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Winters of My Childhood (Winter Memories Hub Page Challenge)

Updated on November 10, 2015
Jodah profile image

John was born and raised in Australia and subsequently is patriotic and interested in all things Australian inc.language, sport and culture.

Source
Courtesy of Jackie Lynnley, Hub Pages
Courtesy of Jackie Lynnley, Hub Pages | Source

Winter Memories Challenge

Fellow hubber Jackie Lynnley originally issued the "Winter Memories Hub Page Challenge" approximately three years ago. It was recently reissued with Christmas 2014 approaching and, although I couldn't really think of one particular Winter memory that stood out from the rest, I decided to meet the challenge with an essay about my childhood memories of Winter.

David Gulpilil as Charlie in a scene from Rolf de Heer's 'Charlie's Country'
David Gulpilil as Charlie in a scene from Rolf de Heer's 'Charlie's Country' | Source
Painting by Sydney Long
Painting by Sydney Long | Source

Winters of My Childhood

Isn't it funny how anytime we we are asked to write about memories past we almost always recall events that happened in our childhood? Even if we are in our 50s, 60s, 70s or later years our fondest and most vivid memories are still from our early days of childhoods filled with innocence and wonder.

When first becoming aware of this challenge I wasn't intending to 'throw my hat into the ring' so to speak because I couldn't think of one particular winter that was more special than any other. I realise that in the Northern hemisphere with Thanksgiving just passed and Christmas approaching, for many, there is also the prospect of snowmen, sledding, ice skating and other 'White Christmas" fun. Here in Australia however, we are already sweltering with record Summer temperatures (and at present most welcome rain) so thoughts of winter are not at the forefront of an Australian's thinking around Christmas.

That being said I sat down and thought, "Why not? I am always up for a challenge".. and Jackie did ask me so nicely to participate.. how could I refuse? I started to try recalling any specific memories related to winter and was quite surprised with the nostalgia that began to surface. Most of the memories related to visiting my grandmother and uncle during my childhood, hence I will use that experience for my narrative.

King Street, Kingaroy.
King Street, Kingaroy.

Climate

Kingaroy has a humid subtropical climate with warm to hot summers and cool winters. Daily maximum temperatures range from 30 °C (86 °F) in summer to 18 °C (64 °F) in winter. The highest temperature ever recorded in Kingaroy was 41.0 °C (105.8 °F) in January 1994 and again in January 2014, while the coldest was -6.7 °C (19.9 °F) in July 1961. Due to its elevation, Kingaroy often records some of the coldest temperatures in Queensland during winter, dropping below freezing an average of 14.3 times per year. Sleet has been recorded on more than one occasion in the town, and light snow fell in July 1959.

(ref: en.wikipedia.org)

A Town Called Kingaroy

A few times a year my family would pack the car and take the two hour journey, from first Maleny and later Woodford, to visit my maternal grandmother and uncle (my mother's eldest brother). We went there every Christmas that I can remember while my grandmother was alive, but as well as this we always visited for the May Day/Labour Day long weekend during winter.

'Nannan' and 'Uncle Bill' lived in a rural town in the South Burnett region of Queensland called Kingaroy 'The Peanut Capital' of Australia. It also has the distinction of being one of southern Queensland's hottest towns during Summer and coldest in Winter. I much preferred visiting in the Winter months.

The Peanut SIlos (the town's tallest structure), Haly Street, Kingaroy.
The Peanut SIlos (the town's tallest structure), Haly Street, Kingaroy. | Source
Combustion stove
Combustion stove

Breakfast at Nannan's

Kingaroy experienced a snowfall in 1959 but I was only two years old and too young to remember if we were there in the winter of that year. What I do remember most about the cold winter days spent at my Grandmother's(Nannan's) house however was the wood combustion stove in the kitchen.

My Uncle Bill would rise every morning at 5.00am to light the stove so that the kitchen would be warm and inviting by the time everyone else rose for breakfast. Nannan would be up too preparing a large pot of delicious and warming chicken and barley soup.

