Yesterday the sound of dozens of sirens cut through the air, one after another. They continued for a very long time. They indicated that something was wrong very close to home. Smoke rising above the trees at the bush at the end of our road confirmed our suspicions. A bushfire had broken out and it wasn't far away.




The fire started in the next village along the road from us, 5 minutes’ drive away. Fortunately for us the gusty winds blew the fire in a south-eastly direction and not directly south where we are. We followed the fire’s progress all day. The wind changed direction during the afternoon and the fire moved well away as it headed north. But while we were safe, others weren’t. Others villages were evacuated and some property was lost.

We woke this morning, to a cooler day. The wind had dropped and though we still kept an eye on bushfire updates, we relaxed, thinking the danger was well and truly over for us.

Then around midday, we heard the fire was once again heading our way. “Watch and act” was the warning we received. Act… We were told to put our bush fire survival plan into place as a precaution. We had the choice to prepare our home for a possible fire and then stay to defend it, or pack up and leave the area. With my husband Andy away from home (he was at work), I made the decision to leave our home and take everyone to town where it is safer.

So we loaded up our van, putting three protesting cats in their cat carriers and one guinea pig in a cardboard box. And we drove to town. With a basket full of food we headed for the park. We chose a shady spot and placed all the animals side by side on the grass where they could admire the view of the lake. Then we enjoyed a picnic while tuning into the latest RFS bushfire report every now and then via Imogen’s mobile phone. We also kept in touch with Andy who was driving home from work.




Every now and then someone stopped at our picnic table to find out why four pets were enjoying a visit to the park. “Oh yes… the fires…” People in town are going about their everyday business, aware that firefighters are rushing off to the villages, but unconcerned for their own safety. They are in no danger. Life goes on as normal for them.That’s the good thing about living in town. I sometimes wonder why we chose to move away.

Anyway, Andy left work and headed straight home where he and my son Callum drenched the house with water, just in case a fire appeared. They intended to stay with the house and only leave if an emergency evacuation order went out.

Back at the park, the cats were protesting yet again, and we were getting cold as evening approached. We knew we couldn’t sit at the park much longer so, after consulting with Andy, we made the decision to return home. We wanted to be together.

We’ve been home an hour or so now. Our village is blanketed in smoke, a helicopter passes overhead every now and then and firefighters have disappeared down the fire trail at the end of our road a couple of times, assessing the situation. I think they may be backburning again, in an attempt to contain the fire. 

All seems calm at the moment. We didn’t unpack the van so we can leave quickly if we need to. I hope it doesn’t come to that. I am too tired to worry any more today. Worry? That’s not the right word. It’s upsetting to leave a house wondering if everything will soon be gone. But as long as we are all together as a family, none of that matters.

While the fire isn’t here, it is burning somewhere else and other people are in danger. Every time it looks good for us, someone else in another direction has to face the possibility they will lose their home. One of us has to deal with the danger and the stress. That’s a strange situation to have to deal with.

Looking at the reports I feel we have nothing to complain about. The people up in the Mountains are in a much worse position than us. 

But the fire fighters are working hard. And people are praying. A lot of people are praying. We’ve received so many messages on Facebook today. Thank you so much. I really do appreciate everyone’s concern.

And I'm hoping that tomorrow will be a better day.


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  1. Praying for you and your family's safety, Sue...God bless you...

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    1. Ellen,

      Thank you for your prayers. They are very much appreciated. I am sure the activity is very hectic down in the bush where the fire fighters are battling to contain the fire, but here at home all is calm at the moment. A fire truck reappears every now and then from the fire trail. We are so grateful for their work.

      God bless!

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  2. What news! Praying for your safety - and everubody else's in Australia. You sure live in a dramatic place. I hope the fires will not continue all summer for you.

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    1. Uglemor,

      We sure do live in a dramatic place! Because our village is surrounded by bush we have to accept the possibility of bush fires every summer. Actually it is only spring here. Summer is still over a month away. It looks like summer will be very long! I'm also hoping we don't experience fires all summer. I wonder if there will be anything left worth burning once this fire is finally got under control.

      Thank you so much for your prayers.

      God bless!

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  3. Continued thoughts and prayers, Sue, I've never lived in a fire-prone area...so it's hard to imagine! Of course there ARE those areas in the USA ( I Very much admire the fire-fighters who risk their lives to keep others safe!)
    God bless.

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    1. Karla,

      I am imagining living somewhere where there is no possibility of fires. It sounds good at the moment! Sometimes I wonder why we moved from the relative safety of town out this way. But it is (usually) so peaceful and beautiful. We do like living here very much.

      I've seen wildfires in your country on TV. So frightening. I admire the fire fighters very much too.

      God bless!

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  4. Sue, thought of you all night as I awoke many times. Hope you are okay. Still praying that all of you in the path of the fires will be safe. God bless you and please update us when you can. xoxoxo

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    1. Patricia,

      Thank you so much for thinking about us every time you woke. We are all okay at the moment. There's lots going on outside. Fire trucks keep disappearing down the fire trail, and helicopters are flying overhead. But we are at home feeling calm, chatting on FB and answering blog comments! Gemma-Rose is even baking a cake! I guess we can't keep our eyes glued to the fire updates all day without going crazy. We have to get on with the day. But we are prepared to evacuate quickly if it comes to that. The warning is still "Watch and Act" which means be prepared to stay and defend, or leave if the situation gets worse.

      God bless!

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    2. Thank God that you are all calm and peaceful as you wait this thing out. I love Gemma-Rose even baking a cake :) Bet is was delish! Priceless pictures above of the kitty cats in their carriers, and the cardboard box which I guess contains the guinea pig? All lined up...priceless.

      Sending many prayers your way..... Oh, thought of you and the girls tonight as we watched Pride and Prejudice on TV....an old Hollywood version from 1940. Still love it...especially the ending :)
      Wish Jane Austen had lived long enough to write dozens of novels. Be safe! xoxo

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    3. Patricia,

      It's best to keep busy if we can instead of just looking out the window at the smoke and worrying. The cake was delicious!

      We were quite a sight at the park with all the pets. Last Christmas we had to flea bomb the house. We had to evacuate the house for a few hours and that meant taking the cats somewhere. So we put them in their carriers and drove to town to the same park by the lake. The cats weren't happy. I just don't understand why they didn't appreciate their outing!

      The guinea pig was in the cardboard box. We searched and searched for a suitable box and then I remembered Thomas' birthday bear was sitting in an unopened box by the front door where I'd left it after the postman delivered it. I had been intending not to open the box until Thomas' birthday. That was all forgotten. We tore open the box, glanced at the bear very briefly and made the box into a guinea pig carrier.

      Oh yes, Jane Austen didn't write nearly enough books!

      I've enjoyed the distraction of writing this reply to you. You will see my bushfire update on FB when you next visit. Hopefully I'll post again in the morning. We're expecting a difficult day with poor weather conditions but maybe we can relax for a few hours tonight. Thank you so much for your prayers and love. I really do appreciate them. Much love to you!

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  5. Praying, Sue....I feel we;re there with you the way you describe it....how nerve wracking...you poor things.

    Praying for the firefighters as well.....



    Love you

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    Replies
    1. Chris,

      Thank you for your prayers for both us and the fire fighters. They are remarkable people. If it wasn't for them, our village would no longer be here. They have contained the fire for the moment, and hopefully we can relax tonight. On watch again tomorrow as the weather changes. So grateful for prayers and concern.

      God bless you! xxx

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