DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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15 April 2013

It's my birthday!


In 1948, the first supermarket opened in the UK, Mahatma Gandhi was murdered, Don Bradman and Joe DiMaggio were creating records, the Pulitzer Prize was shared by James A Michener and Tennessee Williams, Lord Mountbatten resigned as govenor-general of India, TS Eliot won the Nobel Prize for Literature and on 15 April, 151 years after the first of my Australian ancestors stepped upon these shores from convict ships, I was born into a small working class family in Sydney, part of the "baby boom". The population of Australia was then 7.8 million people + one. 

Protected and shielded by my parents, the nuns who taught me and no TV, I went through my childhood oblivious to the Korean War, the strength and courage of Rosa Parks in Alabama, the plight of our first Australians, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, the invention of the Pill and the birth of rock n roll.  My eyes were opened suddenly while still at school when the world stood terrified in 1961 after the Bay of Pigs invasion and then the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. At 15, I heard Dr King's "I have a dream" speech on the radio and realised during those fine moments how profound the spoken word can be, and then twisted and shouted through the rest of the 1960s with the Beatles and Bob Dylan. The freedom marches continued and the US Civil Rights Act became law in 1964. I escaped conscription because I was a girl but watched on as hundreds of young Australian men my age were signed up and shipped out to Vietnam. Many of them never returned. In 1967, Australians said an overwhelming "YES!" (90%) in a referendum to include Aboriginal Australians in the census and for special laws to be drafted for them. And then in July 1969, I watched along with the rest of the world as Neil Armstrong took "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Petrol cost: AU 10 cents/litre, UK 65p/gallon, US 31 cents/gallon 

It's 1970, I'm 22, so I'd better start getting serious and do something. I started my nurses training at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, alongside the first male general nurse in Australia. Finished that, moved on, drove around the circumference of Australia and finally met a certain young, handsome German man named Hanno in the wilds of outback Queensland. My fate was sealed. Bell bottoms and moustaches. Cigarette advertising banned in many countries. From 1975 to 1978 I didn't watch much black and white TV, never cared for the radio news and while I missed knowing that Elvis died, the conservatives won power in the UK and that Ian Paisley won a seat in the UK parliament, I did know the aboriginal tent embassy went up outside parliament house, the last of the boys came back from Vietnam and women had started to take their place in the world.  In early 1979 Hanno and I travelled to Hamburg to meet his family and to stay a few months.

We married in Hamburg and Shane was born there in July 1980 but we stayed longer than intended, I was incredibly homesick so we flew home in late 1980. Flying via Tehran, we were diverted to Damascus - the Iran/Iraq War had broken out while we were in the air! Back home, we soon settled down again and Kerry was born in July 1981. Indigenous Australians started making headway with their claims for land rights, Indira Gandhi was assassinated, the Chernobyl nuclear power station exploded releasing a large amount of radiation into the atmosphere and a 747 exploded in the sky over Lockerbie in Scotland, killing nearly 300 people. We bought our first computer in 1988, pre-windows, using DOS. I needed it because I was doing a degree in journalism, literature and communication. The decade started with a bang, with many of us throwing our money around, but ended in a recession. And then in November 1989, something happened I never expected to see - the Berlin Wall started crumbling and eventually Germany became united again.

Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990, Margaret Thatcher resigned and we bought our first mobile phone (still have the same number). Our first female governor was appointed in 1991 and in 1992, the Mabo decision overturned the concept that Australia was terra nullius when the first sailing ships arrived here. I lived through the saddest day of my life in November 1993 when my mum died. Surprisingly, in spite of my doubt, life went on. Northern Exposure graced our TV screens, we were living with teenagers, the Port Arthur massacre, we bought our home and moved here in 1997. The English Channel tunnel opened and mad cow disease hit the UK. It was heart-breaking to watch as farmers had their herds killed, burned and buried in mass graves.

Concorde crashed and burned in every sense in 2000. The horrors of 9/11 (RIP) and the outcomes of it, 88 Australians died in a terrorist bombing in Bali. The first iPod. The beginning of this decade saw a profound turning point for our family when we started to slow down and simplify. I started blogging. The tsunami in the Indian Ocean took 250,000 lives, suicide bombers in London killed 56 people, the first iPhone, Benazir Bhutto killed in Pakistan, fuel prices hit record highs, the GFC. The population of Africa exceeded 1 billion. The population of India exceeded 1.1 billion. The population of China exceeded 1.3 billion. Barack Obama, the first black American president, is sworn in. Down to Earth, a guide to simple living is published by Penguin in February 2012.