As soon as the rest of us rose and made our way to the cosy kitchen we begin cooking the bacon and eggs or whatever other delicacy may be on the breakfast menu.

Nannan had a very hard life having fled an abusive husband when my mother was a small child, and then raising three children on her own in days when such a thing was rarely one. You would never know because she was always laughing and joking. One of her favourite sayings, if I asked what was for breakfast or dinner was: "Oh, I didn't cook anything," she'd say with a smile, "If you are hungry you'll have to go up the country and eat a dead monkey."

Source
A milk separator similar to what my Uncle Bill used. Dairy Museum, Murgon
A milk separator similar to what my Uncle Bill used. Dairy Museum, Murgon | Source

Milking, Separating, and Churning

Uncle Bill had a milking cow and poultry so each morning, after breakfast, I would help him with the milking, collecting the eggs from the hens, and then the fun part, separating the cream from the milk. I loved putting the separating machine together. My uncle would test me to see if I could remember the order and correct placement of all the parts. By the time I was six years old I was able to assemble the separator on my own.

After the milk was separated we had to disassemble the machine and clean and sterilize all the parts. Then we would take the metal buckets of milk and cream up to the kitchen where everyone was offered a glass of warm milk before the rest was refrigerated. Nannan would take the cream, add a little salt, then place it in the churn and turn it into butter. Sometimes I would take a turn at this as well, turning the handle frantically until my arm felt like it was ready to drop off. The result was always worth it though, as the cream was transformed into the most delicious home made butter.

Following Uncle Bill

A great deal of my time in Kingaroy was spent tagging after my Uncle Bill, and helping him in his wonderful vegetable garden where he grew the biggest cabbages, lettuces, carrots and potatoes. If we weren't in the garden we would be in his shed/workshop. He was a windmill plumber by trade and could manufacture the most amazing things like his own knives, and axe and shovel handles. He once even made a boat/dinghy out of an old car (Vanguard) hood.

Uncle Bill sometimes took me fishing at the dam, and was the first person to teach me to shoot a rifle.

There is something else I should tell you about Uncle Bill. He was a World War II veteran and had suffered industrial deafness working around and driving heavy machinery. He had hearing aids but in those days they were quite unsophisticated and he hated to wear them because they buzzed in his ears. Strangely the only time he could really hear what you said without yelling was if there was a lot of other loud noise about.

This deafness also helped make him the most patient adult I had ever met. All kids loved to be around him, including my younger sister and brother, and then later my own children.

I'll never forget his funny sayings such as: "The bare footed boy with boots on, sat standing on the grass." He also had funny names for run of the mill items and animals. Kangaroos he called 'kangaroosters" and eggs were "cackleberries."

My Grandmother's Favourite Song

Source
Lamb roast dinner
Lamb roast dinner | Source

Winter Night's at Brownie's

My grandmother was an ex Cabaret singer and dancer popularly known as 'Brownie' her real name being Ethel Brown. She never lost her love of singing and dancing and most winter nights spent at her house would invariably involve these activities. Accompanied by the record player or radio/wireless we would take turns (sometimes willingly) accompanying Nannan as her partner in either the waltz, foxtrot or jive while she sung such songs as 'The Black Hills of Dakota', 'The Black Velvet Band' or 'Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On'.

She was well known in the Kingaroy community having spent most of her adult life in the town and having worked for many years at the peanut silos and as a cabaret performer. 'Brownie' was renowned for her generosity, inviting everyone into her home, including taking in a number of boarders who had trouble finding accommodation elsewhere. One lady named 'Nellie' actually stayed for over 20 years. To us she was part of the family.

We often shared dinner with people we had never met before. It was a wonderful lesson in humility and sharing, especially for my brother, sister and I.

Source
My eldest son Daniel and two of his children Radane a Kahlia.
My eldest son Daniel and two of his children Radane a Kahlia. | Source

Feelings of Nostalgia

Now, so many years have passed and I look back at those wonderful times spent with my grandmother and uncle with feelings of nostalgia. I am happy that my wife and children also got to experience these special occasions for a number of years and took away from it some of their own most precious memories. My eldest son especially often still says that winter spent at Nannan's was his favourite time of year.

