We travelled down State Highway 1, but instead of turning towards Wellington, we kept going directly ahead to where State Highway 1 became State Highway 3. It’s the Palmerston North to Whanganui highway. Of all the roads we have travelled in this country, this was to become my favourite because it is high, wide, and fast!! I always feel that I’m travelling along the top of the world when we hit this highway. It gives me a thrill every time, as it only takes 50 minutes to travel between the two cities, and all the travel is through countryside, farmland. On a good day it’s possible to see Mt Ruapehu on your right, Mt Taranaki in the distance, right in the middle of the road, which is so wonderfully high that glimpses of the ocean on the left, can be seen at the same time. There are only 3 petrol pumps along the way with a small cluster of residences and businesses around them.
We arrived in a quiet Palmerston North, and filled up the wagon at the Caltex Star Petrol station on Broadway, at about 9pm. It had been a long, long day – but we were still about 45 minutes away from the house in Ballance. We also picked up a few packages of meat pies which we would have for supper, once we had got ourselves unloaded at the house! It was close to 10pm when we arrived. First thing – we had steaming hot mugs of coffee, then headed out to unload the furniture van of beds, mattresses and bedcovers and clothing cases. We just flung the tightly rolled-up bedcovers onto the beds and unrolled them, then tucked the edges in. Easy! While the men unloaded the van – I heated the pies and kept up the coffee supply!
Ballance turned out to be the beginning of a new journey; this time, the journey was towards, my total RELEASE of the reins of power in our personal and private life – and the RELAXING of my hand as HOLDER of all that responsibility which had been mine for the 25 years that the children had been growing up. It was difficult to let go – and I found that I had to go on my face before the Lord, again. “Lord, if you do not do this in me – It wont happen, because I can’t do it alone. Lord, I am willing,” …. and right when I wasn’t looking – He did it! I felt the responsibility drop from my shoulders like the removal of a coat of armor. I had to sit down, I felt so lightened I could have floated away. My husband felt the “clunk” of responsibility land on his shoulders, and he adjusted his posture to deal with it. It fitted him like a glove. Suddenly, my David began saying and thinking things, that I had not heard him say or think about before. His willingness to shoulder responsibility for ‘us’ – released me to be his wife and to be woman, (instead of being a part-male/part female creature) and I was now free to pursue all the things that I had had to put aside to be chief-cook-bottle-washer cum father/ mother/ teacher/ disciplinarian/ trainer etc… to my children. I could be ditzy if I wanted, and at times I have been ‘ditzy’ just for the sheer pleasure of ‘being.’ I could have real, friendships, not unbalanced ones. I could be part of a womans’ world again, and not just look on from the otherside of the fence. It was a relief to no longer be weighed down with a load which I had NOT been constructed to bear.
My mother had been widowed when she was 39 years old, with 8 children to care for, only my sister and I had completed high-school, – the others were still attending, as they were younger. My mother had been my example: I had seen her carry the weight of her family alone, for all of my adult years. Even if she could have married again – (I know she had at least 2 proposals, ) – she would not have wanted to ceed her responsibilities to her new spouse/ had he wanted to bear them in her stead.
For four and a half years we were in Ballance. We worked to get our relationship in order, to get my health to a stage where I had relative control of it, and for David to earn respectable qualifications in the farming sector. This was a huge learning curve for both of us, and we didn’t always get it right, but we had fun – and we’re still batty about each other today, so we must have done something right! We realised right away, that life wasn’t all doom & gloom. We could ride the ‘Farming wave’ to where-ever it took us, then see what else life has to offer ??
TBC – Emmi