Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Back On The Air!

Hello all! How's your week going? Mine is a little calmer than the last coulee of weeks, let me tell you! Sorry to have fallen off the blogging radar for a couple of weeks, but I have a really good excuse. I've actually started to write this post a couple of times, but find it hard to condense the events of the last few weeks ... So I'll just say, this may be a long post, so get comfy. 😜

Last post I mentioned the terrible bushfires being experienced in Australia's eastern states (though since then there have been more in South Australia, too.) Many of you may not realise, but we live on the edge of forestry areas & 'just down the road' from several national parks, so since moving here, we've been careful to keep an eye on the Rural Fire Emergency Services ap updates, especially in the extreme dry & heat that we've been experiencing. On November 12, the ap notified us of a fire a few kilometres from us ... In the forestry area. Less than 24 hours later we received the "Leave Immediately" instructions. Thankfully, we had time to pack most of our clothes, family heirlooms & many special treasures & could stay with my parents who live in the retirement village where I work. (I was still slightly late for work! 😝) That fire burned for 14 days, burnt thousands of hectares of forest, national parks & farmland, destroyed six homes & other outbuildings, killed huge numbers of wildlife & destroyed the habitat of so many more & it came to within just over a kilometre of our house. It was huge, it was scary, it's suspected to have been deliberately lit & it was battled into submission by hundreds of real life superheroes ... Many of whom were volunteers.


This is a photo of the fire our neighbour took from his back verandah when the fire was closest to us. He drove around our neighbourhood that night in a water truck wetting down yards, fences & trees in case the wind carried embers our way.

We were exceptionally fortunate. Our house suffered no damage, other than reeking of smoke for a couple of weeks & we could stay with my folks until the fire had been contained & it was safe to come home. HUGE thanks go to the firies who fought to keep everyone safe, often not knowing whether their own homes were safe, to the other emergency services personnel who played vital roles & to those who worked in the background to support the frontline defenders. 

While this experience was scary & nerve-wracking as the days ticked by & the fire burned on, changing direction at the whim of the erratic winds, some really positive things came out of it. 

Firstly ... Our fire response plan worked. When we moved into this fire risk area, we made a fire plan ... We talked about what to grab in a hurry & then leave. It's not worth risking our lives for 'things' ... Even precious pretty things. 😜 ... And we didn't want to hamper emergency services in their efforts by making them worry about us, too. Can I tell you ... You'd be amazed at how much you can shove in garbage bags, overnight bags, boxes & washing baskets when you need to! 😝 

Second positive thing ... Our little community all came together to make sure everyone was safe, informed & evacuated when the time came. In the normal scheme of things, we might not see some of our neighbours for months, or might only ever wave as we pass each other, but the fire brought out the best in our little neighbourhood.

Third positive thing ... We were reminded of what a huge encouraging, supportive tribe of family & friends we have in our lives. We literally were receiving emails, texts, Facebook messages & phone calls from all around Australia & even some overseas friends to check on us. One gorgeous local friend made a special trip to my parents' place to give me a hug & check if there was anything she could do to help. We are loved! 😊

And the Fourth positive outcome of the fire ... Our house has been completely spring cleaned at my Mother's insistence! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Mind you, I'm still unpacking the things we took with us & I won't be doing any sewing any time soon because this is what my sewing room looks like ...


... As does the sitting room & the dining room. πŸ˜‚ Yes ... It has been pointed out that we have a LOT of stuff! (Thanks Mum! 😝) Actually ... I DO need to thank my Mum. Not only did she & Dad put up with house guests who didn't know how long they were staying (four adults, one bathroom ... It can be a juggling act! 😜) but Mum washed loads & loads of smoky clothes & linens & cleaned alongside me when she cracked the whip on our spring cleaning. Love ya Ma & Pa! 😘 
So ... We've had a bit of a roller coaster ride here but overall we're feeling pretty darn BLESSED! 😁 I would encourage all of you to make a fire response plan, even if you don't live on acreage or on the edge of a forest area. Our nearby town of Criws Nest was put on alert at one point & several small towns in other fire areas have been wiped out, so don't think it couldn't happen to you. Having talked through & planned what we would do in case of a bushfire, we knew exactly what to do when we got the "Leave Now" notification. It's worth thinking about.

Ok ... I think that's enough from me today. Thanks if you managed to stay with me to the end. 😜 And thanks to those lovely blogging buddies who are also Facebook buddies & have been checking in on us ... Your thoughts & prayers were appreciated. 😘. But now, my Beloved Geek Boy is home & it's time to think about dinner. Stay safe, everyone & til next time ...

BEAR HUGS!

CHEERS!
KRIS

6 comments:

Maria said...

I'm sew happy to know GB and you are okay.. πŸ€—πŸ˜˜
The fires are terrible all over Aussie and there's also been several over here in the West...
The fireries are such amazing folk as all the people who help feed everyone etc...

Janice said...

Wow! That was just a tad too close for comfort. I’m so pleased that everything worked out well for you and your fire plan made decisions simple in that somewhat hectic time. We are so lucky to have wonderful emergency services.

Raewyn said...

Fires are the scariest things and I'm so pleased you got through this safely and even with some positives coming out of it, it must have been a very stressful time. :-) Top marks to all the emergency services.

Janice said...

So glad to hear you are both safe and your home survived the fire. We have been seeing lots of news about the fires in Australia. My sister and her family live in Kelowna, British Columbia and in 2003 my sister, her husband and two kids were evacuated and had to stay with my parents in a small 2 bed house. I think they were there for over 2 weeks. Their home was safe but my sister said it was the scariest thing she's ever been through, actually watching red embers landing in their back yard. They were able to go home, like you, to a very smelly, but intact, house and lost nothing. Her MIL, SIL, her husband,baby and dog had to evacuate as well. They only had one vehicle therefore had very little room to bring any possessions with them. They came home to a pile of ash, lost everything. So glad you are all okay.

June's Jottings said...

So glad that both of you are safe and I guess a good spring clean is a small price to pay for that safety. There are times when we have to admit - Mum is right.

Christine M said...

I'm so glad you were safe and your house wasn't touched. Such a scary tome for you. xxx

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