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Good Mornings from the ‘Usual Suspects’


Up early again. The birds are up and doing their thing. Chirping, tweeting and squawking.


I’m up. Dressed in a flash, with my clothes already prepared and on the bedside table from the night before. When I wake early it is almost always 10 minutes too late to catch the sunrise, so I like to have my walking cloths ready to jump into and get out the door. Savvy hears me, she’s ready too. Excited and jumping around, her toenails making a terribly loud scratching noise on the timber floor boards. The hubby will be up in a minute. I don’t think he will sleep through that. I attempt to calm her down, slip on her harness and lead and get out the door as quickly as possible.


We follow the usual path. Walking along Marine Drive until we get to the foot path by the water and the ‘usual suspects’ are out and about. Everyone you pass always has a ‘Good Morning’ for you. If not – they’re probably not local.

There’s a lady I pass every morning. We don’t know each other’s names. It’s not important! She’s up early again this morning too, I see her silhouette only. The sun is behind her as she walks towards me, but I know it’s her. She has such a recognisable gait. She’s already preparing herself to pat Savvy. Taking off her gloves if the morning is a cool one. Not a single day since moving here has she not stopped to say good morning and give Savvy a ‘scratch behind the ears’. Earlier in the year, on a lovely Autumn morning, she was chatting on the phone, she told the caller to ‘hang on. I need to give a dog a scratch behind the ears’. She did so and then seamlessly slipped back into her conversation and kept walking.


A lovely couple walk hand in hand every day. A nod and a good morning as we pass. It’s such a lovely thing to see. They head up along the path until it’s end and then back home again. I wonder, how the hand holding came about? Have they done this since they were a young couple? Have they been together for the last 50 years or are they new companions? It would be nice to know their story, but I think maybe, that’s just for them.


I stop for my coffee at the bakery as I do every morning. I grab Savvy her party pie – today she has walked very well and deserves a treat. I like to sit by the water with my coffee and use this time for creative thoughts. When buying my boutique, I really did not consider the amount of effort needed for social media. So, I sit and think of ideas and what I might promote today.


I see the ‘Dog Lovers’ approaching. A lovely couple I see most mornings. They drive to the river as they live a little further out of town. They park their car at the boat ramp and then walk over the bridge into Hawkes Nest every day. They used to do this with their dogs. The dogs have passed now but they have kept up their walking. I don’t know their names either. Again, it’s not important. They love Savvy. Always stopping for a pat and a wrestle. And quite often a long chat about what has been going on around town and what the neighbours and kangaroos are up to. They like to see who Savvy likes the best. She’s a girl’s girl! She says hello to the gentleman and then straight to the lovely lady for a longer pat and then she’ll sit on her foot while we talk. We chat for 10 minutes or so and then they get on their way. Up and over the bridge.


On the walk home I run into the ‘Three Wise Men’ they walk every morning. Sometimes there’s a fourth member of the group but most days in just the three. Two are tall. One wears a bucket hat and the other a cap. The third is a shorter man, he wears a cap also. They walk at an easy pace. I presume so that they have enough energy for walking and talking. I come from behind them, and Savvy is walking me quite fast. I say good morning and ask jokingly “is anyone allowed to join this group”? The tall man with the bucket hat says ‘of course, but no speeding!’ This gives me a good giggle. I am speeding, so I won’t join them today.


Life in Tea Gardens is relaxed and just the right pace for me. My boutique opens at 10am so there is plenty of time for a walk, breakfast out or a swim.

I hope that 2023 is good to everyone and that from time to time throughout the year you find the time to go to that perfect place. Even if it is just for a short while and you get a chance to say ‘Good Morning’ to total strangers and they say it back with a smile and a nod.


I feel thankful that the hubby and I decided to move to Tea Gardens. I felt the universe was whispering to me about Vitamin Bead, when we were ready to move it was up for sale. I’m glad I jumped at the chance.


Happy New Year Everyone. Big Love - Max






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