What Family Life!

Growing up on a farm was the most enjoyable time of my life. Getting up early in the morning, with the cocks crowing and seeing the cattle being led into the shed to be milked was a wonderful experience.

After breakfast my little brother and I went down to the river which flowed through the farm. We made mud balls using clay and used a reed for “claylat” to shoot at anything that came past. If we were lucky enough to shoot a bird we just plucked it there and then and cooked it on a spade over a fire made of sticks.

My mom worked away from the farm so she didn’t know what we got up to. The helper in the house later told my mom and we were punished. I then decided to stop playing claylat and rather ride the donkeys. That was real fun! I used to sit on a branch in a tree and wait for the donkey to stand under the tree to eat. Then I would jump on his back. That gave him a fright and he took off so fast. Ihad to hold for dear life onto his neck hair until I was bucked off! That was such sport.

Then all pleasure came to an end as we had to go to convent. After I had finished school I had to go and work. As there was no town nearby my sister, my brother and I had to go and live with my auntand uncle in Edenvale. They were very kind people but very strict.

Sundays after church we had to wait outside while my aunt and uncle greeted everybody. We felt strange and knew nobody. It was the first time ever that we had been to such a big church with so many people. My sister would nudge me and told me that she liked the guy playing the accordion and I would nudge back and tell her that liked the one playing the guitar.

While waiting outside the church for the old folks, I felt somebody kiss me on the cheek and a man said “I’m Kalie”.

He then jumped onto his bicycle and rode off. The next Sunday the same thing happened. I told my aunt that I didn’t think it was funny but she just laughed. She told me not to worry as the he came from a good family. To cut a long story short, my sister dated the man who played the accordion and I married the guitar player a year later. We were married for almost forty years. It was a marriage made in heaven.

We were blessed with five wonderful children. Three boys and two girls. Later years our neighbor Mauro came to stay with us when his parents moved back to Italy. He was the same age as my youngest son. What a pleasure it was to have him in the house as one of the boys. They used to have endless sports and after school their friends which included other Italian neighbors used to play rugby or cricket in our backyard. Weekends my husband joined in their games and often the rugby or cricket balls would break the house windows which were promptly replaced by my hubby and the play and fun continued. My eldest daughter used to give the boys snacks and cold drinks. My youngest daughter was a real tomboy and she used to play rugby with the boys.

Those were the days of fun and games!


  1. Priscilla says

    What crazy things you got up to, Ouma! Jumping from a tree onto a donkey sounds like something Pippi Longstocking would do! :)

  2. Wow Oumie! What a lovely story of how you and Oupie met! <3

  3. Hopsing, thanks for having shared with us a so beautiful and still vivid memory of your life.
    I remember very well when us bunch of kids came to play games in your backyard and I still wonder how you made lunch for all of us! We were never less than two dozen and we always had tea and pancakes with jam. What a nice memory, Hopsing!!

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