Today, 15 April, 2013, I'm turning 65. I am proud of my age and lucky to have made it through when so many others didn't. I mixed my history in with world history here, not in arrogance but because this is my history - I have been shaped by my times, just as you are shaped by yours. I wish I'd learnt more along the way but one thing I do know to be true is that age is not about wrinkles, the pension or decline. I have found, despite what I've heard, that life truly opens up as you age. Not all days are good ones, but they weren't when I was younger either. Now I have the sense to not gauge my life by other people's ideals, I'm comfortable in my own skin, and while I have my family and friends around me, I know that I will continue to look for the joy in each day and appreciate it every time I find it.



168 comments:

  1. Many happy returns Rhonda, You have inspired many with your blog & I am sure you will continue to do so. Stacey x

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  2. Well, a very Happy Birthday to you, Rhonda! And many blessings.

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  3. Have a day filled with sunshine---from middle TN,USA!

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  4. Happy birthday Rhonda! What an interesting post. Love Penny L in Dorset U.Kxxxxxxx

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  5. Happy Birthday Rhonda. Much love and happy wishes to you. Xx

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  6. The happiest of birthdays to you, dear Rhonda! The world is a better place because you were born :)
    -Jaime

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  7. Happy Birthday! I hope you have a lovely day.

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  8. Happy birthday Rhonda. This was a lovely read! May you have another few decades ahead of you.

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  9. Happy Birthday! I hope you enjoyed your day!

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  10. Happy birthday! Amazing all the things you can look back on - and that Concorde crash? That was on my birthday, sadly enough. It's one of my 'I'll always remember where I was when I heard' things.

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  11. Happy Happy Birthday Rhonda, loved reading back through the years, Wishing you a wonderful birthday and many happy returns of this day !
    Thanks for all your wonderful inspiration :)
    Hugs
    Mabel (((((())))))

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  12. Happy Birthday Rhonda. Hope you have a wonderful day!!

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  13. Happy birthday, wishing you a lovely day.

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  14. Happy Birthday Rhonda you were born at a great time in history filled with lots of lessons to be learned. B

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  15. Happy Birthday. When looking back it's amazing the events that have happened in our lifetimes. Have a wonderful day (although it's already tomorrow for you). We had 23cm of snow over night so, other than shovelling, no other outdoor activities for us.

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  16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you were surrounded by love and family! The two of course naturally go together.

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  17. Happy birthday, Rhonda! I enjoyed this post so much.

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  18. Happy Birthday Rhonda! Hope your day was all you dreamed it to be!

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  19. Happy Birthday! My husband's is the 15th too, just a different year! So glad you can be happy with your life, and glad that you share your talents and gifts with others here. Blessings and peace to you with many more productive years to come.

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    1. Hi Annie, today is my husband's birthday too :)

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  20. We are the sum of all that has gone before. Lovely to look back on world history. Whatever happens today you will have a happy (Birth) day :-)

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  21. Happy Birthday Rhonda!! I really enjoyed that - I was wishing you had written 5 times more about both your life and world events. Because you are a great wordsmith I think I would really enjoy your autobiography - just an ordinary life overlaid an extraordinary time.

    It makes me wonder where the time went, thank you for your blog.

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  22. Happy Birthday Rhonda!! thank you for all your wonderful words,you are an inspiration,
    Many Blessings on your day:)
    Carleene

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  23. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Rhonda!

    Wow, reading the intermingled history made me realise exactly how much has happened in 65 years. I am turning 50 this year and am amazed at how much has happened since I was born. We have been very privileged I think to have been born and lived so long with so many things happening.

    Hope you have a fantastic day! And am glad you are feeling so much better now - just in time for your special day.

