Unexpected Adventures

By Clare Dunstan

This year I thought I had it all together…

Yes I know, how foolish of me!

In my mind the kids could just continue on with the work they were doing from last year, it had been going well, nothing needed changing. How wonderful not to start the year with the typical scramble for new books.

Or so I thought.

The first week back, my son and I hit a wall. My eclectic way of home educating wasn’t suiting him. He needed the assurance of a program with a strict schedule where he could track how much work he needed to do each day, each term, each year. You can imagine, my heart sank. It wasn’t how I rolled.

It took another week for us to find a curriculum that suited him. We decided on Sonlight. Harry loves to read and so this looked perfect. The problem was the huge outlay.

I looked at collecting the books individually, and after quite a hunt I landed on a Facebook Marketplace post selling exactly what we were after. I was thrilled! We made the arrangements to take the 75 min drive down to Devon Meadows to collect.

The day was fine and cloudy, and we chose an audiobook to listen to on the way down, Redwall by Brian Jacques.

After a U-turn or two thanks to Google maps, we arrived at a big property with four dogs making our arrival very apparent. The usual introductions and polite exchanges were had while loading the books into the car. Then chickens came into the conversation—we are a little chicken mad here! From there, it was all casual friendliness, we chatted about our chicken varieties and their chicken varieties, and the guinea fowl, the ducks, the cows and the geese! We were taken to meet them all and to hold the ducklings and were given guinea-fowl eggs to take home. Their shells are so hard! I had no idea. The Jersey cows were beautiful with their big soulful eyes, and the geese… well I stayed clear of the geese.

It was a wonderful experience.

On our way out, I realised we were all of a 4 minute drive from Crystal World. One of our favourite places to visit—if you haven’t been, you really must!

With much excitement we diverted our trip.

Now, as you pull into Crystal World it doesn’t look all that impressive. And if the first thing you see is a massive shark in a half-filled tank apparently rotting, you may not feel like continuing… or that may be the highlight of your trip! I tried not to look too closely, personally, but it does have an awesome back story, which you should discover for yourself!

As you go in, you see rows and rows of crates full of unpolished gems that are sourced from all around Australia and the world. We could spend hours here! After pawing through all the crates for the best specimens and choosing the geodes of the most promising size and weight, we headed inside to where the more valuable gems are displayed in both shop and museum. They are magnificent!

When we left a good two hours later with my bank account a bit lighter and our pockets a lot heavier, I realised just how thankful I was for days like this. Days with the freedom to follow our hearts, make impromptu excursions to favourite places, and to embrace the unexpected.

Otherways 176 May 2023

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