The floods did a lot of damage to Queensland and it would cost the state a lot of money to repair roads and bridges that got washed away. As usual the outback country had to wait to have anything done. Most of the politicians live in Brisbane and it got first priority even though most of the state's money is generated in the rest of the state.
The story continues...
Saturday the second of February 1974
Things were starting to dry out and get back to some normality. It had been a couple of weeks and Jamie had started school as a girl at the Catholic school, because Brian, (remember Brian the ex priest?), well he had still got some pull and was on the school committee, and of course he and his partner Karen were lawyers. Jamie was being treated by the same medical team that I and Christine had. Of course they were much older now and almost ready to retire but were still helping people to become who they were supposed to be.
Jamie had a while to go before she could get all the tests done. She was only nine and that was the same age when I was diagnosed as being inter-sexed and not transgendered, but being either does not make any difference to how one feels in the brain. I just hoped they don't make the same mistake and wait too long, and of course the equipment that was being used now was much more advanced. I was going to fly her and her mother down to Brisbane in the next couple of weeks seeing that her mother Sandy was now a working partner in my practice. Ross would come in and help out if things got really busy while I was away in Brisbane. I would also take the twins with me and let Rose see them for the first time. They were really good on the plane and mostly fell asleep after the first twenty minutes of the flight.
In the meantime the ground had dried out on Sandy's Dad's property enough to fly Jamie and her mother out there so that her grandparents could meet their new grand daughter. That would be interesting to watch because they last saw Jamie in England the previous year when they went to the funeral of Jamie's father. The property was not that far from Quilpie so it would not take very long to fly there. I phoned Ross to see if he would cover for us and he agreed. Chrissie would come in as well, which she didn't normally do on the weekends. Now that she is going to have a baby she want to spend time at home getting the nursery organised.
It was still early so I thought I'd go and see Jenny to see how she was coping with little Josh. He was now a month old and and growing like a weed in the garden. Of course Jenny was breast feeding him so she was pretty tired, but I did it with the twins so I thought she should be able to cope better than I did, and besides Mum is with her most days anyway. I went back home and got Sandy and Jamie who were living with us till they could sort out a home for themselves, to get ready to go for their visit. I got the twins ready to come as well. Ricky offered to do the flying when he realised that I was taking Donna and Jean with me as well, and I didn't say 'no' to that.
Ricky didn't do any weekend flying for the business any more since the twins came along, he let the other two pilots do that, We got ourselves together and went to the hanger which had been extended a couple of times to accommodate more planes and also give Alan the room he needed to work on them. Alan was there and had the chopper all set to go. It is always ready because it is also used as a back up for emergencies. We settled in the kids and got them all strapped into their seats. Jamie had a picture book to show them on the flight. The twins have taken to Jamie and Sandy said she hoped that the tests came back to show Jamie as inter-sexed and a girl internally.
It took about forty minutes to get to the property and Terry lit a flare for Ricky to land where the ground was hard and dry. Surprisingly the twins were wide awake and talking their own language with Jamie. I seemed to be the only one that didn't understand what they were saying, but I was only their mother. This was going to all get a bit emotional because it had been twelve months since Sandy and Jamie have seen Terry and Grace and the last time it was a sad occasion. We waited till the blades stopped before we opened the doors on the chopper. Terry and Grace were about fifty feet away but you could see the tears in their eyes from where we were. I let Sandy and Jamie get out before the rest of us did so they could have a family reunion.
Sandy was dressed in jeans and a nice top but Jamie went all the way in that white summer dress with shoe lace straps, red belt and red sandals. Her long blond hair was brushed out and loose and fluffy. She looked a real picture - there was no boy to be seen. She ran to be embraced by her grandparents. Mum Sandy had to wait for her hug. Ricky and I both grabbed a twin each and made our way to Sandy, Jamie and grandparents who were all in tears. Donna and Jean were wriggling so much we had to out them down and as soon as we did they ran squealing to Jamie.
My twin the spirit Jean was in my head and said, “Carla, would you like to know what is going to happen with Jamie's tests?”
Ricky said, “I heard that Jean” which made Sandy look around at him.
Sandy and Jamie had been told about my spirit twin but so far haven't seen a lot of what Jean did.
Ricky said, “Sorry, just thinking out loud."
Jamie said, “Uncle Ricky!! that was Jean wasn't it?”
“Yes Jamie sweetheart it was. She can be quite annoying sometimes."
Jamie said “What was she saying?”
I intervened and said, “We will talk about it a bit later sweetheart when you and your Nana and Poppy have had a chance to talk first ok?”
