How was everyone’s Easter weekend? Did it go as quickly for you as it did for me? I seriously can’t believe it’s Thursday already! Felt like just yesterday I was counting down at work on Saturday until I finished, and now in the blink of an eye it’s Thursday. As cheesy as it sounds, I guess it’s true what they say about time flying when you’re having fun!
My sister, my nieces and brother in law came up from Melbourne to visit and so we all stayed at my mumma’s place on Saturday night. When I got there after work, my mum had already prepared a “pre-dinner” spread of smoked salmon, prawn carpaccio and traditional Lao fish wraps. I was so hungry and excited that I forgot to take photos. I know, such a rookie error!! Then we had mum’s famous pho noodle soup for dinner, and my parents and nieces went to bed while myself, Jared, my sister and brother in law all stayed up with some port and played Cards Against Humanity. (If you haven’t played it before, do it. It’s so hilariously inappropriate).
In the morning, I said bye to my 2 eldest nieces as they got ready to go see their other grandmother. I wouldn’t be there by the time they got back, so a tremendous amount of cuddles and kisses were in order before they left! It’s so hard living in a different state from them. The last time I saw them was 6-7 months ago, and they are just growing up way too fast! The rest of the morning was spent exploring my mumma’s backyard. Her garden is just unreal. For such a small space, she’s managed to fill it with so much goodness. It’s so inspiring. I never thought much of it when I was a child, it was just a fun place to play around in. But now that I’m an adult, I appreciate it on such a different level. I felt such admiration for my mum. She’s never had any training or education around gardening, she can barely speak English as it is. But somehow, through her love and passion for it, she has created such a beautiful and flourishing space full of goodness for her and my family to enjoy and benefit from. I can’t wait to have my own little yard to attempt something half as good as her garden, but until then, I can just go home and revel in hers.This is her pumpkin patch. It got so big and produced so many pumpkins, it started to take over a whole corner of her yard. So to combat that, my dad built something to lift them off the ground so she could have more room to grow other produce. Her banana trees are also pretty out of this world. She grows lady finger bananas, a favourite back in Laos (and in our family) and they take up a good portion of the back of her yard. They are currently fruiting like crazy. We came over just in time as she’s recently just taken down a bunch to ripen, and they were ready to eat last weekend. I picked some off to eat right then and there and also to take home. So sweet and delicious. Definitely a reminder of home. I also picked some guavas to take home. She puts bags around the ones that are close to being ripe so the birds can’t get to them. I remember one year her tree was full of ripe guavas one day, and the next day they were gone. Let’s just say, all the birds were probably all full of homegrown guavas, lucky things! Mum learnt her lesson after that though!She grows a lot of the more weird and wonderful herbs, spices, fruits and veggies that are used/eaten often in Laos. Which I love because it’s so different to what is usually found in green grocers or supermarkets. It was honestly so much fun exploring, chatting and laughing as a family. It made me feel so grateful for the people in my life, and the life that I’ve been given. I came home with a full heart, a full belly and plenty of food as well so a full pantry and fridge. I felt loved. And I felt blessed.
There’s really no other way I can put it into words. The closest I can come to it is in this beautiful quote I found on family.
“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.”