Thursday, January 27, 2011
Crepe myrtle delight
Roboboy and I ventured outside today armed with ladder and secateurs as all our gorgeous crepe myrtle trees are flowering. They remind me of a musk stick crossed with fairy floss. We left a little trail of tiny pink balls all over the garden and the butterflies just kept coming.
Lots of gorgeous velvety black winged creatures with dashes of white or electric blue, often in pairs, exploring Betsy's garden of floral delights. Too fleeting to photgraph of course.
Today we were recovering from a wonderful Australia Day all day marathon event. Our old street around the corner hosted a party for all those in the surrounding three streets who were flood affected and those who helped them clean up. 130 people showed up- the street was closed off and an army of children rallied with bikes and scooters to make the most of a car free slope. There was a jumping castle for the littlies and endless supply of cold drinks, watermelon, snags and lamb chops (of course). The sun was hot, the air was still and toddlers armed with spray bottles provided cooling relief. Neighbours who had barely seen each other before swapped stories about gumboots, generators, salvaged possessions and strangers who became helpers and friends over a few short days. It was sensational and hopefully will become an annual tradition.
We then staggered over to our good friends in the next suburb who had provided much needed power to us during our 4 day blackout. As they had come through the floods unscathed but had also witnessed close friends in need they had also decided to host an afternoon celebration. Another jumping castle ( with slide this time) lamingtons, hotdogs, pavlova and many happy small children with many relaxed parents made for an awesome afternoon.
The highlight was the arrival of our good mates whose brand new house had flooded through the entire lower level - the one that we had all helped clean two weekends ago. Despite being displaced to the far northern suburbs of Brisbane to stay with family and no insurance assessment completed yet they were in great spirits and came dressed to celebrate in a very Aussie way.
There is nothing like the aftermath of a natural disaster to bring out the Aussie elite athlete in those of us who are on the wrong side of being able to wear lycra. We love you guys and wish you a speedy return to your dream house. In the meantime hold onto the positives- your kids and most precious possessions were saved and you really didn't want that pool table anyway.
So now we are in the midst of a real Brisbane summer - hot and muggy with the blue skies so clear they make Betsy really look like she needs a good scrub. Life for many of us feels the most normal it has in months, those old predictable hot sunny days the reassurance we needed. But all you have to do is drive around the corner and there are rows of houses that are too quiet, the hedges are dry and brown and a smell of something dank still lurks and it is a reminder that for many people things will not be right for a long time.
There is one amazing positive in all this though- an amazing show of community solidarity, genuine concern for neighbours who were once strangers now friends. Let's hang onto it as long as we can and hope our children get a lifetime of benefit.