I said to Jean in my mind, “What was that all about sis, couldn't it wait till later?”
She replied, “No Carla it is important.”
“Ok then tell us now before we go inside the house.” Ricky was also tuned in but we didn't let on what was happening between me and Jean and kept quiet and communicated in our minds.
Jean announced that what they would find was pretty much what I thought anyway and she said, “Carla she is the same as you and she will have children at some stage in her life.”
I replied back, “I can't just come out and say that to her and Sandy can I?!!!”
“No sis but at least you know and you might be able to tell her a bit more about yourself and break the ice a bit and I will then try to get into her mind. She is as receptive as you and Ricky.”
I replied, “Sis please be careful she is very young.”
“And you weren't?”
“You know what I mean sis!!”
The communication between me and Jean had to stop till later but it would continue once we were alone. We all walked to the homestead. The ground was still quite soft but not muddy and the grass had already started to grow out of control. It was going to be a good year for the outback in terms of sheep and cattle feed. The twins wouldn't let go of Jamie's hands but she was just as happy as them and let it happen. She would indeed be a great mother some day.
We all ended up in the large homestead kitchen where Grace had a roast in the oven and was going to prepare the vegetables, so and Sandy and I chipped in and helped her in the kitchen while Jamie and the men went out on the large verandah to let two little girls run up and down and keep Jamie well and truly wrapped around their sticky little fingers.
Terry asked Ricky if he could do a bit of an inspection flight of the property to check the damage that all the flood water had done to any fences. All the livestock had been moved to higher ground as soon as Terry realised that it was going to be a serious flood so there were no stock losses on his property.
Jamie was quite happy playing with the twins so the men went on their inspection flight. I went for a walk to where the ram was kept and had a look at how he was healing up. Apart from missing patches of wool he looked fine and would be back out to see to his wives again very soon.
By the time Ricky and Terry had returned in the chopper it was time to set the table and have a traditional Aussie baked meal gravy and all. Desert was an apple pie with fresh cream. There were no high chairs to sit the two little monsters in so Jamie sat on cushions on the floor and fed them, making a hell of a mess for us to clean up but Grace insisted it was ok so we let it happen.
Jamie had to have a towel covering her white dress and to my surprise it was clean when the twins finished the meal. There is no doubt about Jamie being a girl. She moved and talked like girl and even sat like a girl with her legs tucked under her. She was a ''girl'' full stop.
It was time to gather everyone up for the flight home. Terry said that next time we would be able to come in the fixed wing aircraft because the contractors were coming next week to make a start on the landing strip. That meant Sandy who also had a pilot's licence could fly out and bring their granddaughter to see them more often.
It was two in the afternoon, so it was time to go. We all climbed aboard the chopper and buckled up. The twins were almost asleep before Ricky even started to engine. They were worn out and I think so was Jamie after chasing them around most of the day. Once we were air-borne Jamie was asleep as well and it was a pretty sight to look back and see the twins leaning in on a sleeping little girl in a summer dress. She had her arms around the little ones. I took over the controls of the chopper because I wanted to keep my flying hours up with the chopper. It is a requirement to keep your licence.
We landed back home at three thirty and was greeted by Mum and Dad. They were worried about the twins being out so long, so as soon as the doors were open Mum looked in to see three little girls fast asleep in the back seat of the chopper and said. “I wonder if we could use the chopper to get them to sleep all the time?”
I replied, “Are you going to pay for the fuel then?”--- Arr-- perhaps not.
We woke up the sleeping beauties to get them out of their seats and they all looked around bleary-eyed
Jamie said, “Are we home then?”
Sandy said, “Yes sweetheart did you enjoy the flight?”
“I don't know about the flight but seeing Nana and Poppy was great wasn't it?”
Sandy replied, “Darling once we sort out a house and things settle down a bit, we'll get out to see them more often. Don’t forget I have a pilot's licence as well and I too have to get some flying time in and soon, otherwise I might lose it and that would not be good for Aunty Carla’s and my business.”
Jamie said, “But Mummy you don’t own a plane and neither does Poppy.”
“Well if we're lucky Aunty Carla might just be kind enough to lend us the plane a few times as long as we pay for the fuel.”
Jamie looked at me with those gorgeous brown eyes and long eyelashes with an expectant look.
I felt my heart dissolve and said, “Jamie sweetheart, your Mummy is part of the business and the plane is part of that business, so if she wants to use it she has every right to. Besides she will have to fly out to other properties anyway.”
