Of all the things I worried about, a bushfire bearing down on my home wasn’t one of them

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.

This was the fire situation a few hours ago – conditions are catastrophic

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.

Warning about Tumbarumba bushfire
Warning about Tumbarumba bushfire

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

Home in Tumbarumba
Home in Tumbarumba

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.

Deb xx

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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42 Replies to “Of all the things I worried about, a bushfire bearing down on my home wasn’t one of them”

  1. Oh Deb, what a nightmare! Fire is such a scary thing and all consuming when it’s nearby. The firefighters do an amazing job with saving properties and hopefully they have it in hand. Being so far away must be SO scary and the uncertainty would be eating at you. I hope it bypasses your town and that they get it under control and you can breathe easy. Stay sane and I hope it all calms down without loss of life and property.
    Life has certainly dealt you a few hurdles lately! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Deb – back again for #MLSTL and to say that I hope things aren’t too awful as you prepare to head back home soon. It will certainly be a different world to the one you left behind a few months ago. I hope your home (and glasshouse) are still there to greet you on your return. Keep us posted and enjoy these last days with that delightful grandgirl xx
      Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been evacuated from fire and I know how you are feeling. I have also left when fires were burning so I can relate to this as well. I am so sorry. Hopes and prayers are with you all. We will be in NSW in under a month.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a worrying time for you Deb. I thought of you earlier today when I heard how the fire had progressed overnight. My fingers are crossed for the safety of your property, your family and friends and your beautiful town.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Deb reading your list I felt worried on your behalf. So many things pulling at your heart. I will be watching for updates and keeping your beautiful little community in my thoughts. Sending hugs across the miles. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Deb…its so scary…I have a girlfriend in Tumberumba…..with her daughter husband and pets…..they were told its too late to get out. Another girlfriend her mother is in Batemans Bay in a nursing home surrounded by the fires….too late to evacuate …..thinking of all your loved ones xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Praying for you Deb, for your family and for your beautiful town. I know what it’s like to feel helpless. I’m on the tip of South Australia with my 18yo son at home alone and there have been bushfire alerts around our area too. So frightening. Take care and let’s pray for the best. xx 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh Deb, I really don’t know what to say. You must be so worried, to see your beautiful home and community in danger from so far away is unimaginable.
    You have certainly had some very unexpected things happen in the last few months; we may think we are organised but we really do never know what is coming round the corner.
    Please keep us updated on how things progress, I really hope that they manage to get the fire under control very soon and that the risk to life and property in your home town reduces. Take care x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It must be so worrying Deb, I can’t imagine how you feel. at least you have Dottie and your family here to keep you busy and take your mind off the fires but it must be tough not to keep checking and watching. Hope you manage to have a good New Year’s Eve and that the fires die down today across Australia.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The news gives us the big picture which is hard to take in and relatives and bloggers give us the human side. Most of us only have one home, our castle and refuge and even if our family are all safe I imagine it would be like losing a part of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I sincerely hope the ravaging bush fires or a nice rainfall douces the flames. It is scary and I read 1/4 of koala population wiped out. Roos are burnt and wombats too. Blessings that your house and all stays safe Deb.💕


  11. I can’t imagine how scary it must be for you with all of those bush fires spreading. Sending love and positive thoughts to you and your family and friends, for the New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I just read a news report on the situation, and it sounds very scary. Being British, my perception of Australia didn’t include terrified people camping overnight on the beach to escape wildfires. Keeping everything crossed for you, family, friends and for everyone affected.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. And there’s me worrying about unseasonable warmth and the aphid explosion and its impact on my roses. Just goes to show how twisted my perspective has become. Fingers firmly crossed for your house and family nearby. This too shall pass. Really…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Deb, it must be an awful time for you being away when the fires are burning so close to home. It doesn’t look as if it’s passed yet either so I guess you must be really worried. I do hope it passes soon and spares your place. I had a friend who was India during Christmas a few years ago. – she found out her home was lost in the WA Stoneville fires from face book. It was a very sad time, so from her experience I can relate a little to what you must be feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Just read a report and as soon as I saw Tumburamba I thought of you and just wanted to check in and say I’m thinking of you. It must be so stressful, especially being so far away. Keep us posted xx

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh, baby girl, with all of the burdens and worries you bear already, I am so sorry that this dreadful fire has to be added to the mix. I remember being delighted earlier by the some of these same photos you’ve shared of your beloved Tumbarumba. Praying for these fires to be extinguished and for your peace of mind to be restored. Thankful for pictures of an adorable Dottie!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so sweet Leslie, it’s really been hard at times to stay positive but I’m trying my best. Hoping that the fires ease and our town is spared. Thanks for your kind words of support. If nothing else I’ve increased the knowledge of Tumbarumba around the world.


  17. The bushfires are very unfortunate. Heart goes out to those who have been affected.
    I was in Australia in the 2nd half of December. And we had to cancel our visit to Blue Mountain because of fire warning.
    I could see the haze and smoke at many places.
    Hope the agony ends soon.
    — bpradeepnair.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I love your Tumba photos and can’t visualise or comprehend what’s happening there at present. My sister got caught up in the Lake Conjola fires – at one point was physically running up the street away from the fireball. Frightening frightening stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’ve been keeping up with all your postings. It must be so odd so be so happy to be with your little Dottie on the one hand and then so worried about what’s going on at home on the other. Certainly not something that you would ever think you’d have to worry about while you were away.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’m so sorry to hear your house is in danger and what is happening in Australia overall. It’s just shocking and unreal to me. Visiting from MSTL.


  21. Hi Deb…love your photos and lets hope what they are saying about it getting worse won’t happen. My girlfriend and her daughter left home last week and have been staying in major towns….Its so hard as phone coverage is limited…you have to drive out to get any and no power at all. We have had bad smoke down here on the Peninsula it cleared yesterday and this morning but news etc is saying its coming back this afternoon. I have a very good mask…showed my Lung Doctor yesterday. and will keep air con on etc…It must be so hard being so far away and watching the news etc Hope all your family stay safe. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Beautiful photos! Yes, you certainly wouldn’t have been expecting that as you headed for England. Hope your place stays safe over the coming weeks/months too. Dire times for our country. Sad to leave little Dottie behind too.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Deb, this is so frightening! I can’t imagine what it must be like to be away from home and worried about whether or not your home will survive the fires.Here in the US we have been watching about and hearing about the fires in Australia. Sending my best wishes and prayers for you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

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