    Regards
    DeeJay in Whangarei, New Zealand

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  24. What a wonderful post! So many reminders and the things you have seen. It all adds to the story...your story!! The stories that will be passed on to your little boys and to their children. What a wonderful life! Thank you for sharing it AND

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Rhonda!! <3

    Debbie
    Central Illinois

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  25. Happy Birthday! and best wishes for lots more happy years. Melindi

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  26. Many happy returns of the day Rhonda. I hope you have a memorable day with your family
    Karen NZ

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  27. Happy Birthday Rhonda, hope you have a very special day. What a fantastic post, I believe as we age life becomes simpler because our thought processes change, we certainly become older and wiser.
    Have a lovely day.
    Trudy. xo

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  28. Happy Birthday! What an interesting read! I should do a similar time map for my children. It's thought provoking to see a life in the context of major world events!

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  29. Happy birthday. Great blog as always.

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  30. Happy Birthday Rhonda, what wonderful history you have lived through. Have a happy and blessed day.

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  31. Happy Birthday Rhoda, that was such a powerful post, I am off to work now and your words will resonate with me all day.
    Have a good one!
    regards Leonie

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  32. Very Happy Birthday to you, Rhonda!

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  33. Best Wishes on your day, and many more to come! Your history mirrors mine so closely - we're only a year apart in age. The 15th is also our 41st wedding anniversary.

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  34. Happy birthday Rhonda. X

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  35. Happy 65th Birthday Rhonda, I will turn 65 at the very end of this May..I read your blog and got a big kick out of everything you mentioned..Yes I lived thru most of what you wrote only in California, I remember when Ronald Reagan was elected the governor when I went to California in 1966 and then all the places he went, where I was when Manson got nuts in 1969, where I worked when I heard Bobby Kennedy was murdered, Martin Luther King Jr. too! All the things that were living legends happened when I lived in southern and middle of California, I don't live there anymore and it is cold where I live all year long, but green and pristine hiking, mountains to ski, rivers and oceans to fish and a lovely place to grow old if one has their legs to climb, hike and ski and fish!!!!!!!!!!! Life goes by past fast, enjoy the journey it is not the destination that most seek, but the destination, our only child had it framed and on our kitchen wall IT IS THE JOURNEY NOT THE DESTINATION IN THIS LIFE!!!!!!!!! I would never trade my youth for my older age, never, while I so enjoyed a lot of my young youth, the middle ages were not all that people told me they would be and at 65 nearly I don't care what others think of me, I really never did...one can only walk to the beat of their own drum not others, what people believe in my opinion is their belief not mine, I let people be whatever they want to be, an old hippie attitude from 1969 without the pot smoking if you will..HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY 65th BIRTHDAY, MAY YOU HAVE MANY MANY DAYS, HOURS AND MINUTES OF PEACE, JOY AND LOVE WITH THOSE YOU LOVE AND ALSO LOTS OF FUN! ciao from an old 65 hippie living in Washington state, mary jane ciao!

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  36. Happy Birthday -but Barak Obama is only half black. And that black part only when he wants to be. Rosa Parks was a person that they staged. She was brave, but it was all set up for her. Coming from a girl from Detroit...when a street is named after her...

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  37. What an interesting post, looking back over the past few decades. The times do certainly shape us. I remember Hamburg, too, and how terribly homesick I became as well. Wishing you a lovely day for your birthday.

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  38. Happy Birthday Rhonda!! Hope you have a wonderful day :0)

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  39. Have a great day Rhonda. I loved reading this post as you took us through the years, weaving in that world history with your own. Thank you for sharing xx

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  40. Happy birthday dear Rhonda! I loved reading this post, and the beautiful photo.

    Love, Madeleine.X

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  41. Happy birthday Rhonda! Hope you have a wonderful, relaxing day filled with love from your family. Loved the post.

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  42. Happy birthday to you (imagine it sung). I'm 56 this july & remember sitting in my classroom (grade 6) watching with awe as Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon - wondering how the heck did they do that, but not truly understanding the enormity of what I was witnessing, such amazing & sometimes horrifying (war, Port Arthur, 9/11, boxing day Tsunami) events. Powerful & thought provoking post, I hope you have a wonderful day, Deb M

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  43. Good on you Rhonda....I love all your history and can relate to it all as I turn 60 (gulp) on Wednesday....
    Happy Happy Birthday and may Life keep opening up for you....have a beautiful day xo

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  44. Happy Birthday! I really, really enjoyed the weaving of history in this post. We've all been through so much, haven't we? Yet each new day is a blessing to embrace.

