Tag Archives: Short funny stories

Post 61. Our honeymoon

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The end of our wedding video shows us holding hands, romantically walking into the sunset.  That is NOT how it happened.

A room was booked for our first night at a pretty B & B called Mount Grace.  It was getting late and it was going to take a few hours to get there.   We waved goodbye to everyone and got into our new second hand VW Golf.   It wouldn’t start.  Tony tried again and again, but no joy.   I piled into Wilf and Val’s car with the cake, gifts and other members of the family while Tony and the guys tried to get it going.

When we realised it wasn’t going start, Rig said we could use his car.  I met Tony back at Rig and Sue’s and off we went on honeymoon.  At last.

Mount Grace: Let’s just say, we didn’t see the light of day.

I had tele-booked a few places in and around the Kruger National Park.   The only thing we had to go by were the brochures sent to us in the mail.  Our plan was to make our way around White River and Nelspruit in North Eastern Natal.

After a night and a day at Mount Grace, we drove to our next destination.  It sounded and looked amazing in the brochure.  It was a difficult place to find and arriving in the dark didn’t help.  There was no-one at the gate when we got there, so I stayed in the car while Tony went to find the guard.  He showed us to our room by the light of his torch and we unpacked the car.  It was pitch dark.   There was one dim light bulb in the room and that was enough for us to see what we needed to see.  It was a tiny, dingy room with just enough room for small double bed.  It was smoky and smelt like burnt porridge.  We picked up our stuff and put it back in the car.  The guard found the owner and we managed to get our money back.  We took off into the darkness and found a place for our second night.

It was an adventurous, wonderful week.  I had my first birthday as a married woman and was spoilt rotten.  The highlight was our 3 days in the Kruger.

Tony had been among some wild people but never among wild animals.  We drove around and found a mother elephant with her calf.  The road we were on separated them from each other.  We drove between them and Tony decided he wanted another, closer look.  He got into reverse and went quite close to the baby.  Mummy didn’t like that.  She started to trumpet and charge us.  In his panic Tony couldn’t get the car out of reverse.  I was shouting and he was grinding the gears.  Somehow we managed to leave her in the dust.

When our three days were up, we drove North.  We hadn’t booked but we were sure we would be able to find a place to stay.    We drove in the direction of Johannesburg and stopped at every motel, hotel and guest house on the way; there was nothing.  Every place was fully booked so we kept on driving, and driving and driving.  Before we knew it we were back at our cottage.  Poor Betty was shocked and horrified when we knocked on the door.  She couldn’t stop apologising for being in our bed while we were still on honeymoon.  We made up a mattress in the lounge and fell dead asleep.  We were exhausted.

We had driven five hours through the night looking for a place to stay.  It was so nice to be in our cottage.  There was no place like our first home.  Even if my mother-in-law was there.

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Post 52. Living with the Wallaces

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Rigby and Sue were leading a small but growing church called “Waverley.”   It was full of life and an oasis after my travels and intense ship life.   It was an important time for me, watching their marriage and observing how they raised their children.  I also saw the stresses and joys of church life.  

We were no longer living under the rules and regulations of our former church.  We could dance, wear jewellery, jeans and go to movies without thinking we would be left behind if the rapture took place.  It was lots of fun and I made some amazing friends.    

I loved living with the Wallaces.   I had been in love with my nephew Ryan from the moment he was born.  

The Pink Family from New Zealand was touring around South Africa.  They were a Maori/Pacific Island family and we had become friends.  There was a farewell party for them about an hour away from Rolleston Place and I couldn’t go by myself.  Sue was 8 months pregnant and we managed to convince Rigby there was NO WAY the baby would come 6 weeks before its due date.  He REALLY didn’t want us to go, but being the girls we were, we drove off up to Botha’s Hill.   The party was well under way.  Sue seemed fine.  But she wasn’t.  We had only been there for about an hour when her waters broke.  Rig was an hour away and furious.  A trip that should have taken an hour, took him 25 minutes.  He did not stop telling us that he had told us so.  She was taken straight to Addington Hospital and Ryan was born 6 hours later.  He was 6 weeks premature and looked slightly monkey-like.  There was hair all over his ears and body and he just couldn’t  keep his eyes straight.  He was the most beautiful thing we had ever laid eyes on.  I was smitten. 

