Thursday, January 31, 2013

Of droughts and flooding rains

So it has been a wild, wild week over here at Betsy's. Let me set the scene. The prolonged six weeks of school holidays are coming to an end. The children have completely had enough of each other. But it is all ok as we have a weekend full of outdoor activities planned for that final few days. And then an ex tropical cyclone, hysterically called Oswald, moves right in. And it rains and rains and rains,  and we try and make the best of it.

Of course that means we have to throw on our swimmers and enjoy our long long driveway with some scootering in the rain.

And we ferret out every last vestige of crafty indoor activities that can be found at the end of an excessively long holiday.

And we collapse in front of the original Disney version of Snow White  and in those scary scenes the howling wind makes us dive under the pillows.

When the power goes out we are thankful that we were prepared and had shopped for batteries and torches. We are relieved that Betsy sits high on a hill and is not at risk of flood. We worry for friends who are not so high on a hill. When the rain clears on that last day, we know exactly what needs to be done, on this Australia Day holiday. We come together with our neighbours, some we have never met before, and we clear fallen trees and debris. Just like two years before, we come together in adversity.

Legoman gets to play chainsaws all afternoon and I get to chat with some lovely women that on a normal day I might only wave at  and say hello. We had no power for two days, Brisbane escaped with much less flooding than anticipated, our friends who were flooded two years ago were spared. Sadly many huge old trees lie fallen, uprooted, in our suburb. The first  picture is the one that took out the power lines to our street.

 Our thoughts go out to all those people in regional queensland who are not sleeping in their own beds tonight, whose possessions are submerged under layers of filthy water and mud. I hope they are all discovering their neighbours and the human goodness that can follow a disaster.

While feeling intense gratitude for our safe,dry house this week we have also packed up the Esky, thrown out all the spoiled food in our freezer, gone back to work, gone back to school and Liongirl has started her first day at four year old kindy. It has been a BIG week.  It seems that January is never dull where the weather is concerned, one minute bush fires, the next floods. This poem sums it all up really.

I love a sunburnt country
A land of sweeping plains
Of ragged mountain ranges
Of droughts and flooding rains
I love her far horizons
I love her jewel sea
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me.

Dorothea Mackellar, written in 1904. There are six wonderful verses to this poem,  that despite being over one hundred years old, still resonates clearly today.


  1. I love your outlook on life, and what you are teaching your kids; That each day brings new and exciting adventures, as well as opportunities to help your neighbors.

  2. I was wondering how you were with all this crazy weather. Glad to see you and your family are safe and dry. Take care. Elaina xo

  3. 2 years ago I was ready to visit Brisbane and cancelled - A child was devastated when he heard about this new round of weather there btu we do hope to make it later in the year now! It is so great how disasters do bring people together! Hope it is all up from here! Love the poem! Auckland is in drought land now...

  4. Good to hear Betsy is high on a hill. I hope you all settle well into the new year and end of the holidays. I love that poem too!

  5. What a drag to lose power, but I guess it's better than being inundated by a rising river - hope your fridge wasn't fully stocked! Lots of good finds on the kerbside - I know a guy who makes between $30-$50K picking up furniture and wares and then selling them off at auction houses, ebay, gumtree, etc. Just might have to buy myself a ute! xx

    1. Good to hear you have discovered the joy of curbside finds, our suburb is coming soon, right around my birthday, yippee!

  6. Glad that you are safe and dry. It must be pretty scary going through it all again, thank goodness not to the same extent in Brisbane. It has been a crazy January with fires, floods and even tornadoes. Like you said, when it was all crazy with the fires here, the community pulls closer together in times like these.

  7. I love the pictures of the kids scootering in the rain!
    Toddler C fell in love with his boots and puddles during the before we leave the house he gathers up all of our boots and insists that we put them if you see a lady walking around town in pink gum boots even though it is no longer raining, that is probably me!

    I am so glad that most of Brisbane was sparred this time did feel like deja vu didn't it?

    I hope that this weekend you get to enjoy all the outdoor activities you had planned for last weekend!

  8. I love that you invoked Dorothea Mackellar in your post. Her beauty and her terror, indeed. Glad you are all safe, and that you enjoyed bits of rainy Brisvegas. That photo of the kids watching Snow white is THE BEST :)

  9. Glad to hear you have power again and that Legoman got to play, ha. Some of daughter's friends in Mundubbera haven't had a shower for 5 days, only washed under a tank tap and poor Gayndah, forgotten really.Funny I was thinking that line "I love a sunburnt country" only a day before it rained, it was cooking in the sun. What a turn around.

  10. What an adventure! Glad you're all ok - I can't believe the size of that tree in the road in the first picture. You do live in a land of extremes of weather, it's true. But it's also incredibly beautiful.

    Gillian x

  11. At least when it pours here in sumer they can play outside in it a lot of the time. Crazy first week of school and work but I recall the same thing happened the first few days back last year too! We might be losing some trees to this week end I fear as the Big Fella has that chainsaw glint in his eye.

  12. Gosh it all sounds very scary, but isn't it great how people support each other! Hope things settle soon, thank you for your lovely comments :) x

  13. Great to hear you were ok. Scary stuff. I love that poem too and it is just spot on isnt it.
    Ps Thanks also your encouraging post. I have been thinking about it a lot.

  14. It was a difficult week just the other week. I'm glad to hear that you were ok. I still can't believe it happened again, lets hope it's something that doesn't happen for many many more years to come, people who have been affected really need lots more time to recover this time round. xx