    Marie Claire

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  45. Happy Birthday Rhonda, hope you have a lovely day with family and that the rain is gone for a while.
    Your boys must have been almost like having twins....my brothers were 14 months apart and I remember what a lot of work that was, as I am 10 years older.
    What a huge amount of change we have seen in our lifetimes , the population stats are mind blowing.

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  46. Happy Birthday Rhonda, I Hope you have a really wonderful day!

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  47. What a wonderful post, you are a powerful writer. Happy happy Birthday, Rhonda, have a fantastic day
    Love Julia in Bowen xxx

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  48. Happy birthday Rhonda! Loved reading this post and wish you many more happy years!

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  49. Happy birthday Rhonda-isn't life amazing? I was only discussing yesterday with my husband how much has changed in our lifetimes. Reading your post today has reminded me that life is just that-change. I am turning 45 in two months, so 20 years younger than you and am so thankful for women like yourself who have the ability to express themselves and embrace life; raging against the dying light ( thanks to Dylan Thomas) achieves naught in my opinion.

    Hugs,health & happiness for your birthday. XXX

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  50. Happy Birthday Rhonda. Such a wonderful look into your history and ours. Brought back some memories for me also. I also feel more comfortable with who I am as I age, with no desire to cover it up. Takes too much time anyway and I have too many interesting things to do.

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  51. Happy birthday Rhonda. I was surprised about the Gov Gen in 91, bc I was thinking of
    Quentin Bryce in 2008, but then I realised you meant for Qld. I hadn't realised that. It was wonderful to read, and I have a lot of memories in common.

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    1. GC, thanks for pointing out my mistake. I corrected it. I meant governor - Roma Mitchel, the first female governor of South Australia. And yes, Quentin is our first female GG, and a mighty fine one at that.

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  52. Hope you have a wonderful day on your birthday! I enjoyed reading your history and was quite surprised to see so many USA events! Isn't it great to be comfortable with who you are? Our youngest son was born the day the Berlin Wall was opened. We will never forget that date!

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  53. Happy Birthday Rhonda what a fantastic time line you did I was born in 1964 and you brought back so many memory's happy and sad but you are right that is life and that's the only way we grow so have a fantastic birthday and have many many more

    Linda Ann xx

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  54. Happy Birthday Rhonda! I just discovered your blog about three weeks ago and have spent every free moment reading every bit of it. It has been an inspiration and found at a time when I needed it most. I have spent many a day lately wandering around my house like a lost soul, wondering at 59 years old what my life is about. Your blog has given me a new outlook! I hope you enjoyed a wonderful day.

    Carol
    Massachusetts, USA

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  55. In 3 days, my beloved sister will be 41 yo.
    In 15 days, I'll be 45 yo.
    I was born May 1, 1968. Prague Spring day.

    I so understand this post of yours... :-)
    And I feel just the same: this is our history, our times.
    Let's still make the most of these days.

    Congratulations, dear Aussie friend!

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  56. Happy Birthday Rhonda. I hope you have a wonderful day surrounded by the ones you love. Lors

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  57. Happy Birthday.
    Interesting to read your life and the world history written like that.

    cheers Kate

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  58. Happy Birthday Rhonda hope you had a lovely day xx xx xx

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  59. Happy 65th Rhonda ~ You are quite the inspiration and I wish you a wonderful year ahead and many more bdays.

    Love and hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

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  60. Many Happy Returns Rhonda and what a lovely piece of writing. Thank you. I have printed it out for my teens to read. It's good for them to see a wider picture of someone else's life so far and for them to read about the way history can shape & influence our lives.
    Lucybelle xxx

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  61. Happy Birthday Rhonda ! Hoping you have a wonderful day! I'm still reading and appreciating your thoughtful and informative blog on a regular basis! Thank You for your wisdom and your ability to share it with the world! Elly Mae from WV

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  62. happy Birthday and I repeat whats been said, you are truly an inspiration, I'm so happy to have found your blog, I had read your book, now i know more about the author,

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  63. Happy Birthday Rhonda! Enjoy your day!
    Carol