Jamie looked at her mother and said, “Mummy does that mean I can learn to fly too?”
Sandy replied, “Of course Jamie, you can get a pilot's licence at fifteen years of age in Australia and by the time you turn fifteen I will expect to have trained you well enough to do your first solo flight.”
Jamie was happy with that answer and ran off to play with my little girls and give Mum a break. Mum was still pretty fit but the little ones took a lot of energy to keep up with.
I phoned Chrissie and asked if they needed us down at the surgery but she was ready to go home and close up for the day. Her pregnancy was have an effect on her and I really don’t want to be responsible for a miscarriage. The first three months are supposed to be when it can happen, Alan wanted her to stop work as soon as he found out Chrissie was pregnant. He really is a caring man. Jenny, Chrissie and myself were so lucky to have men that were so gentle and in tune with what we women needed. Jean reckoned she was responsible for that because of her spiritual guidance. She could well be right.
Mum had invited the whole family to Saturday night dinner, so it was all hands on deck with preparing the food. Half an hour later Chrissie and Alan were there followed by Billy, Jenny and little Josh. My little ones still thought that Josh was a doll and wanted him put into their tiny little doll strollers, so we spread out a doona on the floor in the lounge room and let Jamie play Mummy with supervision. She was really good with the little ones. She was a natural at being a girl. It was the same with me at that age. I didn’t know how long it would be before she would receive hormone treatment but I hoped it would be better regulated than when I was given them because it almost killed me when I started to menstruate before they opened me up. I would be keeping a close eye on the whole process to make sure she didn't have to go through what I had to.
There must have been something in the water because when Rita and Peter turned up with Barry and Helen, Rita almost couldn't contain herself.
She said, “Listen everyone, there will be another addition to the clan in seven months time.” Peter was as bad as Alan and insisted that Rita had to sit and do no more work till the baby was born.
There were twelve people to sit at the hundred year old extendable table, plus two high chairs. We brought in some more chairs from the kitchen and were all set to dish up a fairly normal Aussie meal of five veg and steak with ice cream and tinned fruit to finish. The simple meals were always the best and with Mum doing the cooking even the simplest meal was very tasty. She was after all a qualified chef.
Jenny sat on the doona in the lounge and breast fed little Josh with my little ones looking on and Jamie trying to control them. It was a funny sight with them on the floor. Even Chrissie sat down with them. Jamie was in her element as a girl.
We all agreed to go to church the following morning at the Lutheran church. That was our preference now. Even Brian and his partner sometimes attended as well. The only real connection he now had with the Catholic church was the school. He did their legal work and he was the one that made it clear that Jamie was to be enrolled as a girl or he would withdraw his free service as their legal eagle.
It was a hot morning and the church was at ten o'clock so we all had plenty of time to get ourselves ready to go, but when there are two little girls not co-operating with their Mummy it wasted a lot of time. Donna and Jean are already picky about what they would wear. Heaven help me when they got older - it would be bedlam getting them ready to go out. They did look so cute when they were dressed the same and most people couldn't tell them apart. Donna had a tiny little birth mark behind her left ear, so if we couldn't tell which was which we could lift their hair and have a look. I hated to think what would happen when they got to be teenagers.
It must have been funny at church when the Croft clan decided to attend church. It happened once a month, but when it did it was almost like a family reunion and we took up three whole pews in the church. Jamie was excited because she was going to the Catholic school and got to go to a different church which she said was cool. Her friends at school all envied her being able to do it although this was her first time there, and she had made a special effort to look as girly as she could. I didn't know if she realised it but she didn't look anything but girly all the time. It was a hot day and it was also time to start swimming lessons for the twins. Uncle Tony had a pool put in a couple of years back when his legs started giving trouble and he got in the pool to do exercises, but the pool seemed to belong to all of us, and that is the way he wanted it. The river was still flowing too fast to swim in.
All the women except Chrissie were in bikinis. Even the little ones looked really cute in theirs. Jamie was a little bit shy at first but once she realised no-one even thought of her as a boy in any way, she started to enjoy herself in the pool with Ricky and the twins. They of course had flotations on their arms and splashed around. I think Jean must have been holding them up because they were quite high in the water and kept looking in a certain direction. For some reason Jean could make them see her, which was ok by me. She was their spirit aunty after all.
To be continued.
Next time: Sandy finds a house and also takes to the sky.
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Editor's note: Ronnie has to take a break from writing this story for a while, but wants to thank everyone for their support, both with her stories and her own life. We all wish her well.
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