I wrote a list of worries before I left home
Really, I did!
When you leave home for an extended time overseas visiting other family and a brand new grandchild who was born too early at 25 weeks, there are many concerns that float around in your head – well maybe that’s just me!
It may be exciting to plan and prepare for a long holiday but there are also other things to consider.
The overriding feeling of our going on our trip was joy – to see little Dottie and to spend time making memories with our daughter and son-in-law and their new family unit. That feeling of joy hasn’t changed and we’re so happy to have been able to spend time with them all over here.
I was worried about leaving my mother and mother-in-law, my daughters, my sister-in-law. Especially after our last extended trip ended tragically with the unexpected news of the sudden passing of my father-in-law, on the last day of our holiday.
So you can understand my concern for others as we prepared to leave the country – yet again!
Of all the things on my list of worries, the current ferocious bushfire bearing down on my little town of Tumbarumba, and our family home of over 26 years, was not one of them.
Yet here we are 17000km away from home watching the fire literally spread before our eyes. Connection is never so evident than these days of social media and I’m not sure if I’m happy about that fact or not. In some ways it’s brilliant to be connected but in other ways it induces an anxiety that I am having trouble keeping under control.
That’s why I’m writing. It helps me get the thoughts out of my head and maybe, just maybe, I can get some sleep tonight.
I don’t know what is worse – being on the ground watching and preparing my home for the onslaught of fire or being on the other side of the world and hearing about it from others, and seeing their photos.
Either way it’s dead scary!
Back to my list of worries which I wrote in November before we left for 8 weeks in England and my thoughts to make myself feel better.
- Going away for 2 months – but we know the house is being looked after by a lovely friend doing her first stint of housesitting.
- My youngest daughter’s first pregnancy (she’s due in early March) – but I know she has her husband and wonderful mother-in-law to keep an eye on her. Also her sisters and I are only a message away at anytime.
- Dottie and health issues – the main reason we are away for so long is Dottie’s birth, with this trip planned well before she arrived suddenly and unexpectedly at 25 weeks back in August – so much to worry about in its own right. But she has amazing medial care by the NHS NICU staff.
- Being able to help my daughter and her partner – it will feel good to be useful with all that having a new baby entails.
- Leaving my other daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter, especially over Christmas – but we can Facetime and stay in touch.
- Leaving my mother on her own and I can’t just visit her – but my sister, brother-in-law and brother will look out for her, especially at Christmas time and we will stay in touch.
- My mother-in-law lives alone in a bushfire prone area – but we can stay in touch with messages and facetime, and my sister-in-law will be with her at Christmas along with my daughter and son-in-law.
- My sister-in-law is in an area that is currently affected by bushfire – but I know she has good people around her and is very capable of looking after herself.
Never did I think this could happen
As you can see from my list, I had most things covered, except the fact that a fire could threaten my home and town. We are in shock and won’t know the extent of any damage for quite a few hours yet.
In the meantime I’m looking back at some of my favourite photos of home and hoping that everyone stays safe.
Some of my favourite Tumbarumba photos
These photos show my beautiful town in better days. I’m hoping that we have a house to go back to in a few weeks time when our trip ends. One thing I do know is that our community is so supportive of each other and we are very lucky to call Tumbarumba home. Everyone is helping each other out – it’s what small communities do.
I’m also in awe of those fighting the fires week after week, it seems Australia has been on fire for months – oh that’s right it has! It’s heartbreaking. Thanks and gratitude just don’t seem to cover it.
This is our home from our back paddock – in better days
Friends and family
We are so fortunate to have good friends and family looking out for us and staying in touch. One of our close friends offered to go to our house and collect some personal belongings for us, just in case the worst happened – I just didn’t know where to start with what to save. My brother who lives in a nearby town also tried to get to our house but the roads were cut so he stuck around to help others out. Our daughters and other family members are staying in touch despite the time difference between Australia and UK. They are horrified.
It’s just so scary.
Thanks for your continued support and please send positive thoughts to Tumbarumba and our neighbours. They need all the help they can get!
Stay safe Tumbarumba, we’re thinking of you all and hoping for the best.
UPDATE: 8 January 2020 – the fires are still burning and the coming days are dangerous again for our town as fires are set to merge into one. Our house is OK so far I’m happy to report and we are still away until mid January. There’s still no power, no doctors, limited phone reception, thick smoke, limited services on the ground and people are being warned not to return home until given the official all clear. This is not over for us yet! This article says it all, please have a read Poor Old Tumba
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