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  64. Have wonderful day beautiful lady. Love always
    The other Rhonda

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  65. Happy birthday! Hope you have a great day! :D

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  66. The warm fireplaceApril 15, 2013 8:57 am

    Wishing you a very happy birthday Rhonda.
    Sue

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  67. Happy Birthday! What a fantastic post, a great reflection. I didn't know that you achieved your degree while raising two toddlers: congrats! I hope you spend all day knitting and eating cake. xox

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  68. Maureen O'RourkeApril 15, 2013 9:05 am

    Happy Birthday Rhonda, Yep 1948 was the best year to be born. Cheers Maureen

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  69. Fantastic post Rhonda. Amazing to read what you've lived through, many things I don't remember, some I do.

    Happy Birthday! Today is my husband's birthday too - he is 39 :)
    How about that?

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  70. Happy Birthday and thank you for sharing your life with us at Down to Earth!

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  71. Many happy returns of the day, Rhonda x

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  72. HAPPY TO READ YOU ARE DOING MUCH BETTER.
    I WISH YOU A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, READING YOU IS ALWAYS A PLEASURE, TODAY'S POST WAS NO EXCEPTION, YOU ARE A GREAT HUMAN BEING.MY BEST

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  73. Happy Birthday Rhonda, Wow what changes in 6 decades. Makes me wonder what changes my children will see. Last years comment by my daughter 10 years old was after telling her about me using my first computer in Year 10 without the internet, she said well what did you use it for.
    Take care Love Di

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  74. Wishing you a very happy birthday with many more to come. I loved reading the events that have gone towards shaping who you are. I will be turning 60 later this year (a significant milestone for me) & a lot of those same events have had a profound effect on who I am as well. I am grateful to you (& Hanno) that I have been blessed to have discovered the Down to Earth family, to add to my life journey. I hope you are fully recovered from your recent illness & have a lovely day with Hanno & those you hold dear. May God smile upon you as you truly deserve the best life has to offer.
    Love,
    Ann & Donnie
    x x

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  75. Happy Birthday. Loved reading your life story in context of events at the time. Thank you. Have a lovely day.

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  76. A very happy birthday to you, Rhonda!! Much hugs xx

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  77. Wishing you a very,very Happy 65th Birthday Rhonda and many more too come.I hope you have a wonderful day with the ones closest too you :-))
    the~crafty~gardener

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  78. Happy Birthday, Rhonda!!

    X Nadia - Sydney

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  79. Happy birthday Rhonda, what a great post, love the mix of your history and world history!
    Judy xx

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  80. Congratulations Rhonda, on your special day! Your write up sounds more like an Eulogy though!!Anyway, try to plan to get away to that lovely restaurant you wrote about last year, and enjoy a meal together, and then a meal with your boys, their partners and grandies! Wishing you the best, Robtrev.

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  81. Blessings to you on your special birthday! Wishing you peace and happiness!
    Sincerely, jane

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  82. Have a wonderful and very happy Birthday Rhonda. While I was reading all those things that had not only happened to you, but also the world, it seems as if time was compressed into a nano second yet such dramatic and world changing events happened. You're right - history is important not only our own but also where we live and the world we live in - it's what shapes us into the person we are and were meant to be. Have a wonderful day with your family.

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  83. Firstly Happy Birthday Rhonda and a big thank you for such a wonderful post - You have 'grown up' with so many changes, from the introduction of all the electronics we take for granted today and not to mention the rights of our Aborigines being recognised - what an amazing thing to have witnessed. I hope that I will have a similar legacy for my grandchildren one day, to know that I have lived and witnessed great events (rather than just wars). I can only be excited that if all these amazing things have happened in your 65 years what will our world hold for us in the next 65 years (providing we respect our planet a whole lot more than we do now) - you have put a smile on my face today, a sense of hope that we learn from our mistakes and keep growing as a society that we will come back to our families and communities and take care with one and other rather than being isolated. A BIG happy birthday to you with many many happy returns

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  84. Best wishes from Melbourne VIC for a great day with your family today and for a fabulous year to follow

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  85. Have a wonderful birthday Rhonda.
    It is my son's too but he is 37, so I will always remember yours!!
    Enjoy! xo

