Thursday, 18 June 2015


The Mum and Dad and Four Children

Once upon a time there was a family. There was a Mum and a Dad, three girls and one boy. This family was very happy living together. They would go to church each Sunday and visit their Grandma for lunch in Wollongong. The Dad worked hard and always spent time playing with the children. The Mum was very clever and did lots of things to help people. Life was good for this little family. They were 6 people altogether.

The Mum and Dad grew older and the four children grew up and got married. So now there was 10 people altogether. They all loved each other very much and they had lots of happy times together.

Pretty soon the children started to have children of their own and soon the number of people grew to 25. They all loved to spend time together at Christmas and Birthday Parties and Baptisms (there were lots of Baptisms) and Confirmations and any special event that was happening. They would even go to each other’s houses and have dinner just because they liked to be together. And when they were all together, they all had such a happy time.

You would have thought that 25 people was quite a crowd but they all had friends that they loved and so would invite them to come to the gatherings as well so the house was always very busy and noisy and lots of fun.

Just some of the family

Now as it happens, the children of the children grew up and found partners of their own and so the family grew to 39. It became a little harder to get together because there were so many people and not everyone could be there at the same time but this growing family still tried as hard as they could to keep having their times together.

Eventually, some of the children of the children had babies and the number grew to 44. Wow, that’s a lot of people! It was rather crowded when they had their get togethers but they didn’t care and everyone talked and yelled and laughed and the children of the children's children ran and played and squealed and sang and everyone was just happy to be together.

Many years passed and then one day the Mum became very sick and soon she passed away. The family were very, very sad but they continued getting together because they knew the Mum would be happy about that and they were happy being together.  

Some time later, the Dad, who had stopped thinking because he missed the Mum so much, got very sick and he died also. This made the family very, very sad again and so they knew they had to be together to help each other feel better.

But, it became very hard to all be together so often. The children were all busy with work and life and church and looking after their houses. The children of the children were busy with work and life and church and looking after their houses and bringing up their little children, so not everyone could be at all the parties but still they got together as often as they could because they loved being together.

Some of the children's children and friends

Soon, some of the children of the children needed to move away from the family to do their jobs and so there wasn’t as many people at all the parties anymore and this made the family feel sad.

Time went by and the children grew older and the children of the children grew older and their children grew bigger and bigger and life became very busy and so the family didn’t spend as much time together as they used to, but when they did, they still had lots and lots of fun.

Then one day, a horrible thing happened. One of the children died. Just like that! She was gone and once again the family were very, very sad. It just didn’t seem fair and everyone wanted it not to be so.

And then, who could believe it? Another one of the children died and suddenly the sadness was too big and it was hard to think about having fun for a while.

Life seemed to go from being lots of fun to really sad so quickly. Things were changing so much for this family that once, was so happy just to be together.

Soon, they didn't see each other so much. They still loved each other and would like to be together, but, life, you know, is very busy and well, there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to spend having fun with the family. There’s the kids to look after and work to be done and friends to see, and it takes time to stop and ring each other to see if they're ok or write each other or visit each other and well, it’s not that they don’t want to, it’s just, well……


Maybe with two of the children gone, everyone was just too sad to get together much. But, the two children who were left missed those days when they all got together and wished that it could be like it once was and that things wouldn’t get in the way of the family being together. It was nobodies fault really. It’s just the way it was. Wishing it wasn’t wouldn’t change it. But it was hard not to feel an aching deep in their soul at the passing of something that was so special.

But, maybe that’s as it should be as each family member lived out his or her life the way the Lord had planned it.

The two children knew that Families are precious gifts from the Lord and they were so grateful to have been blessed with a family that was so close for so long, especially in a world where there was so much conflict and brokenness amongst families. What they had was so special and they cherished every precious memory. They knew it hadn’t ended, just changed. But still, the sadness lingered and they thought it would be so nice, if it could be just like it was once more. 

They knew it couldn’t though because, well, it just couldn’t!

The End

Another happy Christmas

The moral of the story: It’s great to have a big happy family. It’s fun to spend time together and to help each other and to care about each other. But it takes time. It takes effort. It takes sacrifice. It takes commitment. It takes a sense of connection and every member doing their part to keep the family together. Don't forget to cherish your family.

Monday, 15 June 2015


Valerie's Gallery is a collection of thoughts, poems, stories and other writings. Some are observations of the different ways people communicate and are all based on actual encounters. They were all written by my Mother as part of her Major Work for her Degree in Communication.

Group of tourists going through the river caves at Jenolan.

The guide is giving a very interesting commentary.

Everyone was asking very intelligent questions.

Comes a voice from the back,

‘How many undiscovered caves would there be in this area?’

The guide was speechless.

Different group.

Different cave.

Same guide.

Bright lady, ‘What makes that pool such a beautiful, deep blue?’

Guide, ever helpful,
‘The large amount of fluoride in the water, so they say’.

Thoughtful silence.

Bright lady, ‘why haven’t we got blue teeth then?’

The guide was not amused.

Written by Valerie Hazel Torning

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Dropping the 'F' Word and Your Undies {Having a Whinge} / Fair Dinkum

Every now and then it feels good to have a whinge. You know, something happens and you just need to get it off your chest. Someone cuts you off in traffic and then gives you the finger. You've just spent a small fortune to replace the clothes drier and the dishwasher decides to pack it in. It's taken you all afternoon to wash and hang out all the dirty laundry only to have your son clean his room and dump a whole lot more at your feet.

You know what I mean, right? The annoying, the frustrating, the exasperating and the downright infuriating things that happen that just make your day, Not! The things that have you pulling your hair out and wishing you’d stayed in bed. The things that leave you with your mouth hanging open in disbelief. The things that make you stamp your foot and drop the ‘F’ word.

I know I shouldn’t! It’s probably not the greatest thing to say but it just seems to tumble out the minute my frustration meter starts to climb. I know I should handle things better and remain calm, but sometimes you just have to ‘let it go, because you can’t hold it back anymore, and then turn away and slam the door’. Oops! I think I was just channelling my 3 year old granddaughter.

Anyway, I’ve decided that rather than keep things bottled up, I’m going to have a regular post where I can have a whinge about whatever has griped me of late and caused me to yell that dreadful ‘F’ word. Just get it out of my system. Because like a dose of food poisoning, it’s better out than in, right?

So I think it would be only fitting to call this regular Blog Spot after my favourite expletive…..

This was bought for me by someone who nick named me 'Fair Dinkum' because I said it so often.

And you thought I meant the other 'F' word, didn't you? Shame on you for thinking such a thing! In fact, the other 'F' word will be the subject of a future whinge.

But, my first whinge is about the cold. I hate the cold. And I doubly hate the cold these days because I have to go to Hydrotherapy twice a week and while it is lovely and warm in the water, it is freezing cold in the change rooms at 9am after you get out of the lovely warm water!

Last week, I shivered my way from the pool to the showers and jumped under the hot water as usual, then sat on the bench to try and dry my feet. Not an easy thing to do when the floor is really wet and just when I get them dry enough to start putting on clothes, I drop my undies on the floor which is covered in water!

Fair Dinkum, don't you hate that? It was either go without undies or put on wet ones. I opted for no undies. Thankfully I only have about a 10 minute drive home so didn't have to be uncomfortable for too long, but still, talk about freezing your butt off!

Think I'll take a spare pair along this week.