© 2014 John Hansen

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    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for reading this hub ahamley. Yes Kingaroy is a nice town to have grown up in. The Winter Song is great too.

    • ahamley profile image

      ahamley 2 years ago

      Loved the pictures and memories. I like the one about the winter song. I would love growing up in that town.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes peachpurple, you are right. It seems only yesterday my own kids were that small, now they have kids of their own. My son was a father at 18 though :)

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      you know when you are getting old, looking at your son tending to his kids, you know you had been a long long way

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for revisiting this hub Laurie. You must have been drawn back for a reason. Glad you like the story and pictures and yes the one with the Winter Song is very nice. These challenges always seem to bring out the best in one's writing. Blessings back.

    • profile image

      Rayne123 2 years ago

      For some reason I came back to your story.

      I love all these challenges, whether they be poetry or stories, they make a great way to interact.

      Once again beautiful story and pictures. I particularly like the one that is accompanying the winter song.

      Blessings

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Greetings back from Australia Rolly, thanks for reading my hub and for the kind comment. I am glad this brought back many pleasant ones of your own.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Jodah... what a beautiful touching hub, thank you for sharing. Memories are special and yours touched off many of my own.

      Hugs from Canada

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for such a delightful comment Laurie, so glad you enjoyed this journey back to my childhood and some wonderful times. Oh for that time machine. I appreciate your kind words.

    • profile image

      Rayne123 2 years ago

      What a beautiful hub Jodah. It almost reminds me of the title of a hub, "the quiet house in the country". Very well written, so much so, one can feel being there.

      I love times like that and it sounds so serene and so much history in the story.

      Times that never come back, all we have are memories and pictures. So we must embrace them when we can.

      It sounds like it can be a start of a childrens novel.

      If only the world lived like this among us.

      Love the pictures and the songs, especially the winter one. It's a peaceful song. Thank you for posting

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Sounds like our childhoods were a little similar Kim, our grandmas anyway. I am glad you enjoyed this hub and thanks for the vote up etc. I really would appreciate it if you could find the time and inspiration to take my challenge too. Jazz, jive and kangaroosters back at ya'.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

      John,

      How awesome a childhood. I spent a great deal of time with my grandma, too. And even though her job was always wife and homemaker, she loved to dance. One of my fondest memories is my grandma teaching me how to do the Charleston although she called it flat-footing. Smiles. Thank you so much for this hub. Voting up, sharing, etc...

      On another note, I recently discovered your challenge which I am hoping I can respond to yours as well.

      With jazz and jive and kangaroosters,

      ~Kim

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanow Jamie. It is great to be able to share our own memories with appreciative readers here at HP, and read their wonderful personal stories in return. This was a fun challenge. Hope you are having a great weekend.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

      I am spending time with Sam and Elias right know. Anyway, what a great read. What great stories you have to tell from your home and your traditions. Thank you for sharing. Jamie

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for taking the time to read this Patricia, and for your kind words. We will welcome those angels with open arms. You have a great New Year too.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Oh how sweet this is. And your children saying those times with Nana were the fondest memories...it makes my heart melt (as I am a Nini and feel so loved by my grandsons).

      Lovely share you have here.

      Angels are on the way to you and yours and wishes for a blessed New Year ps

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for reading this Kim. I have found that if you share parts of your life on here and write from the heart readers really seem to appreciate it and feel they know you better. These chalenges seem good for doing that. I am glad this touched you and that you had wonderful memories of your grandparents as well. Thanks too for your support and encouragement.

    • klidstone1970 profile image

      இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу 2 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

      Some of my best memories are with my grandparents. This was so lovingly told that I had a lump in my throat. It is really well done, John. A beautiful tribute to your Nannan and Uncle Bill.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for reading these childhood memories Jo, and for your kind comment. Glad you enjoyed this.

