The End Of The Season!!



The next morning we rolled up our blankets and packed our bag with the


little that we had brought with us, and walked across the paddocks and


around the large puddles of water, to our home. We got inside, and


everything was as dry as a bone. Went out on to the deck, and saw that


the water had not risen above the second-to-the-top step. My gardenz had


drowned, but they would recover. The tops of my rose bushes were still full


of blooms, but lower down, they looked icky & yuck!. There was the (shitty)


smell of defecation all over the place. Two towns’ sewerage systems had


gone down with the flood waters. It was a good thing we had heaps of food


and a gas burner to heat water and cook on because, with that 12 metre


gash in the road between ours’ and the neighbours house, no-one was


going anywhere till that was fixed. David went across to the school to call


Evie, and he brought her home to be fed. I was so grateful!! We were safe,


all of our pets were safe, our home was safe, even our garage & our car


was safe and dry.




Just 12 hours into our day, and all the stories began to come out. Scott’s Ferry,


a settlement at the end of our road, about a mile before Moanaroa Beach,


was utterly destroyed. The river, going down the road, had flooded into


Scotts Ferry just as the high tide was coming in – all the houses were filled


with water, because the stop-banks, which had been constructed to hold the


water in the river, had held the water on the wrong side of the banks, when the


upstream breach had leaked the water onto the road. Thankfully, No lives were


lost due to the flooding. Not human life, anyway. Many animals were lost, sheep


– cattle – pets. It was a depressing sight to see on the tele. A television News


crew even tried to get to Scotts Ferry by road, but were held up at the gash in


the road between us and the neighbours. I just stood on our deck and watched.


David was part of the cleanup crew. Nobody could get through to help repair the


road, and rescue stuff at Scott’s Ferry – all the farmers in the area, after moving


all their stock to higher land in the area, concentrated on building make-shift


bridges to span the waters, and the gash, gave help on different farms to drag


dead stock out, rebuild fences etc. People came from all over the country to help


clean up and rebuild. One guy David was working with was from the North Shore


in Auckland. He’d brought his tools with him – he was a plumber. It was humbling


to see men who slept on the hardwood floors of the school hall at night, spend


12 – 14 hours, up to their elbows in shit, working for nothing, just to help get area


the back on its’ feet. And the donations, of food, furniture, clothing, bedding


everything, was enormous! There was so much – they ran out of people to give it


to. David was working one of the tractors in Scotts Ferry. He said it was heart


breaking. The water had risen to 10 feet above the houses.




(That was how high the stop-banks were.) Everything was soaked and covered in


sludge, unsalvageable. The worst part were the isolated looters who would come


in on motor bikes, and load their vehicles with stuff from these drowned and


abandoned homes. They came through the Santoft Forest at night, when there was


no-one about. Craigs Mum and Dad had their home in Scotts Ferry, and their home


was just completely ‘wasted!’. His Mum was heart broken. They wanted to return


to their place and help rescue stuff – but the civil defence wouldn’t let them. Finally


Volunteer security men came in to guard communities like Scotts Ferry from


marauders. On a happier note, There was now a four foot wide river running along


behind our house. The big river bed was still running, this was an off shoot. I named


it Te Awaiti stream. (It means ‘little river.’)






One of the cows had been left behind on the farm because she was lame – she had


been the first creature we saw when we went out on to the farm. Clever girl, she had


avoided all the chaos by finding the highest ground. She flapped her tail at us as we


walked by. David talked to Craig and said, that we could leave and find work else-


where in the country, so they would not have to be paying us since there’s now no


work. Craig said, ” We’re insured for this kind of thing, so you still have a job till the


end of the season then we’ll both be looking for work”.


And that was that! Our Lord had blessed us with these wonderful people: – secure


in his job, David continued to help with the clean up. I had gone out and dug up all


my rose plants and potted them up ready to leave. I wrote a poem to keep the


impressions and images of this time – so that whenever I read it, they would come


to mind. I had so loved this place, but the aftermath had left deep wounds and scars


on the landscape and in our hearts which would last for a while.


Almost a month later, a girl friend whom I had gone to boarding school in Hamilton


with, and who had been one of my 3 room-mates, came over from Australia, to stay


for the week of my 50th Birthday. We had not seen each other for 33 years. As it


turned out, 33 years had not been long enough!! Apparently, she was tired of her


rich husband who was 20 years older than she, her wanted younger meat, in a word,




– “David!!”




She didn’t know my David though. By the end of the week, he’d all but told her to


“eff off,” and she and I had not spent any time together!! I was unbelievably hurt –


that she could live in my home and so obviously stalk my husband right under my


nose – but I know how David is, and I would have been surprised if she had got one


word addressed to her at all. I could tell that within 24 hours, he had the measure of


her, and ‘it weren’t very flattering!’ He made a point of asking me to come shower


with him every evening, after work, and that’s where we would bonk, ;D – his way of


showing me that he was on my side. Enough said, I think!! She went home, full of


herself and making plans to re-visit us. I would soon put an end to those plans, but


I’d wait until she was home on her home-ground, first.


It’s Not fair to ‘put a person in their place,’ until they have their own ground to


stand on!! Hah!!






TBC – Emmi


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