A house on a hill

My Dad built a house back in the 70’s, it was on a hill overlooking a Valley. 3 days ago that house sold and I couldn’t help but look back and write some memories down. I think it’s so important to reflect like a book as a chapter closes. So here’s my Ode to my childhood home O.J.S x


It’s what’s on the inside that counts I was once told, so here’s a story of times past and a house not so new and not so old, a house now sold!

Dear house, you are worth more than millions of hundred dollar bills. Two stories high you stood, I loved what eventuated inside like no other would.

A house made a home by a special few; by a few I mean eleven plus two. 

Fights and squabbles of plenty there were, yet somehow as memories I evoke, all I remember is joy; the rest is a blurr.

Retrospect has a way of changing a frown to a cheeky smirk. Altering that which is broken like a mirror, to piecing together the shards into a mosaic artwork 

Mango’s banana’s and mulberries from the property were consumed in the summer time, those precious fruit’s almost as good as the dinner bell chime.

Mum would ring a giant cow - bell for dinner, and like cattle we’d all race from around the property and up the floral carpet stairs like a race winner.

We’d hold hands round the long wooden table made by Dad, We’d give thanks for our food, each other, our day and all we could do as we were given and able. No sounds of our 3D blurry black box TV Cable.

To the walls with patches from holes, from handballs, body -boarding down the stairs and inside lawn bowls (whoops sorry Mum)

To the roofs with Blu-tac remains from glow stars and moons, to the floral carpet and pink walls, that were ripped up and painted over whilst listening to tapes and tunes.

We had a video collection and CD and tape players back then, even a floppy disk, I must have been about 10.

To every game ever played within those walls, in the dam and upon tree -top, oh if childhood could pause and never stop!

Yet life goes on and time cannot stand still, fast forward through the 11 children and last child flying the coop; the house on a hill

What I can’t take in the physical I shall keep close in my heart – the heart, Mum said, is most important and fine -tuning and protecting it a fine art.

Our house had a heart, it lives on today; it’s called my sisters, brothers and love for all so Mum would say. 

Then after teaching love, she’d say, “make it your life’s mission to know your creator, the rest you can figure out later”.

And so a simple life we lived, with just enough to eat. Yet joy, love and peace through trials, in copious amounts I could never replicate or beat.

And so dear house, this is farewell – yet I’m not sad, for the stories I’ve got from you to tell…

And as Mum once taught, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, so a house without memories or people to share,  is just a structural place. It’s who was inside that made good company when there were hard times to face.

There are many things untold of this house sun worn and old

Sometimes a story is made more precious when the memories are beheld by only a few, like only the sea and the shore knows each wave to come through.

So to the red brick house on a hill, you will be loved and missed, but your heartbeat remains steady and still.

You know you are a house on a hill, with a light shining brightly like a lamp to a dark room. So smile, laugh, dance, sing, read books, play sport, adventure, learn and most importantly love others as big as the moon!