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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