She’ll be ap­ples soon

The Gympie Times - - NEWS - BRUCE DEVEREAUX

SINCE ar­riv­ing back at our home the kids have been mak­ing good use of the ex­tra space af­forded by a house as op­posed to liv­ing on a bus by hid­ing and jump­ing out at each other from un­der beds or be­hind doors when it looks like they’re go­ing to get found.

They’ve been mov­ing their beds from room to room to work out where and with whom to share a room, re­dis­cov­er­ing old toys we couldn’t take with us 18 months ago and cook­ing ap­ple and rasp­berry crum­ble and sponge cakes, all while Tracey and I have been clean­ing fans and walls. And best of all we aren’t all hav­ing to push past each other with hiss­ing cuss-flavoured mut­ter­ings of frus­tra­tion.

Don’t get me wrong, I hate it. I hate not be­ing parked up at a show­ground, wak­ing up to the whis­pers of my kids at the front of the bus try­ing to de­cide who’s go­ing to be sac­ri­ficed on the al­tar of ask­ing-Dad-for-per­mis­sion-toplay-elec­tron­ics.

But I am lov­ing my house. Es­pe­cially our bed­room with its clos­able door and ceil­ing we can’t touch ly­ing or even “sit­ting” in bed.

If I’m hon­est, I was dread­ing pulling up our big lap progress even when Tracey told me she had a good rea­son.

“You made a prom­ise,” she re­minded me. When ne­go­ti­at­ing our trip I’d assured Miss11 she could fin­ish her pri­mary school years with her class, since they would all be go­ing off to one of five dif­fer­ent high schools in Gtown. “You can’t back down.”

“You say can’t, I say shouldn’t,” I said, men­tally kick­ing the wall like a petu­lant six-year-old. “And by the way, when I said she could fin­ish the year with them I meant the last week or two, not half a year.”

But once I’d got­ten over my­self – I’m fast for­ward­ing weeks here, not hours – I sud­denly found a heap of good rea­sons to need to be home for a bit.

● Our bed­room isn’t a cold tent with a blow-up mattress.

● I need to spend time with my physio be­cause I rather hi­lar­i­ously have golfers el­bow, plus a fresh hell called trig­ger fin­ger. Again, hi­lar­i­ous for some­one who is not a fan of guns. On the bright side, nei­ther of these things require book­ing in to an ICU, so win­ning.

● The kids’ rooms aren’t in our bed­room and their beds aren’t un­der or next to ours.

● We’ve got some ideas for the bus which we think will make it even more com­fort­able on our jour­ney. Things like im­prov­ing stor­age and adding so­lar and a car­tridge loo so we can free camp when we need to as we head for WA, and in­stalling seats with over-the-shoul­der seat­belts in­stead of the ma­jor­ity lap belts we have at the mo­ment. We’re even look­ing at blinds and an awning.

● This is the biggy – see­ing our fam­ily and friends.

We were an hour and a half out of Gympie, coming from Bal­lina, when we an­nounced to our munchkins we weren’t stop­ping for a cou­ple of nights in Bris­bane af­ter all and were driv­ing through to home. There were tears.

Fol­lowed by the kids all say­ing why they couldn’t wait to get back – most of which I’ve cov­ered in that last point. Al­though there was this one other thing Miss8 brought up.

“I miss watch­ing our ap­ple thing!!” she squealed from be­hind me in her seat. That girl can hit notes which make me won­der if the tint­ing is the only thing stop­ping our win­dows from shat­ter­ing.

“We’ve got all our Ap­ple things with us,” I called back. “Com­put­ers. Lap­tops. Pods. Pads. Phones.” “No, the other ap­ple thing.” “Of course!” I ex­claimed a few mo­ments later. “Ap­ple TV!”

I’d for­got­ten all about it. We don’t have a tele­vi­sion on the bus. We tend to watch Net­flix and Stan and Youtube and Cu­rios­ity Stream these days.

“No, the other ap­ple thing.” “You’ve lost me,” I ad­mit­ted af­ter some more thought. “I can’t think of any other Ap­ple prod­uct we’ve ever owned. You sure you don’t mean the iPods? You haven’t used them for a while but they’re here some­where.” With a ex­as­per­ated tone she assured me she didn’t. “Well, can you tell me what you used it for? I know for a fact that’s all the Ap­ple things I’ve ever bought.”

And mo­ments later I had to admit I was 100 per cent wrong. There was an­other ap­ple prod­uct I’d com­pletely for­got­ten about which we used to use all the time.

“You know,” she said, “the ap­ple thing to take the skin off ap­ples and re­move the yucky bit with seeds.” Learn more about Bruce’s ef­forts to raise his fam­ily on lit­tle more than laughs at big fam­ily lit­tlein­come.com

Photo: Con­tributed

BACK HOME: Miss8 is re­united with her favourite "ap­ple thing".

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