One of the biggest problems I face while backpacking is having clean clothes. There is only so much clothes I can carry in my backpack. We were in St Helens and it was day 4 of our trip and neither of us had any clean clothes. So we had to do the laundry. It was a beautiful morning and the choice was to put our clothes in the dryer and waste few precious hours of the beautiful sunny day or hang the clothes on the line and let nature do the work. We opted for the latter and then I realized we didn’t have any cloth pegs. Much to my partner’s amusement (he would never ever do things like this) I walked to one of the cabin and knocked at the door.
A very old lady opened the door and she was wearing a beautiful blue skirt and matching top.
“Hot date Nana?” I asked her. (I am known to speak without really thinking and this was one such moment).
The old lady looked at me for few seconds and smiled and said
“As a matter of fact, Yes”
“Good on Ya, Nana, Have a good time” I said and then asked her ” Can I please borrow some cloth pegs”
She gave me the cloth pegs and I went to hang the clothes.
The day was long and we had an awesome time. We got back to the camp at 9.30 pm and only then I remembered the clothes. I quickly went to the washing area to find our clothes were missing.
There were only two possible reasons. Someone stole our clothes (not likely, I am petite and not many people can get in to my size) or the Nana took them in for us.
I was a bit worried about knocking at her door that late. But neither of us had any clothes/towel etc.
The old lady opened the door and asked me in.
She had taken in our clothes and along with it she gave me a painting and told me
“This is for you. This morning, I was so worried, I was going to meet this wonderful man for breakfast, but you see, I am 78 years old and I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing and you walk in and tell me go have a good time Nana”
“Did you have a good time Nana?” I asked her
“Yes” she said. “He is an incredibly wonderful man, but I worry about the future”
I gave her hug and told her “Tomorrows can only be dealt with tomorrow.. you have your todays Nana.. Live it”
Only when I got back to my tent and opened the painting I realized who she was. Sian Butler, famous Aussie outback painter. I have seen her paintings for sale at Royal flying doctor Galas. And today I own one of her original paintings.. all because I needed some cloth pegs.