Friday, February 1, 2013

Growing Up!

Deb holding me as baby and Kim

As promised to a dear cousin a little more about me...

I was born in December 1966, the third Daughter of Geoff & Fay Smith, of Samford.

My Daddy was a Dairy Farmer working on the family farm with his Father and Uncle. Dad did most of the work by then as his father and Uncle were retired. Mum also did a lot of hard work on the farm.

Some of my fondest memories are around the farm with the cows and my sister's and younger brother. We made cubby houses in the old Hay Barn making secret tunnels with the bales of hay and out amongst the prickly devil's figs and up in the old milking shed, dragging timber up onto the rafters to make a floor and sticking pictures out of old magazines onto the tin roof. The fun we had!

We had great family friends Ward’s & Taylor’s, who were farmers as well so understood the good and bad in living off the land. We had much fun in homemade go carts and later old paddock basher's roaring around the hills and valleys. Swimming in dams and playing games out in the beautiful country, bouncing on the trampoline, and sitting around our dining tables sharing meals and stories with much fun and laughter.

I loved nature from as young as I can remember. Mum always had beautiful flowers growing which we were allowed to enjoy and pick as we pleased. She had a great big vege patch too and I loved being in the garden seeing things grow and taking delight in Gods goodness and creativeness.

I am grateful that I have a Mother who encouraged us all to be creative, always having art supplies available that we could make things out of. I can remember sitting on the floor beside her as she was sewing us clothes and playing with all the scraps and working out designs to make little outfits for my dollies. I loved playing on the old Singer Treadle Sewing Machine too, this is where my love of sewing was first fostered.

Going to Sunday School
We attended Samford Uniting Church Sunday School and later Youth Group with many of our friends. Mum always made sure we had lovely clothes to wear and spent much time sewing for us. She also made sure we learnt about God as she had always known Him to be real even though she didn’t have much to do with church growing up. We occasionally went to church as a family and I was always in awe of the lovely older women who sang with much enthusiasm and style. I also loved the welcoming atmosphere and especially our dear neighbours Mr & Mrs Rive who showed us much love and helped my Mum in times of great need. They were my Brother Mark’s God parents and later after the sad loss of Mrs Rive we referred to her as Mark’s Fairy Godmother. Made perfect sense to us and I’m sure she was looking down from heaven with delight!

While I was still in primary school my eldest sister Debbie and I did a holiday drawing class at one of the schools closer to town. I can still remember the teacher explaining the difference between the pencils and which ones were good for drawing and shading. I was so amazed by this info and my love of drawing intensified from those classes. I drew everything and anything finding pictures of people and animals in magazines and then drawing them taking time to study the intricacies of each little detail. The more I drew the more I noticed and wondered at the beauty of even the smallest of God’s creations, His designs, colours, patterns and inventiveness, each one unique. How Great is our God!
Ready for School

School taught me to read and write and all the things we expect our children to learn from school but it also taught me to interact with my peers, teachers and kids older and younger in a respectful way backing up the morals and life skills taught at home. I had some great teachers who encouraged my creativeness. In grade one I received a third prize in a drawing competition and still have the prize certificate.

I was a pretty shy child but I loved school. Mum instilled in us a love of learning something which I am grateful for as the world is full of interesting things and there is always something new to learn about. I had a great group of kids in my year and have lots of great memories of times shared in the classroom and playground as well as socially. At the end of my primary years I received a Cook Book as my graduation gift. My teacher knew I loved to cook!

My mother was very involved in our schooling helping out at tuckshop and sewing and cooking and coordinating at the school Fetes as well as helping out in many other ways, sewing uniforms, helping with musicals, tuckshop and anything else she was able to do. We loved Fete time of year and all the yummy treats like toffee apples, marshmallows and Russian toffees that Mum made and we got to sample! I loved helping at the tuckshop when either Mum or Nancy (my best friends Mum, and one of my Mum’s special friends) were in the tuckshop. Mum always made the best prize winning pikelets!

Mummy, Lynnie & Nat
My best friend Nat and I were inseparable and spent much time at each other’s homes making the other family an extension of our family. We often sat up at night playing speed (a card game) we became pretty fast at it always trying to outdo each other. We loved cooking together and had two favourites we baked, Chocolate Peanut Biscuits and Sunday Cake. They remain two of my specialties though now with a few changes due to food allergies. Nat & I had loads of fun together and shared everything. My Dad called us ‘the terrible twins’ in a fun loving way and Nat’s Dad nick named me ‘Lynnie Joy Chatterbox Smith’ a name I still identify with!

I loved being in a small country school where I knew everyone and many of our families had lived in the area for a couple of generations or more. It was a wonderful heritage that united us on a deeper level. I’ve always been curious about the old days and loved asking all my Grandparents about their life stories. This led to me being the Family Historian in both my family and my husband’s family as well as for some of my friends’ families. It has always filled me with wonder to hear the stories of family and friends, where they have come from and what has shaped them into who they are. Everyone has a story and they are all worth taking the time to stop and listen and absorb them!

High School was very different from Primary school. Mitchelton State High or as we called it Mitchie, was so big! It helped having my sisters Debbie & Kim already there. The Grade Eight Centre was as big as our whole primary school. I felt very overwhelmed and out of place with so many new faces but soon got to know people and settled in to High School. My two favourite places at Mitchie were the Home Economics Block and the Art Block. I learned so many good things there. We had great Art teachers and I’m grateful for their opening my world up to the possibilities and different expressions that art can involve. My Home Ec teacher would be pleased to know I did listen and learnt that it’s always worth knowing the ‘correct’ way of doing things!

It was during my high school years that Deb and Paul started dating and Paul’s family started up a Church of Christ church plant meeting in their home at Highvale. Our family joined them along with several of our close family friends. We were a tightly knit community and had lots of great years together learning and growing in our faith.  Our Youth Group met in the Samford Farmer’s Hall and always managed to have lots of good clean fun while building strong bonds of friendship and faith.

Painting a Muriel on the downstairs wall
My faith in our loving Heavenly Father has held me high during the tough times that life inevitably brings. My creative nature has always seen me creating in some way or another whether it is in cooking, sewing, crocheting, gardening, cake decorating amongst other things but in everything Art is always at the heart of all that I am.

To me God and Art go hand in hand, as God is the number one Creator and all Art is attributed to His wonderful creation, we just lend little bits to offer our own expressions of love and gratitude and ultimately to bring Glory to Him.

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