The time has come around for me to set foot on the limestone again and smell the salt air. It's Dad's 60th this time round and I am not alone in my journey here. My eldest brother has made the trip from Queensland as well as my Dads' brothers and their families.
Not much has changed since I was here last. A few new businesses have opened. Some closed as quickly as they opened. Thankfully not the chocolate shop.
I made it my mission on my first day back to head out to one of my favourite beaches. It's been a long time since I put my feet in the sea and felt the sand between my toes. The tide was out and being the off-season for tourism the 20km/hr sign was completely ignored as I floored it across the beach in Dad's new car stopping only when I reached the end of it. A few photos of the Bay and some selfies later I was satisfied. Too cold to swim there was nothing else left but to head off. A quick detour out to an old school museum and then I put the car through its paces all the way back to town.
Dad spent Saturday chauffeuring me to various places around the outskirts of town so I could play the world's biggest treasure hunt. I must be bad at it because I only found 1 out of 3. When we'd finished our secret squirrel business we headed off to my sisters to start preparing for Dads party. Then soon it was time for the shindig of which we were fashionably late.
I spent the night catching up with relatives, faces I had not seen for a long time and meeting new faces altogether. Lunch the following day was spent doing much the same. The boat soon called upon our rellies and hugs goodbye were made, the Mallee Boys hearing the rain fall on their soil. The rest of the day was spent eating leftovers and cleaning up.
Monday was a beautiful day of intermittent rain and an ambition of mine came to fruition. I was quite impressed with myself and Dad didn't kick me out of my ivory tower so he must have thought I did alright too. Now it's just a matter of people letting me keep going with what I have learnt. It all sounds cryptic I know, but I don't particularly want trouble if details find their way to the wrong ears. I took a detour home with the hope of another treasure hunt but alas, there were "muggles".
So my final evening is spent without my Dad due to an ambulance call-out. I am going to miss and pine for my little Island once more. It gets harder and harder to leave each time because you know that old saying "You can take the girl off the Island but you can't take the Island out of the girl".