In the early 70's alot of people struggled financially and needed money even to go to the doctors. There was no mediare and no bulk billing clinics. As Dad worked alot, the car would be with him so Mum would have to walk a long way to get to the doctors. It was located on the Princes Highway in Dandenong and she would have more than one of us in the pusher or in her arms or both, but she never ever complained.
There weren't alot of the big supermarkets that there are now, but they did have this awesome Coles Variety Store in Lonsdale Street, Dandenong. It had everything that you could think of in there. I can remember you'd go down this wooden ramp which was slanted down to the caferteria section. We would try to run down it. I can remember Mum and Dad would take us there and they had this amazing fried flake in the caferteria that she would get for us sometimes. It had an amazing crunch and was so delicious that I can still taste it now. Yum!
Dad would get his haircut in the Vanity Arcade which was only a few doors up from Coles. There, they had a photo booth. Times were tough a little, but we did manage to convince them to get a photo in there. It wasn't cheap, but they always tried to keep us happy. Dad had also been in the same booth with his friends when he had first arrived in Dandenong so that was pretty special.
The Dandenong Market was another place that most migrants would go to as things were quite cheap. You could buy boxes of fruit and vegetables in bulk to feed the whole family. They also had these amazing hot jam donuts and although alot of things have changed in Dandenong, this hasn't and the purple donut Van is still there. I'm so thankful that it's still there as my boys can experience and enjoy them too just like I did.
Mum tells me that there was a big bacon factory in Dandenong and that her brother had worked there. I do remember going to my Nonna's every Saturday night and seeing this lit up pig on top of the factory. He would take off his hat three times. I knew we were nearly there when I would see it. Sadly when the factory closed, piggy went into storage. Thankfully someone found it, cleaned him all up and have placed him high on top of the Dandenong Market for all to see him. I'm happy they did as it was a big part of the Dandenong history and now my boys can see him too.
Only Dad worked, but that's how he wanted it. He wanted to make sure that Mum was home for us when we needed her. He had lots of shift work and would rotate, day, afternoon and night shifts. He would be exhausted when he would come home so to come home to a home cooked meal was awesome for him.
Mum and Dad grew fruit and vegetables in our garden that gave us many amazing meals. Mum was great at making clothes for us and would always make sure that we looked great when we went out somewhere special. I loved some of the clothes she had made for us.
She was so street smart and still is. She still grows things in their garden, but doesn't love it as much as sadly the passion has gone a little. Everything they did, they did for each other and mostly together. She still makes clothes, sews and knits, but only just to pass the time.
Mum and Dad married us all off and saw us all in our own homes and have our own children. Not everyone gets a chance to see that. They saw us happy and they were happy too. They had done an amazing job at raising us and making sure that we always had what we needed and more.
They celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversay in December, 1990 and we had a little function for them. it didn't go exactly to plan, but as the photo's show they were so happy as if no-one else was watching and it was just them two. They also made it to their year of their 50th Wedding Anniversary which was in 2015.
Dad and Mum made lots of sacrifices for us and experienced many challenges to give us a better life and more opportnities than they had had.
I love you both so much, forever and ever, your daughter Nancy.