[In 2013, the T-Team, next generation embarked on their pilgrimage to Central Australia. Purpose: to scatter Dad’s ashes in his beloved Central Australia, in Ormiston Gorge.
Over the next few weeks, I will take you on a virtual trip to the Centre and memories of that unforgettable holiday in 2013, with my brother and his family; the T-Team Next Generation.
This time, the T-Team go their separate ways…]
After a fitful sleep and then early rise, I looked forward to coffee with mum and the boys. With the sun peeping over the horizon, shining in the watery blue winter sky and reflecting golden on the gum trees surrounding the campground, the frigid desert air slowly began to thaw.
First, though, after a warming shower and filling breakfast, the tent had to be packed up. Anthony needed my help with that. Then, he spent an eternity repacking the station wagon. While waiting, I jogged on the spot and puffed out steam of my breath into the below ten-degrees air.
As if a surgeon performing a delicate operation, Anthony punctuated his packing with commands. ‘Bags!’ So, I passed over the bags which he grabbed and pushed into the boot of the car. Then, ‘Tent!’ I hauled over the packed tent to him. Then, ‘Esky!’ I lugged the cool box (esky) to him. Then, waving his hand while head stuck in the boot of the car, ‘Box!’
‘What box?’ I asked.
‘Huh?’ I glanced at the piles of stuff still waiting a home in the Ford. Finding the green crate with breakfast cereals, bread and cans of beans, I passed that one to him.
‘No! No! No!’ he snapped and pointed at the red crate, same size but with cooking utensils. ‘That box!’
Apparently, the green crate must go under the back seat with a blanket covering it.
Finally, with Anthony’s version of luggage-tetris complete, we drove the short distance in the caravan park to mum’s cabin.
Again, we found Mum T glued to the phone. On the small pine table, she had spread out a brochure opened to camel farms. In between phone calls she muttered, ‘Mrs. T has asked me to find a camel farm for them to visit.’ She was not having much luck finding a camel farm or someone from the camel farms advertised, to answer her calls.
While Mum T remained occupied with the phone, Anthony and I popped next door to visit our boys. The first words out of their Dad’s mouth when he entered was, ‘Have you packed?’
Son 1 and 2 duly showed Dad their packed luggage waiting by the door.
Satisfied that the lads were ready to depart Alice Springs and not miss the flight, we sat down to enjoy a coffee with the boys.
Mum joined us. ‘Oh, by the way,’ she said over her much-needed coffee to wake up, ‘the park manager came over. They were most apologetic about the mix up yesterday. Apparently, whoever took my booking assumed the people were T’s, because when they asked them, the lady didn’t hear clearly and just nodded and said “Yes”.’
‘You mean the guy behind the counter assumed the lady was you?’ I asked to clarify.
‘Apparently, the guy asked the lady, ‘Are you Mrs. T?’ and she said, ‘Yes.’’
We shook our heads.
‘Maybe the lady who took our cabin had a hearing problem,’ I said.
‘Oh, well, it all worked out in the end,’ Mum T concluded.
After visiting the Strehlow Centre and its Art Gallery again, we travelled to the airport to see our sons safely, and in time, board the plane back to Adelaide. Then a brief stop at Woolworths for Anthony to buy some shorts, before commencing our return to Hermannsburg.
[to be continued…]
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021