumed were there for the taking.
It’s hard to know how much of this is accurate or even real. Some of it will be actual memories, but they’re molded by time and bit-rot as they overlap with family stories and other memories and recede further into the past.
Anyway, time to teleport back to sixty years in that kid’s future and keep walking.