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      John, great hub, wonderful memories, a pleasure to read. Your grandparents sounds fascinating, thank you for sharing.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I appreciate your kind comment Mel. Yes, when it is winter in your part of the world it is summer here..quite hot at the moment, and I am spending Christmas in Kingaroy though not at my Grandmother's house sadly.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes Eric, it always cracked me up even though I got to expect it every time I said I was hungry. I think I asked on purpose.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for reading Dianna. Glad this appealed to your senses. It's great when writing can do that and bring back childhood memories.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      I could feel the heat off the stove and smell the bacon frying in your story. It reminds me of my childhood and that is always a good thing. Winters can be a special time in anyone's life. Thanks for sharing this message.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Great tearjerking hub! Grandmas are wonderful people, and I have cherished memories of my own. One thing I am curious about is whether what we call our winter months are actually called summer down in Australia. I suppose you would, because this is definitely your warm season. Great hub!

    • Eric Flynn profile image

      Eric Wayne Flynn 2 years ago from Providence, Rhode Island

      "Go eat a dead monkey" (paraphrasing Nannan), what a line, ha.

      EWF

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for reading Jamie and for the Christmas wishes. Merry Christmas to you and your family too.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

      Thank you Jodah for sharing you Christmas memories. I hope you and your family have a Very Merry Christmas! Jamie

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Theresa, glad you liked the pic, song and hub overall. Ronan Keating is one of my favourite singers. You have a blessed Christmas too.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Jodah - Absolutely love the breathtaking picture of the stags and I fell in love with Winter Song. Plan to look Keating up. What wonderful memories. Your Nannah and Uncle sound like good people, salt of the earth types. No wonder you loved those visits. Great hub, a real pleasure to read. Have a blessed Christmas. Theresa

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you truthfornow, yes they were wonderful people and I have fond memories.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 2 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Your Grandmother and Uncle Bill seem like such cool people with very interesting lives to share. Nice to have those memories to look back upon.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for taking the time to read this Tony. Yes the northern NSW area is beautiful and it was good that you coud visit. I have cousins who live around there. Take care and have a great British Christmas.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for reading about my childhood memories Iris. Yes my nannan certainly had a sense of humour. I can rarely remember her being unhappy or not joking around. Haha...sorry you are stuck with the "dead monkey" quip now...I never got over it either. It's weird weather here at the moment..one day cool, the next two sweltering. Have a great Christmas.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 2 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Funny that, most of my memories are from my childhood too, although I grew up on the south coast of England. My uncle and aunt, who moved to Australia in the 1960s did live at one time in NSW, just south of the Queensland border. We stayed with them for a few days back in 1988 and I really loved the area.

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      This was really nice to read. And it was a good reminder that half the world is sweltering while the other half freezes (OK, so it's not really a half and half deal but I get your point and you get mine).

      Your Nannan was funny. I chucked about her dead monkey quip all the way to the end of the article. I'm sure it'll stick with me for quite a while in fact and bring a smile to my face! :) Thank you for sharing these memories.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      My pleasure MsDora. You would have fit right in :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Jodah, I like your Nannan and Uncle. I would have liked Christmas with them too. Thanks for sharing these memories.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for your kind comment Ologsinquito. I know what you mean about being very different, but very much the same. My grandmother lived until 86. I think my eldest three children were about 8, 4 and 2 when she passed away..so they had some time to get to know her. It was a blessing.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Glad this hub triggered your own memories seraphic. It's a pity we can't turn back time. Please write about your own childhood and the chickens. I'd ,Ove to read it.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I'm glad you found my memories enjoyable Flourish. Everything is much easier now but in my opinion that doesn't make them better. Separating the milk and churning the butter was so much fun and believe me the home made butter tasted much better than the store bought variety. It was great that as children we were allowed to share in these chores.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

      What wonderful memories. It's so interesting to hear memories from someone who lives on the other side of the world. Things are very different there, but also very much the same. It's a blessing your children were able to meet your grandmother.

    • seraphic profile image

      Seraph 2 years ago from Canada

      I grew up on the farm, I can honestly say you triggered a few memories of my own! Truly I miss those times... I think you have inspired me to write of my own memory of the chickens, lol!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      These are wonderful family memories. Your description is a reminder of how easy we have it now (with the milk and butter story) and the value of including others.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hey Mary, I'm sure you would have got along fine with my family. You are right, what we consider cold is really only cool in other parts of the world. The weather may be different across the world but the people are much the same. thanks for reading and voting up.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Glad I was able to bring these memories to life Peg. Thanks for your kind comment.