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  86. Happy birthday Rhonda! What a thoroughly wonderful post. Though I hadn't thought about it, we are most definitely shaped by the history that happens throughout our lifetime. I remember exactly where I was when Princess Diana died, working on check-outs in a supermarket, and when 911 happened, just the two of us sitting upstairs watching the late news with the rubble of renovations downstairs.
    Your early years sound much like own mother. She too was a baby boomer, born a few years later, brought up in Sydney with both parents making belts from home and also schooled by nuns. I love seeing the old photos from this time. Such a different world today.
    ps- thank you for the rye bread link, I will have a look today :)

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  87. AWESOME post Rhonda! Happy Birthday!!! xxx

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  88. HAppy 65th Birthday Rhonda and many more to come.

    God bless you on your special day!!

    Priz
    Malaysia

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  89. What a beautiful and interesting reflection on your life. Happy birthday Rhonda. Xxx

    Alison_S

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  90. happy birthday, Rhonda!
    Tanya.

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  91. Happy Birthday Rhonda! Have a wonderful day..hope you get pampered:)

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  92. Wishing you a most delightful and Happy 65th Birthday,Rhonda! I so enjoyed reading this post. I hope this special day and the years to come continue to be filled with joy, happiness, love, and peace.

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  93. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Rhonda and many more to come!

    Cheers, Karen near Gympie.

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  94. Happy Birthday, Rhonda! Have a lovely day!

    Cheers - Joolz xx

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  95. Wishing you peace, contentment and happiness for your birthday today, Rhonda. How nice that it wasn't this week that you were sick. Hope Hanno stayed healthy. God bless.

    Lyn in Northern New South Wales.

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  96. Happy 65th birthday Rhonda. What a lovely way to write a birthday post with snippets of world history intertwined with your story.

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  97. Happy Birthday Rhonda! Wishing all the best.

    Cheers, Karen from LCH

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  98. Rhonda, Happy Birthday to you:)

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  99. Many happies Rhonda, such a wonderful and interesting post, a real trip down memory lane. Hope you have a lovely day.

    Jak x

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  100. "Happy Birthday Dear Rhonda....
    Happy Birthday to youuuuuuu".
    I see you have had 105 greetings and your wonderful day is almost over by the time I write this on the other side of the earth.
    May all your days be as fine.

    Love from Ramona in Sweden

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  101. A very happy birthday, Pam in Norway

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  102. Happy Birthday Rhonda. I hope you have had a lovely day:)

    I love this post, you are so right, we are who we are because of what we have seen, who we have met and where we have been.

    Jacki xo

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  103. Happy birthday Rhonda. Mine is on Wednesday. xxoo

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  104. Happy Birthday Rhonda!! Hope you've had the most wonderful of days and that today especially, you would know how much you are loved by your family. Gaye

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  105. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Rhonda, what a wonderful Blog post, mixing your history with the worlds for we are all truly part of this ever changing world and it's wonderful to feel grounded and a part of it.

    Good people (especially Bloggers) are obviously born in April ... it's my birthday on Friday :-)

    Have a wonderful day.

    Sue xx

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  106. Well done Rhonda - I'm about 6 months ahead of you with birthday and moving to the Sunny Coast. It's been a good life, eh? So many amazing developments and problems solved in spite of sad and tragic events. I hope the next 10 to 20 years will be good to us all. Many happy and healthy returns....
    Janine C
    Rosemount

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  107. A very Happy Birthday to you Rhonda. I hope you have spent some time doing things you loved today. When my mum turned 60 I made up a display book with her pictures of her parents wedding and then her birth and each year I added a photo if I had one of a family event but if not, I added what had happened that year, such as the inventions that changed the world and major events. She loved it. My mum was born in 1942 and she often said she would love to write a book on the changes that she had seen occur in her lifetime. Its great to know that others feel this way too. All the best
    Jenize

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  108. Happy Birthday, what an interesting live you are having. Just to add that you have made a difference to many peoples thinking and ways of love by how you lead your life. Thank you for that.
    Many happy returns.
    Katrina

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  109. Happy birthday! So glad to have found your blog:)
    -Maureen

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  110. Hi there and a very happy birthday to you! Hope we'll have the pleasure to read this blog for many years to come. I was born on 19 September 1950 and so share the same international history as you and I must say, wow! what a history! We were extremely lucky to have been able to live in peace most of the time and I believe that the baby boomers are still the ones making the world go round! And round, and round!

