Grandparents are a lady and a man who have no little children of their own.
They like other people’s.

A grandfather is a man and a grandmother is a lady.

Grandparents don’t have to do anything except be there when we come to see them.
They are so old they shouldn’t play hard or run.
It is good if they drive us to the shops and give us money.

When they take us for walks, they slow down past things like pretty leaves
and caterpillars.

They show us and talk to us about the colour of the flowers
and also why we shouldn’t step on “cracks”.

They don’t say, “Hurry up”.

Usually grandmothers are fat but not too fat to tie your shoes.

They wear glasses and funny underwear.

They can take their teeth and gums out.

Grandparents don’t have to be smart.

They have to answer questions like “Why isn’t God married?”
and “How come dogs chase cats?”

When they read to us, they don’t skip. They don’t mind if we ask for
the same story over and over again.

Everybody should try to have a grandmother,
especially if you don’t have television
because they are the only grown ups who like to spend time with us.

They know we should have snack-time before bedtime
and they say prayers with us every time
and kiss us even when we’ve been naughty.

It’s funny when they bend over, you hear gas leaks and they blame their dog.

(Excerpts from papers written by a class of 8-year-olds)


Back in the Day

Rules for Women Teachers 1915.

  1. You will not marry during the term of you contract.
  2.  You are not to keep company with men.
  3.  You must be home between the hours of 8pm and 6am unless attending school functions.
  4.  You may not loiter down town in any ice-cream bars.
  5.  You may not travel beyond the city limits unless you have the permission of the chairman of the board.
  6.  You may not ride in a carriage or automobile with any man unless he is your father or brother.
  7.  You may not smoke cigarettes.
  8.  You may not dress in bright colours.
  9.  You must wear at least two petticoats.
  10.  Your dress must not be any shorter than two inches above the ankle.
  11.  To keep the school neat and clean, you must sweep the floor at least once daily, scrub the floor at least once a week with hot soapy water, clean the boards at least daily, and start the fire at 7am so the school room will be warm by 8am.


Beneath that sweet exterior the Bush school teacher of the 1880s was more than just a pretty face. She had to be able to:

  •  Set a broken leg in a crisis.
  •  Patch the shingles on the school roof.
  •  Cook lunch on an open fire.
  •  Wall paper the residence with newspapers to keep out the winter winds and snakes.
  •  Teach a class of children aged five to fifteen.
  •  Ride a horse side saddle four miles to school and maybe carry a couple of pupils.
  •  Keep the school property free of goats and cattle.

and my favourite

  •  Stay fresh all day from a weekly swim in the dam.  (B-r-r-r)

Those were the days!

Excerpts from The History of the Kuhne Family in Australia.