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      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      What lovely memories! Isn't it wonderful when you can look back on childhood as such an enjoyable experience. Your family certainly sounds like one we would all love to know and your winters in spite of the cold, very warm.

      As many others have said, its nice to learn more about other parts of the world, even in difference there is sameness!

      Voted up, beautiful, and interesting.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This was wonderfully nostalgic and well told. You made me feel as if I knew your grandmother and I could imagine the farm chores you described. What a great set of memories you've shared of your Nannan. The photos were charming as well. Pushed all the buttons on this one.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I am glad you enjoyed reading this Audrey as much as I did writing it. it was good to relive these wonderful childhood memories. Thanks for sharing.

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      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      What wonderful winter memories you've shared with us. You have been blessed to have such marvelous people in your life. I enjoyed this so much and the photos are fantastic! Sharing.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for reading this Alicia. Thanks to Jackie I was able to relive these wonderful memories.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for being a regular reader of what I write Frank, you don't know how much I appreciate it. Glad to let you in to some of my memories. Have a great festive season.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for such a lovely comment Paula. When I first came to Hub Pages I tried to keep my writing as impersonal as possible and separate from my private life. Once I became an accepted part of the community I found that others appreciated you letting them in to your life and sharing your personal story, memories etc. It brings us all closer together. I treasure my childhood, family and the lessons Iearned. Thank you for the vote up as well.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting and enjoyable hub, Jodah. I loved learning about your childhood and your relatives. You have some wonderful memories.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      wonderful memories my friend.. these will now last in our minds too.. bless you bro :)

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      Paula 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Jodah, thanks for sharing your winter memories with us. I love what you share about your experiences and family members. How wonderful that your oldest still recalls the good times at Nannans, and it being the favorite time of year! That says it all.

      What a neat heritage too, to have learned how to churn and separate the milk after milking, etc. Not many can say they ever learned such things. Our families are a heritage to us, and we learn so much and experience so much. What a treasure to record what you have here, for future generations also. A priceless treasure for sure. Voted up, beautiful, interesting, awesome, etc.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes Linda, they were both amazing people and are sadly missed. I am fortunate to have had them in my life. Thanks for reading.

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Eric, I am glad this took you back to your own childhood successfully. Thanks for your continued support and encouragement.

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Ruby, I cherish the things I was fortunate to learn during my childhood . Glad you enjoyed his flashback. take care,

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      Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Awwww! Uncle Bill sounds like an amazing person as does Brownie. Wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A good story of childhood is one that takes the reader back a ways to think of his own. You definitely brought me back a bit. A wonderful narrative.

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      John, I enjoyed your look back at childhood good times. You were taught many things that were priceless, like churning butter, who today could say that? Thank's for sharing.

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes milking is fun Mary. I was fortunate and had wondefu family times. Thanks for the vote up. Glad you enjoyed the read.

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Sorry your Christmases have been boring peachpurple. i hope you have wonderful childhood memories though.

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Bill. Yes you would have loved it..I sure did.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Loved the pictures and memories. I would love growing up in that town...I'm an old cow milker from way back. :)

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      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Oh, my...I've milked many cows in my childhood. We made our own butter, too. You were so luck to have so many wonderful people in your life, especially Uncle Bill.

      I enjoyed reading this very much. Voted UP, etc.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      my christmas have been a quiet and boring one ever since i was married. I still missed my childhood memories

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for your kind words Devika and the vote up.

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for taking the time to read this hub Joyfulcrown, and for your kind words.

    • Joyfulcrown profile image

      Joyfulcrown 2 years ago

      I really enjoyed your hub. Thank you for sharing your memories. You are truly blessed to have such wonderful family.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Shauna, what a coincidence that both our maternal grandmothers were named Ethel and we are the same age. Yep childhood were the best years, I'd go back in a flash. Keep those recipes alive. Happy Christmas.