When he was four,  I was his first date.  He wanted to marry me.  We dressed up and went to the movie, “Never-Ending Story.”   It was unforgettable.  He was 10 when I moved to Johannesburg and not interested in any more dates, but we were still friends.  

Leigh was born when I was on the ship.  I missed out on so much of her babyhood but we made up for it.  She was gorgeous.  She had a thick head of blonde hair and a pouty mouth.  It was a challenge to get her to smile or laugh.  She was so serious.  I loved blow drying her hair and making her look pretty.  Her favourite pastime was staring.

They had two dogs; Nelson Wallace, a huge black Newfoundland and Jackie Wallace, a little white fox terrier.  Jackie loved to jump up and hang on Nelson’s ears.  He shook her off and sent her flying.  She would just rush back,  growling for more. When she got too frisky, Nelson put his big paw on her and pinned her down.   Brenda Botha had been visiting us.  When she got home, Jackie jumped out from under her car.  She had found a little space and curled up near the engine.  We aren’t sure at what point of the journey Jackie woke up, or what went through her mind when she did.

Rigby was terrified of mice.  The property next to our house was vacant and we had quite a few visitors.  One night I was reading on my bed and a mouse ran into my room.  I screamed and Rig came running in wearing his dressing gown and slippers.  He was armed with a bucket and a broom.  He looked so brave.  That changed when he saw the mouse.  He was jumping and twitching all over the place.  I was standing on my bed shouting and pointing to wherever the mouse was.  It disappeared behind the curtain and I couldn’t see it anymore.  Rig stood on the bed, poking and prodding the curtain with the broom, for what seemed like ages.  Suddenly, the mouse jumped onto us from the curtain rod.  We flapped and screamed and fell all over each other.   We stood on the bed and could not stop screaming.  When we realised the mouse was nowhere to be seen, we laughed until we cried.  Every time we thought about it we laughed again.  We laughed for weeks. 

Post 28. Moo Hills

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I had itchy feet.  Rigby and Sue had left for Bible College and I needed to get out.  Youth for Christ was running a year programme called Y-1 so I decided to sign up.

I travelled with Rig and Sue to Half Way House,  to a cute little farm called Moo Hills.  That was to be my home for three months.   There were 30 young people full of life and energy, ready to take on the world.  I would be away from my home for a year.  It sounded like a life time.

Our dorms were converted cow sheds and it was very earthy.  Each room had 6 bunk beds so we lived in each other’s pockets and all kinds of lessons were learnt.  It was there that I learnt how to hand wash and iron my clothes. I really missed Val.

We dreaded the 6 am morning trumpet call.  It was loud and right outside our dorm.  I had sung many songs about an angel with a trumpet and people disappearing.  I was always relieved to see that it was just Johnny.

It was my first experience living with people who weren’t “white South Africans.”   Alistair Lowe from Rhodesia was no relation but he was a brother to me. On our weekend off he came to stay with us at No 28.   It was a first for my family too.  He was hilarious.

We had rules at Moo Hills.  Lobo the dog was not to be fed, lights out at 9, only one slice of bread after meals, no relationships between the sexes allowed and absolutely NO physical contact.  All those rules were broken,  but not much went unnoticed by Charlie and Wendy Paine and Sean Daly.

Lobo got fatter and fatter and so did we.  We talked way into the night.  One night we had a brilliant idea.  We lay on our bunks with our feet up against the wall.  On the count of three we stomped as hard as we could.  The girls in the dorm next door thought it was an earthquake and ran out onto the field in their pyjamas. It was freezing.

The girls joked that if ever we wanted some physical contact, we could go to Sean for a haircut.  Only if we were guilt free.  Once he got us under the scissors he would ask how we were doing.  We were convinced he could see right though us.  We didn’t have haircuts that often.  We heard that Alistair, when under the scissors and the stare, couldn’t take the guilt anymore and bellowed out, “Ok, ok, I fed Hobo!”

At the end of our three months of discipleship training, we were put into teams.   The music team needed a sound mixer so I auditioned.   Thanks to Wilf I had a pretty good ear and I got the “job.”

It was an intense three months of early mornings, excercise, study, kitchen duty, learning how to live and so much about loving God and others.

We packed our bags and jumped into minivans for our 9 months of road travel.  What we had learnt at Moo Hills was going to be tested.  We were going to find out if what we had learnt was going to work.  Or not.