    Marlene

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  111. Happy birthday, Rhonda. What a wonderful and rich heritage you have and are continuing to build for yourself, your family and so many of us. Bless you. Julie

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  112. Happy Birthday Rhonda. What a beautiful story.

    Liz xx

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  113. Happy Birthday Rhonda, I hope it is full of many blessings.

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  114. Happy birthday!

    Love & hugs from the US.
    Blessings & peace...

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  115. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wishing you many, MANY more!

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  116. Happy Birthday Rhonda and thank you for your book, blog and inspiration. It really helps...

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  117. Happy Birthday Rhonda, I hope you had a wonderful day.
    Julie-Anne xx

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  118. Happy birthday Rhonda from wil out the Neterlands

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  119. Happy birthday Rhonda! I too am an RPA nurse, just a little after you ;). Thank you for such a lovely post.

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  120. Happy Birthday day---- you are a lovely lady and I do enjoy your blog! Wishes for a wonderful and blessed day for you!

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  121. Great post, Rhonda. I, too, think about my life and the accomplishments and development of the world while I have been here.

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  122. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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  123. We share a birthday! Today i turned 32 and celebrated my first birthday as a mother. I hope you had a beautiful day & all your birthday wishes come true.

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  124. Happy, Happy Birthday to you, Rhonda. You say you wish you learned more but, to me, you seem to have a wealth of knowledge about what is important. I'm happy and grateful that you've chosen to share your "history" with us! Have a lovely day.
    Heather in California

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  125. Happy Birthday! You inspire so many people!
    Have a wonderful day!

    Cynthia from Texas

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  126. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! So glad you are sharing your life here...very inspiring to the rest of us who read here and I hope you will have many more productive, lovely years!!
    Elizabeth in VA

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  127. Happy Birthday, Rhonda - hope you had a lovely day (mine was on Saturday). Your 'history' was very interesting and thought-provoking, sometimes we get so caught up with our own lives, we don't always take time to see the bigger picture. Thank you for reminding me to look up occasionally. BTW, it's still the 15th here - I always find the time difference catches me out!
    Michelle, IW, UK

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  128. Happy Birthday, Rhonda Jean! Have a wonderful day.

    You probably have no idea how many lives you are touching each day. This Middle Tennessee (USA) family is enriched and blessed because of your quiet , smart encouragement. Thanks so very much.

    --Beverly

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  129. Hope you are having a lovely birthday, Rhonda. Thanks for continuing to inspire us. Lily. xxx

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  130. Happy birthday! And many thanks for another interesting post. I have spent the last month reading your blog from start to current day. You are truly inspiring and I am so very grateful for the time you take to share your lifestyle and wisdom. I am currently knitting my fifth dishcloth and I love them.
    Hope you had a wonderful day.
    Thank you again, Lynda x

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  131. Happy Birthday, Rhonda! It's amazing to see how much happens in 65 years...and makes me wonder what I'll be writing about someday...what world and personal events will shape my life. Thank you for sharing - it was a very interesting read! I never knew how strongly American politics shaped the world either until reading this...very interesting!

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  132. Happy Happy Birthday Day! Thanks for your lovely history, it brings back a lot of memories of my own childhood. :) I am so blessed to have found you!

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  133. Absolutely wonderful post in honor of your birthday Rhonda! Wishing you a very happy birthday. You are a very special lady, and I am so very thankful that you are in my life. I have learned so much from you. Your desire to share first here, and later the forum allowed so many of us the ability to reach out to each other. Many times this is across the globe, and sometimes only a few hundred miles from our homes to help inspire, encourage and simply listen to each other on our similar but wonderful individual paths of simple living. Thank you for your tireless contributions and work for the good of us all! Happy Birthday my friend.

    Hugs,

    Amy :)

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  134. Happy Bithday, Rhonda!

