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Cardboard Boxes

By Moira M Tauiliili 



It was Summer in 1999.

The night air was crisp with the heat of summer weaving through the dropping temperature. This was a new suburb. A new home. Our first home. 

Layers of earthy red bricks made this foreign place a house, but it was cardboard boxes that would be the first signs of a family home. The beginning of something great.

A married couple with six children unloaded their navy blue ford station wagon. With minimal luggage and a few cardboard boxes, the family unpacked it all in the living area. The carpet was a creamy mushroom colour that levelled out the off-cream walls in each room.

Dinner, that night, was served on cardboard boxes that has been flattened on the carpet. The family gathered around, said a prayer and the prologue came to an end as their family history in Australia began... 

This would be the first of many meals held in the home. The house became a temporary home for many extended family members. With the promise of greener pastures and more opportunities. Reconciling this home with more cardboard moving boxes.

It was the first gathering place of the family church choir. A temporary home to many clergy. (The first priest to arrive being the Tongan Cardinal today.) Each of these home stays invited a new meal, new blessings and new words added as their family story continued to write itself.

The children started school, graduated from school... started university, started new jobs. Grandchildren were born by the dozen. It wasn't long before each of the children started to move out. Their lives changing, inviting celebration with more meals and more moving boxes. 

God blessed this place with endless opportunities to share a meal and gather with extended family members...

and it all started with a cardboard box.

Our dinner table on that crisp summer night.

19 years of memories have come to an end as our family is ready for a new chapter. Packing up our belongings into cardboard boxes. 

Thank you to everyone who has lived with with us, visited us and made this house into a home.