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Dealing with changes, following up loose ends



You may have seen the bush has been alight in several places in New South Wales? Horrendous fires for so early in the season. In the Blue Mountains 81 houses have been lost, over 100 affected in some way by the smoke etc. On the Central Coast where I live the fires are still burning north of where I live and no count of losses has been made but an old historical village has lost at least half the old miner's cottages. One person died fighting to save his home.


We have lost some great natural features, not to mention the loss of birds, animals, plants and insects in one of our bio-diverse areas of natural beauty. So much loss makes my troubles seem insgnificant.To see the exhaustion of the firefighters, the pain on the faces of those who have lost homes and lifestyles on television each night does put life in perspective. I am fine, I have my home and my family safe, what else is there to worry about?


I have spent the past week following up loose ends. The insurance company still hasn't settled, the house next door is at the landscaping stage and that has made for a lot of dust and noise as cement trucks come and go and the landscapers used my driveway to do the back yard. The 1 meter of access they had to leave each side of the very large house has been narrowed by the formwork for the fence footings so no room was available for access to the back yard. When the fences are finished the owner will have to shimmy sideways to get up the side of his house. Silly way to build isn't it?


Yesterday I had the "dangerous" tree taken out. It was really a dead tree with branches overhanging the cabin so it needed taking out I guess. There would have been repercutions in storms to come. There was lots of noise, sawdust flying, bangs and crashes, but three hours and the tree was gone, the branches made into mulch and carted away. There are blocks of wood for my next door neighbour's winter fire, This is my older neighbour on the eastern side, he is a telecommuter so is always around. He is also a mad surfer at 50+ and a good neighbour to have. But it will be interesting to see how long he takes to throw the logs over the fence. Luckily he and I sensibly have just a wire fence between us up the back.


The family are all well. Shirley and Craig have just been told they will be another year in Shell Harbour. I am glad of that as they could have been sent somewhere much harder for me to get to and they love it on the South Coast. I was hoping they would have a move closer to me or better still closer to Craig's mother who is in her '80's and getting frail but staying where they are is much better than moving further away. It is hard isn't it in the middle years to make the right decisions, so many of which affect your later years. Craig's parents moved to their ideal retirement spot, Ray and I stayed where we were. Hard to say which was the better choice.


Edie and Trevor and family are moving as Edie has a career change and her new job is in Broken Hill (Google that if you don't know where it is) and will she will start work there in mid-January. All the arrangements have not been worked out yet so I will tell you how it all unfolds. It is a loss to see them go where the train journey will take I think 12 hours but it is what they need to do. I had some regrets as Ray and I moved further west when he was with Fisheries but it seemed the further away we got the stronger we became as a couple with only each other to rely on. And it is certainly different in the arid west to the lust coast so a lot of new experiences ahead for them. I will miss them heaps but will visit a couple of times a year as long as my health stays good.


Pam and kids are staying put and so am I for the foreseeable future. The Central Coast is a lovely place to live. Ray and I moved back to the area and into this house in late 1968. We had eleven years away from it, 1972 - 1983 while Ray worked with Fisheries. We lived in three different areas in our time away but kept the house and have been back here ever since mid-1983. It has been a wonderful place to live, close to beaches, the bush within half an hour's drive and family, friends and even some old school friends all around. The lifestyle was great when we were raising our kids, a slower lifestyle than in a more populous area,not so much now as we become more populated and more citified. It was a great place to live, still is and I have no regrets at all on that score.


But access to healthcare and all we needed when Ray was alive was problematic. Living in an area where there is a large retired population means health care solutions are often over time eroded and rundowns in the system leave a lot to be desired. But overall I think we had the basics of what we needed even if we had to fight for what we got. And I have no regrets on that score either now.


Not much other news, life goes on day by day, nothing much has changed in the past six months, except perhaps that I am slowly getting used to being on my own. The loneliness is still there and always will be and I really miss Ray, more perhaps now than in the first year, but I am coping with it. I am not making any new decisions as yet. I think that is a good thing. I need to grow into my new life as a widow slowly.


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Sue: glad to hear that you are taking things slow and accepting what you feel you must. I am thrilled for Trev and Edie, but know you will miss them and the children. But another thing to look forward to - visiting. I just hope the train ride to them is not like your train ride to Shirley's.


Good news on the tree. You will be pleased and relieved now that it is taken care of. Hopefully the cabin roof will be settled soonest and you will be able to get that moving.


Enjoy your Spring. Beautiful time of year. Hopefully the fires will stay away from you. Debbie

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Guest lwisman




Saw the photos on TV and thought about you. It is good to hear you are ok. Please keep us posted on how it is going.


Sounds like your family is busy. Life just keeps going on doesn't it?


Take care,







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Last estimate of houses lost in the Blue Montains fire is 193. The fire is burning on a 200 mile front , mostly in inaccessible mountainous terrain. Tomorrow (Sunday) is supposed to be a very hot very windy day so please keep praying for all those in the fire's path.

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Sue, I am also happy to hear you are okay. I heard about the fires on TV. Fires in the US are another natural disaster some have to face. It is heart breaking to see a total loss of everything like that.


I wish we were looking toward warm weather as you are. I hate winter but hopefully we will have a mild one like last years.


I hope the construction next door will be over soon so you can enjoy peace and quiet and no dust!



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Fires still burning in the Blue Mountains. Such a loss of property but people love to live in the midst of the bushland, trees everywhere. It is a delightful setting in a normal Spring but so tragic once fires start as there is no stopping them. With unusually strong westerlies blowing after about four months of low rainfall everything is tinder dry and the fires, once started, race through.


This is over 100 kms from us but the air is still full of smoke, the sunsets are spectacular. Time to pray for rain to help put the fires out.

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