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      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      John, thank you for sharing your winter memories. I have to remind myself that our winter is your summer. That's pretty cool when you think about it.

      My maternal grandmother's name was Ethel, as well. She wasn't famous, but she was a helluva cook. I have many of her recipes. In fact, I'll be putting a few of them to use for Christmas dinner.

      Thanks again for giving us a glimpse into your childhood. Those really were the best years, weren't they?

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      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A wonderful part of your life and these memories are so meaningful. You have shared such lovely photos and with a big part of you. Voted up!

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Glad you enjoyed this Kathleen. Thank you for reading and have a great Christmas.

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Rebecca, yes Kingaroy is a nice town. I much prefer the winters too.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Rebecca, yes Kingaroy is a nice town. I much prefer the winters too.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      What a nice "Christmas Card" this season. Thanks for sharing these memories.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Very delightful writing. Kingaroy sounds like a delightful place to be. I agree. I think I'd like it best in winter.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes Ann, there are some memories that embed themselves in your mind and you never forget. I am fortunate to have had some wonderful people in my life and who taught me many valuable lessons. Thank you for reading and your wonderful comment. Hmm that rhyme of your partner is very similar and most likely has the same origins. Have a great Christmas.

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      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      What amazing memories you have of those wonderful people. It's so good to have that warm, fuzzy feeling that usually comes from older family I think. Great that you could learn all those things from your uncle.

      Strangely, my partner used to have a similar rhyme he told my daughter when she was younger, 'A bare-footed man with clogs on came slowly running by..' There's more but it's quite long. He spent much time in Oz but doesn't think he got it from there!

      Great winter memories at Christmas time, John.

      Ann

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for such a great comment Graham. Glad you feel this hub succeeded in all the right areas. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Cheers.

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      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Jodah. A first class hub. You touched so many bases here; family, weather, Australia, Kingaroy and it's history and more. Lovely photos and videos. I really enjoyed it. I wish you and yours all the best from me and mine for Christmas and the New Year.

      Voted up and all.

      Graham.

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Maj. Thanks for reading this. I'm glad you could visualise my family especially my grandmother. I look forward to reading about your winter childhood as well. Best wishes to you as well.

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Jackie, thank you for setting this wonderful challenge. I'm glad you enjoyed this hub and appreciate your generous comments. Thanks for linking to this hub also. Have a great Christmas and New Year.

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for reading Phyllis and your kind comments. yes our elders can teach us so much.

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for your kind comment Faith. Yes I have read some of your wonderful winter hubs. Hopefully you can come up with some new memories for this challenge. Thanks for the tweet, pin and vote up. Merry Christmas.

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      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      Love your nostalgia John, memories are so special. The story of your grandmother zings with energy and life. The dancing and singing and Nellie staying for 20 years is a wonderful story. I can totally 'see' all the family. (In my latest hub 'Christmas past and present some cynical and scroogy moments...' I wrote a short piece of winter childhood. I think I will have to enlarge on it. You got me going...Best wishes to you and yours for this festive season. Maj

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      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      This is so good John! I know you are a great writer but you also have some really great memories and the two together will be hard to beat! There is nothing better than family memories and it did not hurt one iota that you had no snow! So many worrying they have no cold or snow in their memories and I am so glad you put that worry to rest right up front!

      So pleased you decided to share this with us and I will go straight away and add this to the top of the list of memory stories so far!

      Merry Christmas/Happy New Year!

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      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Jodah, these are great memories. I am so glad you wrote about them and your Nannan and Uncle Bill. It is wonderful the lessons we learn by spending time with the elder members of family. I really enjoyed your memories story.

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      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, now these are truly wonderful winter memories you have shared here. Thank you for participating in Jackie's Winter Memories challenge. It is hard to get into our heads that others around the world are at this time experiencing summer months, but you sure did an amazing write here of your lovely memories.

      I have shared so many winter memories here already, and so I am going to have to think back and see what I can come up with too.

      Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

      Merry Christmas to you and yours and stay cool : )