29 November 2015

A house in my heart

Home is where the heart is, or so the saying goes. When a house is truly a home, memories of that house are embedded in our lives. This week horrific fires ravaged the mid-north region of South Australia and dozens of houses were lost.

In the midst of the fire region a house precious to my family was saved through bravery, fortune, blessings and the heroic dedication and fire-fighting knowledge and skills of my brother and his son. They lost property as paddocks burned and they endured a terrifying experience as smoke and flames swirled around them, so we are thankful they are safe. Thank you Maurice and Tom.

The house is the one our parents built in the 1950s, the family having outgrown the small original homestead abutting the creek. Many happy years have been spent beneath its roof, many tales could that house tell if its walls could speak. As my siblings and I matured and moved away to jobs, marriages and places near and far, my brother and his wife worked the farm and raised their large family in this house. Thousands of hours, lifetimes of hard farming work by my brother, father and our ancestors are continued by a nephew who lives in the house and farms the land.

One of my nieces, Rachel, has offered comforting words via Facebook. Her words sum up what many of us are thinking.

For all of the farming families who are close to my heart that have lost so much in these fires there are no words for me to offer you, I am devastated for you. Once you have gone through the grief, find that optimism that you are so good at and think of your families before you who built the farm up from nothing ......
She concludes:

My love, thoughts and prayers are with you all. If there is any way I can help just ask.
This is the property our ancestors have been farming since 1859 with purchase of the land in 1863. Houses, places, people - the heart of our family stories.


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