The Old Lady


As a child, I grew up in Tumut, NSW. In the winter time of 1955 I was 8 years old and for over two weeks, was considered by my parents to be a compulsive liar.

In those days, there was not much going on in Tumut, I would entertain myself in the frontyard, fly my kite or ride my bike.

One day while I was sitting in the front yard, reading a book, an old lady came over and started to talk to me. We sat and talked for over half an hour. I was called in for dinner, but this elderly lady wouldn’t leave, so I ignored my dinner call and continued to talk to the lady. By the second time I had been called in for dinner, the elderly lady told me to go inside, she didn’t want me to get into trouble because of her.

For the rest of the week, I would sit outside in the front yard and eagerly await for the old woman to come and have a chat with me. We mostly talked about the “old days” how, her life used to be. She spoke of horse drawn carts, and carriages. She told me about the barn dances that used to be held, the horses she owned and rode and about her late husband Charles, who died ‘”a long time ago”.

Every night that week I was late for dinner, my mother questioned me, as she was sick of me not coming inside at once for my dinner call. I told my mother about the old woman who stopped by and chatted to me everyday, I told my mother what we spoke about. My mother did not believe me for a second, she thought I was in my fantasy world where I let my imagination run wild.

In the second week, the old lady came by everyday at 4pm, we sat on my front lawn and chatted for an hour each day. I told the old woman, that my mother did not believe me about her. The old woman, told me to tell my mother that “Glenys, will only come one more time.” She also told me that my mother was going to be expecting another baby in four months time.

I ran in after my mother called me for dinner, I excitingly, told my mother what the old lady had said. My Mothers face changed in colour and asked me to describe what the elderly lady looked like. After, I described the old womans appearance, my mother told me she had to go and lay down.

I later found out, Glenys, the old woman was actually my Great Grandmother, who had died 30 years before I was even born. Her husband Charles, indeed did die a long time ago, he died in 1896!

I waited everyday for my great grandmother to come by and have ‘our’ chats, but she never did come back and see me, although she did come back that “one more time” she promised and that was to see my mother after my baby brother was born some months later.


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