Hello cruel world!
Our crappy weatherboard house survived. Many of our friends' houses didn't.
The storm that really never arrives at The Gap, finally did. The Gap residents often look sky-ward at those menacing dark clouds, rolling in from Mt Glorious and Mt Nebo and instinctively know that they will amount to little, if any, rain.
We're accustomed to the frustration of hearing lots of rumbling, seeing the landscape change into that eery, high contrast colour, when clouds go green. Then we watch as the clouds travel over the range and dump with some fury in the next suburbs.
NOT THIS TIME.
We were happily swimming at Taylor Range on Sunday afternoon....
all the Mums were sitting, looking up and you could tell we were all thinking the same thing, "Nah, not today." We had to drop some eskies back to the Watts at Bardon, when it began to rain really heavily. I urged Michael to pack everyone back into the car and go home so I could start dinner.
Driving back to The Gap, the rain and wind just got stronger. I started to worry. It was absolutely pelting down when we got home (5 min drive) and Rainer was playing in the front yard, in the rain (his favourite thing to do) before I hauled his backside in the house. Luck for all of us, we got inside when we did.
The NOISE was unbelievable!! We quickly unplugged everything and closed the windows, which we rarely do as we have hopper windows, got the boys in the bathroom and waited......................
for it all to pass....................
finally being able to open our front doors (I really thought we were going to have glass everywhere)
and surveying the damage - luckily not much and our crappy asbestos roof is still in pristine condition (damn shame that!!)
Blew the shed door completely off....
Gian and Andrew's palm tree in our front yard. Actually saw it fall from my craft room window!!!!
And a branch from another of their trees, snapped and fell onto the little bit of awning over our porch.
We spent the rest of Sunday, all of Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday and Friday clearing trees and fixing tarps; getting eskies and ice; borrowing a camping stove to cook meals; and finally buying a generator on Tuesday.
I knew our neighbours were jewels, but now I know they are priceless and wonderful. We really came together and shared what we had so that we didn't rely too much on emergency services. Cook-ups, coffee, wine, beer, lots of laughter and exchanging of mobile phone numbers -- they are now indispensable in any future "significant weather event" (LOL love that phrase!!)
The roads have opened once again; the landscape here has changed! We now have City Views and can see houses along the ranges I never knew existed. Mum and Nena came on Friday and restocked my fridge and helped get the house back in order, Nena took Mackinley to Southbank in the afternoon, which he LOVED. He'd been stuck with me all week as St Peter Chanel was badly damaged, as was Rainer's C&K.
I'm thankful that no-one in The Gap died this week from the storm, although someone had a heart attack today driving Waterworks Rd. I'm thankful for all the volunteer fire and rescue who did the initial assessments, for the Gold Coast Energex boys who worked along our street and outside my bedroom window until 3am, garbage collection which is happening every day this week, SES, army, Kate Jones, Geraldine Knapp (didn't think I'd ever THANK politicians LOL), both these women are staunch community people and love The Gap, my electrician (the beautiful Mick) who came as soon as I called, and so many more nameless personnel.
I'm soooo relieved it's over, but we might be getting another storm tonight. We lost power on Thursday night for about a minute and Mackinley was TERRIFIED. Here's hoping God spares us yet again.
Thanks to all my friends who have checked up on me. It makes me cry when I think of how it COULD have turned out. Maybe I need the Denver holiday to recharge because God knew this storm was coming???? He works in mysterious ways.
brighter (soggier) and buoyant...