Six months ago our little family had to leave our home of 13 years in a hurry, as flood waters from one of Australia's most devastating natural disasters crept closer and closer.
Our home of 13 years at the peak of the Feb 28, 2022 flood. This is a two storey house!
As it was, we only just got out before roads were impassable, when a good friend came and collected us in his four-wheel drive. Many neighbours weren't so lucky and had to be rescued by boat or helicopter, some from their roofs. Others were trapped on the bridge that spans the Richmond River.
We lost every stick of furniture we owned, our three cars (my son lost his Learners book that had recorded about 80 hours of driving), countless photos, clothes, kitchenware and the list goes on. Tales from the Grave is based from home in the riverside village of Woodburn, but half a year ago it was under siege and understandably I had more on my mind than my blog back then.
Our life on the lawn after the mud army came through and cleaned out the mess.
Fast forward from February 28 to August 23 ( 5 days from the six monthliversary) and we have a set a date when we will move back into our partially renovated home. September 10 has become a magical number and one we are holding our builder to, to at least have the kitchen up and running and a couple of liveable bedrooms. We already have flushing toilets and hot water, so yay!
It has been, and continues to be, a very long road. In our village alone, many house still stand empty and may not come back. Others have caravans parked out the front and tradies are busily working to help the owners move back in. The pub, cafe, chemist and a couple of retail stores were able to reopen and the petrol station has started to be renovated. Unfortunately, IGA is still a muddy mess which means many people, who lost their cars in the flood, are unable to get basic groceries. A hub has opened to help with the basics.
It takes more than a record-breaking flood, followed by another 'normal' flood a month later, to knock us down.
I would like to thank many of Tales' readers for their best wishes and support during this time. It has encouraged me to continue doing something as normal as writing about dead people and sharing their stories from down under, as we have rebuilt our house. I will be very excited to show off my newly refurbished office, when it finally happens.