Might seem strange but I just felt like having a chat with you tonight, as though we're sitting at the kitchen table with mugs of hot coffee and thick slices of fruit cake to enjoy, birds chirping outside and a cool breeze stirring the curtains as we gaze out the window into the lush green garden.
One day I'll relive that scene, but right now we're in the middle of a once in a hundred year weather event, our town declared a natural disaster area, and rain that won't go away.
We've now got four pumps in the yard (two out back and two out front) doing their best to keep the rising water from getting inside the house. Today we had a good break from the rain where it eased right off and during those few hours the four pumps moved a lot of water out of the yard - 65,000 litres an hour to be exact. That number just does my head in to be honest because that's how much water is being pumped out of our yard every hour. Add that up over 24 hours and it's astounding that we still have the yards under water. Mind boggling.
The laundry ceiling which my husband fell through on Thursday is getting worse and there is mold growing as the water continues to seep across it. Being the tropics it's still warm and very humid (96%) so mold is rampant in these conditions. I scrubbed the bathroom with bleach this morning to keep it under control in there and we have the ceiling fans running flat out in the rest of the house.
Our home is a small 3-bedroom with a huge yard. One bedroom is ours, one is my sewing room and one is hubby's study. The house is low set and built on a concrete slab...which is why we are concerned about the fact water is rising up through the slab and slowly spreading across the carpet in his study.
We discovered a sink hole down the side of the house when I was walking through the water to check the outside drain...I put one foot to the ground and it was getting sucked into the mud and down so I quickly pulled it back and tried a little further on. Same thing.
Nothing we can do about these things while the monsoon continues to deluge us with bands of intense rain.
In the past few days our town has received 1,200 mm of rain - that's twice our annual rainfall. And there's a lot more to come yet. The dam was at 62% on Tuesday morning and three days later it sits at 190%.
We've received a council warning this afternoon of possible flash flooding in our suburb (from the dam spillway up the road being opened further and the river swelling like crazy) and though I hate thinking the worst I also don't want to be blase about any warnings we receive. They're given for a reason and though my hopes are that all will be well and the house won't flood inside, you can't be ignorant to possible danger.
Yet we have been blessed.
As hard as my man has worked day and night to keep the waters from spreading through the house, there are so many in other areas of Townsville who have lost their homes, and there are many who are yet to lose them as the floodwaters rise and rivers breech their banks over and over again. With no immediate end in sight it's heartbreaking to think about what these dear people and their families are facing right now, tomorrow and next week.
We moved to Townsville just over seven years ago and I didn't want to live here. I was shattered about leaving the small country town I hoped to call our permanent home, yet in order to gain employment my husband had to move us here. For quite a while my attitude was negative, and I held close to my heart the dream that we could return to that little town one day.
I guess it was a couple of years ago that my heart began to turn. I had found a wonderful friend in Rosie, our daughter Blossom had become a mother, and I'd become a member of our city's football club (North Queensland Cowboys). My heart was being given over to this very hot and humid place I'd originally not wanted to be and just over four months ago we bought our very first home, here in Townsville (in a suburb we didn't want to live in)!
But how I love this place now. How I love knowing we'll always be here. And how I love the suburb where we live.
"And we know that God works all things together for good, for those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28 NKJV)
Now a natural disaster to face.
I was telling my husband how calm I felt during this unpredictable weather and then yesterday I stopped for a bit and actually noticed how my body felt. It was tense, on edge 24/7 with the flight or fight response, and I had nausea all the time. So though I was trusting God, am trusting God, my body knows the truth of how I feel deep inside, what state my emotions are in...and that's okay. It's okay to feel horrible when unpredictable events are dictating every hour in a highly stressful time of life.
There are people going through much worse than we are and in life there always will be those who face significantly more difficult challenges than we will...but it does not diminish how we feel right now. For me today, for my precious husband, we're exhausted from being on alert all day and through the night, constantly going about doing what we can to alleviate the worst of circumstances befalling us.
So we chose to laugh a lot, make jokes with each other and choose to think of something good...like drilling a hole in the water logged bird feeder and filling it with fresh seed so our dear Cockatoo mate can eat.
Sorry I can't answer all the emails which are being sent, or the comments left in the Gentle Domesticity Facebook group...to be honest, so many days into this flooding event, I'm just too weary.
So let me say right now, THANK YOU, for your kindness, your prayers, your care, and your concerns. We are indeed blessed that you give them with whole hearts.
I'm finding it good to spend time during the day praying for those in other areas who are facing trials of their own - may the Lord who is our Shelter, our Shepherd and our Strength, be your anchor in every storm.