My House



My house was a tent. Roof. Walls.
Wooden pallet floor.
A wood stove for cooking stood in a corrugated recess at one end of the tent structure.
The only good about living in the tent, was it was constructed on the top of a medium sized hill.
We bathed in a tin tub on the floor near the wood stove when rain came. The rest of the time we showered out in the open. By Open. I mean corrugated iron nailed to wooden posts. Pallet floor. No roof. A shower bucket was hung from a sky hook bolted through a piece of hardwood. A rope was pulled for the water to fall.
Every time rain fell the roads were blocked in all directions. The only way in, or our, was by rail motor. Providing the line wasn't washed out, or flooded.
The only excitement at those times was to watch the rise, and fall, of the flood water. Watch how fa the back water spread out across the land. Other times, the sun shone but we were still flooded. Rain at the head of the creeks, and rivers, caught the water sending it barreling down the dry creek to flood our area.
On one occasion, when the rain fell I was bored. I was only a few years old. Couldn't go outside to play. Mud pies were off the menu.
Clothes boiled in a kerosene tine on the top of the stove. Placed on rope strung between posts to dry.
Mum baked. No bread available. Baking helped to supplement the food supply to last us longer.
“Find me the flat scone tray,” asked my mum. “It's in the bottom of the cupboard beside you.”
I opened the doors. Swung both of them wide open. I crouched down to look for the tray. I couldn't find it.
“Have you found the tray. I want to put the scones in the oven to be ready for lunch.”
“I can't find it. It's not here.”
Mum continued on with her cooking. Didn't watch what I was doing. That is. Until the loud crash followed by my squeal. I had been swinging on one of the doors. The cupboard tipped. The doors stopped the cupboard from falling on top of me. All the dished from the shelves smashed to the floor.
There wasn't much left of the china dinner set. Most of the glass stuff broke. A four gallon kerosene tin was full of broken glass when the clean up was finished. But I found the scone tray. It lay among the broken glass on the floor.
The scones were being pulled from the oven when my father came in for lunch.
I did get yelled at. Smacked on the backside with the wooden spoon. Sent to bed without tasting the scones.
Glass plates were replaced with enamel ones until we stopped moving around to different places.
I learnt the danger of swinging on doors. Might have been killed.

The picture isn't of my tent. Just needed a tent to go with the picture. My tent didn't look like this one. In those days photos weren't taken by my family.

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