    I hope you have a wonderfull day, filled with joy!... :)

    Hugs from Azores (Portugal),

    Pipinha

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  135. Happy Birthday, Rhonda! You wrote a great post,but the best part is the wonderful outlook you have on life!
    Best Wishes,Darlene

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  136. Happy Birthday!
    marcia from Brasil

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  137. Happy Birthday, Rhonda.......from the East Coast of Canada. Hoping this was your best birthday, ever!

    ps. You share the same birthday as my dear Granddaughter.

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  138. Happy Birthday and many more! Loved your post- I'm a year younger so I can relate to a lot of it. Best wishes always!

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  139. Happy, happy birthday to you, Rhonda!! (See, we're still celebrating it here in the Eastern US!)

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  140. happy birthday rhonda! amy x

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  141. So sorry I missed your birthday Rhonda , hope you had a magical day and that the year to come will be everything you have dreamed of.It's my daughter's birthday also ,she was 49 years old. The big one next year !
    Margaret in Tasmania x o x

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  142. What a wonderful post. And a belated happy birthday to you, hope you have a fantastic year.

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  143. Happy happy birthday, what a wonderful story!
    Love
    Kristin S.
    (I´m a regular reader of your blog.... ;-), and you have the same birthday as the former president of my country, lady Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, what a fine role models you both are! ;-) )

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  144. Happy birthday Rhonda. (de Portugal)

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  145. Warm (belated) wishes Rhonda!
    Love Jennifer

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  146. A little late, but still from the heart: Happy birthday Rhonda! Wish you all the best, many happy returns and a wonderful new year of your life. And thanks for the wonderful post.
    Heike from the South of Germany.

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  147. Happy Happy Birthday, Rhonda! Thank you very much for this look back through your life - it definitely gives me some perspective on my own history.
    Many, many hugs,
    Mandi

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  148. Happy Belated Birthday, Rhonda, from a fellow baby boomer - I turn 67 next week and was a ten pound pom, arriving in Australia in 1966. I like how you entwined your life and history. Brought back many memories. I think we lived in the best era - we had freedom as children and now we have the internet. What a change it has made to our lives. All you lovely bloggers who entertain and educate us but boy, it can be a time waster. I hope you had a lovely day. Joy in Northern N.S.W.

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  149. Happy belated birthday, sorry I missed your day. Looks like you had an really enjoyable day. xxx

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  150. Bless you dear sister of the earth, and may you travel many more miles on these shores of time.

    Vicki
    Trinidad & Tobago

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  151. Happy late Birthday!! Do you know if your book is available in the US?

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  152. Allison, at the moment it's not available anywhere apart from Australia and NZ. However, I might have an update on that soon.

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  153. Dear Rhonda, it's a little late perhaps, but a very happy birthday to you! We have all been blessed by your blog. When I first started reading it, I was a single woman living in a city apartment; now I'm married with two children and live on a small homestead where I keep chickens and dairy goats! You have been, and are, an inspiration to me along the way.

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  154. Happiest of happy birthdays Rhonda! I loved reading about the history of the world alongside your life. The 15th is also my dear Nanna's birthday (94 this year) and mine two days later on the 17th, so a week of celebrating for us too. I turned 40 on Wednesday which seemed ancient when I was 28, and seems young now. 65 now seems young to me too, and especially inspiring when reading about your achievements and passions. Huge congratulations, Steph

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  155. A belated but very heartfelt happy birthday Rhonda! I'm travelling at the moment & haven't been online, hence the delay but I really hope you had a wonderful day!!! All the best Kirsten x

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  156. Wow, so much has happened when you sit back and reflect on life and the course of events that take us on unexpected journeys. I feel quite privileged to share the same birthday as you. Though it is a great time of the year to enjoy a quiet party with friends and family :D happy birthday to you.

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  157. Happy belated birthday, Rhonda. And thanks for the bit of history along with it. Many, many more happy years for you and your growing family!

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  158. Lovely post. I came here looking for instructions on how to grow ginger and garlic!! But other than so much info on this post, what caught my attention was ‘Northern Exposure’ ofcourse makes sense, a nature lover will love that show. I caught it a decade after the show came on TV and it remains the best show I have ever seen.

    Thanks for this site --- a great resource for those who want to learn about plants, planting and well, life!!

    A much belated happy birthday!!

    accidentally seasoned hobo (www.insearchofahome2009.blogspot.com)

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