Three International moves and 7 states later, we find ourselves surrounded by historic towns and the scenic beauty of South Carolina.
An Aussie, an American and two Aussie American little girls, we have wandered - well not WANDERED the country, but we have moved a bit, all over the place.
From global hemispheres, South to the North, Midwest, Southwest, South East, we've lived on plains and prairies in America's Heartland, experienced snow and ice, lived in the heat of Texas, visited deserts and canyons and flown over great mountain ranges, all giving us a valuable perspective of life. Our own unique place in the world.
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I remember several of the drives we took as a family while living in the Riverina, it was an intergral part of growing up. Our car, probably an old Holden, though I have no idea what model, might have been pretty sleek at the time. It had state of the art automatic climate control (painted a color that would reflect blistering summer heat), air conditioning system (an open window with manual roll down) controlled by fingertip precision (wherever the window stopped when your hand got too tired to roll more), entertainment system (whatever was out the window) and navigation system (Dad and Mum and a map), stereo (all 3 of us kids singing at the same time to the radio), equiped with a smart drive (Mum saying we should ask for directions) and precision traction control (when Dad told us kids we had to move to the other side of the car so it wouldn't fall off the edge of the road/mountain/hill/bridge or whatever we were driving over or near at the time). You can see why Dad liked it so much. Driving that is.
Tumbarumba. "Delightful small country town which is largely untouched by the modern world. Located 504 km south west of Sydney and 701 metres above sea level, Tumbarumba is situated on the southern slopes of the Snowy Mountains..." (SMH.com)
Tumbarumba. I hadn't thought of that town for years. A beautiful area, wine country. This is when I first encountered part of the area considered 'the Snowy Mountains' in New South Wales, Australia. The winding road we traveled on at that time resembled more of a hikers trail the way it seemed to meander up the mountain. Eucalyptus, (or Gum) trees to the left towering far above, gradually getting shorter the higher we went. One of the first times I ever saw snow. Much of it had melted at the roads' side, and there was just a hint of icy white, little dentations where melting ice had forced its way toward the ground, that I remember most. Mum mentioning how it was dissapointing there wasn't more for us kids to see...
... we made up for it later when we took the second half of our dastardly drive - with that traction control I mentioned earlier - around the actual snowy part of the mountains, with roads that barely fit two vehicles (and some parts didn't at all) and no guard rails. Where the real snow was. Its this particular road I remember. Winter, grey, cliff, snow, ice and another car coming toward us on this little slip of a 'road'.
The mountains of Tumbarumba, and our visit to the higher peaks of the Snowy Mountains (2,228m at its highest peak) are the only places I really remember actually MOVING very quickly to the other side of the car, apparently to save us from slipping to our untimely deaths from the roadside to the depths of the mountain valley approximately 1 million feet below. I just remember a lot of Eucalypts between us and whatever that dark area was waaaaayyyy down there.
Visit the local tourism site and it will tell you that the
"Snowy Mountain Drive is like no other"
Oooh, yeah. I remember it. The drama of going to the snow. Scarred for life, I tell you. Perpetually in fear when higher off the ground than the first 3 steps of a ladder. This is why I am not a firefighter. I like cats, but mate, I'm not climbing that dang tree.
Who would have thought that years later, I would be in the U.S., hearing of early snows in many parts of the area, hubby getting caught in Green Bay, Wisconsin because of snow, wondering how the kids in those parts will enjoy Halloween, and how many spooky creatures could be made from snow suits. Seems the season has landed. Having now lived in Northern and Midwestern United States where snow is plentiful, I can assure you that I now am very familiar with snow... my introduction to it so many years ago had accomplished many things. Traction control. I have a subaru, with much traction control, which worked very nicely thank you very much, in Wisconsin and Iowa. I like snow, but I am happy right now that here in northern Texas, we are flat, and winter happens for a few days in January.