ACCORDING TO MAUDE
Maude watched helplessly as the hapless
dough shed buried the day before, spewed out of every crevice, its sticky
fingers majestically enveloping everything in its path. Shiny little air bubbles
formed then burst proudly in the midday sun. The wood heap had turned into the
perfect oven! Maude was speechless, embarrassed, betrayed and angry all at the
same time. What could she say? She felt the heat rising in her cheeks, and it
had nothing to do with the heat of the day!
In Store Price: $22.00
Online Price: $21.00
Format: A5 Paperback
Number of pages:
Genre: Non Fiction
Publisher: Poseidon Books
Date Published: 2005
never intended becoming a writer, it just sort of happened. I always wanted to
be an artist, but I decided to do a writing course with my daughter instead as
encouragement for her, but I found I enjoyed it, so I learned how to use a
computer and now, here I am. I also completed a Commercial Art course as well, which I
also thoroughly enjoyed. According To Maude has given me the opportunity
to combine both of my newfound skills.
though my four children are adults now, three of them with children of their
own, my life is still very full. My husband works full time on night shift,
whilst I have a permanent part time job on afternoon shift. I also have a large
garden that demands a lot of attention. I spend a lot of time on the computer
too, not just writing but using Photoshop for a lot of my artwork and other
projects. For the time being, I am content to keep on doing what I am doing, but
you never know what the future holds
To Maude is a collection of short stories that will have you both laughing and
crying, as you become familiar with the characters in the book. Ive taken my
grandmothers tales and added my own personal touch to each of them. Once you
start reading, youll want to keep on going, so, keep going!
Maude Amelia Baldwin, nee Rose, my grandmother, was born of stout English
stock on the 2nd August 1896. The Rose family was descended from
royal blood, King Charles the First, and a chambermaid. [Yeah. I know
Maudes father, Charles Rose, was born at Rose cottage, Rose Street,
Wilberforce N.S.W. It was the only house on the street at that time and it still
stands today as part of Australian history. You can still visit the cottage
today where it has been preserved for posterity.
Charles married Emily Eliza Edmunds at Moree on the tenth July 1890.
Maude was the sixth of eight children.. She spent her childhood growing up in
the outback town amongst aborigines and whites alike. One particular friendly
aborigine stuck in her mind for years after. He was the king of the Mehi tribe
and went by the name of Curry Gundai Joe. He was given a shirt one day as a
present. He thought it was great, having a white mans shirt. He disappeared
with it for a while, only to re emerge later, sporting a huge grin and
proudly wearing the collar of the shirt around his neck and the cuffs off the
sleeves around his ankles. The rest of the shirt was nowhere to be seen.
Maude married Thomas Shadrach Baldwin, a jockey sized man with a fiery
red beard and a temper to match, on the tenth July 1915 when she was nineteen.
Thomas was eighteen years her senior. They had nine children, two dying in
infancy. Thomas was not an easy man to live with. She blamed him for the death
of their first son because he refused to give up a days work to take him to a
doctor a days ride away. There were good times, of course, but also there
were a lot of things she would rather forget.
Needless to say, they didnt get to town very much, twice a year in
fact. Most of their supplies were delivered every couple of months, as were most
of their neighbours. Christmas was the time of year when all the neighbours
would get together in town and catch up on all the gossip.
The Great Depression was only a small part of the life that she endured,
as she struggled to feed and clothe her children. She gladly sacrificed her
flannelette nighties to make warm singlets for her growing brood. Living on a
property was a little easier for her than for some. They grew their own
vegetables and fruit, had fresh cows milk, eggs and fresh meat, including
rabbits, which were quite often on the menu.
The droughts through the years were utterly devastating, indiscriminately
killing just about everything. When a little rain would fall, the grass would
grow up through the bleached bones of long dead cattle and sheep. Bathing was
once a week with everyone using the same two inches of water in the bottom of
the bathtub. When the rains came, it would drench the countryside, the flooding
causing havoc with the stock. There wasnt a lot of higher ground for them to
go, so consequently there were some losses. Supplies were short as well because
of the swollen rivers. You had to make do with what you had.
When the mercury rose in the middle of summer there were heart-breaking
bushfires with homesteads and machinery lost forever. Some of the men never made
it home again after battling them for days on end. The menacing flames would
claim its victims with relish. Compassion for your neighbour in need was always
shown with a helping hand, rather than charity, which just wasnt an option in
Two world wars had claimed thousands of lives, including her brother. He
had only just engaged the enemy when he was killed. He was buried somewhere on
the battlefield in France where he still remains to this day. Her own son Ray,
went to war as well, but thankfully returned home again, safe and sound.
Maude wondered whether life would ever get any better. Thirty six years
into their marriage, Thomas was killed in a horse riding accident, leaving Maude
to depend on her children for survival. The four boys took on the role of their
father, working on the property.
Maude was forced to move to town when the property owner could no longer
afford to pay them.
no government handouts then, only a small widows pension that didnt even
cover the rent. There was no choice but to find a job. She managed to secure a
couple of positions as housekeeper to two well off families in the town.
It was tiring work. With no such luxury as public transport, she had to walk to
and from her two jobs every day.
Maude never married again. There was no time for courtship, life was too
demanding of her time. Her children all married eventually, two of the sons
marrying into the same family. Three of the boys stayed with station work whilst
the other became a woodcutter.
The name Baldwin has been kept alive with the onslaught of grandchildren
and great grandchildren. Christmas time was always a special time at Maudes
house, when everyone would travel sometimes hundreds of miles to get together
and catch up. A baked lunch of pork and chicken in 100 degree F heat drew plenty
of blowflies as the delicious smells wafted out of the small, crowded kitchen.
Although she is gone now, she often wondered why she was still on this
earth, at one hundred and three, her tired, worn out body refusing to give in.
[The Baldwin stubborn streak.] Two of her children passed away before her,
leaving her devastated each time. Her remaining children remained loyal to her
as they kept a vigil by her bedside until her death, my father John, especially.
I remember on one particular occasion when visiting her with my father at
the retirement home. She had commented on how some of the residents always got
visitors every day. Dad and I looked at each other puzzled, then Dad said,
but you get visitors every day Mum. What about me and Muriel, and Jim and
Roly. Sheryl sees you all the time, not to mention all the others
Yes Dear, I know
she replied candidly, but youre not
visitors, youre family! We didnt have a comeback for that one!
Her memories were still vivid to her; even though her body was a mere
shadow of its former self. She has seen a century of revolution, from the first
aeroplane to men on the moon. That is more than most people will ever experience
in their lifetime.
This is but a brief outline of the lady you are about to become
acquainted with. I do hope you enjoy reading about her as much as I enjoyed
writing her stories, so please, read on