Monday, January 17, 2011

Ipswich Part III - The Guilty & the Getting on with it

It seems everyone I know is out helping with the clean up in some way.  With two small children to care for, one still a baby being breastfed, I know it's not feasible to be out there doing the 6 hour shifts.  But I still feel hamstrung and horribly guilty. 

We've helped some friends while they didn't have power, so would anyone.  We've donated some toys, and basic provisions, as so many others have done.  I've baked bickies which I know were a welcome gesture, but still didn't seem like much.  Then a friend said she had met an expectant mother 'Alix' who was only 6 weeks away from having her baby and had lost everything in her home.  So within our playgroup I put my hand up to coordinate a spreadsheet of baby goods that we can pull together for this woman.  Between us we have just about everything she will need, but sadly have now lost contact with her.  There'll be someone else we can help, we just have to find them. 

... But I just feel like I'm fighting inertia doing bits here and bits there.  I baked more bickies today which I'll take to the volunteers somewhere tomorrow, and then I'll just keep baking I suppose.  (Linda suggested I check out this blog about Baked Relief - nice to know others think this is a good idea).

You know what else I feel guilty about?  Moaning about how I feel guilty.  So I'll finish with something funny: Little Miss Cuggles came into the kitchen tonight and tried to take a bickie from one of the trays cooling out of the oven.  I said 'No darling these aren't for us, these are for the volunteers'.  She looked at me as though I was a complete idiot and said 'No Mummy, they for eating'!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Scary times in Ipswich Part II

Feeling shell shocked this evening.  I went to donate some supplies to the evacuation centre after the kids went to bed.  I desperately needed to do something as we are so safe and dry here.  I was driving through the car park and stopped alongside a family who were just tucking their little girl into a makeshift bed in the back of their ute.  She was about the same age as our little one, also with blond curls.  I started to cry as I asked the father if there was anything specific they needed.  We had already given what we felt we could from our own supplies but I was ready to come home and strip the shirts of our backs when I came face to face with this little family.  I'm happy to say they were ok, in good spirits and had already gotten what they needed for the night from the stockpile of things already donated. 

I had included some home baked bickies that some girlfriends and I made together this afternoon.  I felt a bit silly handing over our few little bags of bickies when I saw the boxes and boxes of food that had already been donated as well as knowing they wouldn't go very far toward the 1500 people in the facility .... but it just felt like something positive we could do.  The feeling of needing to 'do something' is too hard to describe for now.    

Everyone I know who is safe is feeling the same way.  We're grateful for ourselves but quite distressed about our friends who have been affected and what the extent of the damage is going to mean now, especially about the health concerns.  There is so much to be done on such a huge scale. 

I came home and bawled on my husband's shoulder when I got home from the evacuation centre.  I keep thinking about that family sleeping in their ute and how positive they were.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Scary times in Ipswich

We are very lucky our house is in a high position here in Ipswich with all this flooding.  We're not far from the evacuation centre, the roads are eerily quiet but every so often there is the sound of a helicopter taking off or landing and the occasional siren.  Even though we're in a very safe position it's hard not to feel very frightened.  I keep wondering how we would ensure the safety of a baby and a not quite 3 year old if we got into any trouble with flood waters.  We heard from friends tonight who had to be airlifted to safety and others who have been evacuated from their homes. 

Meanwhile we have been trying to watch the news without having the big girl watch too much of it and trying to stay sane while trapped indoors with no chance of a trip to the park, the train museum (a favourite place) or even the supermarket.  It's too dangerous to venture out anywhere and most businesses won't be opening anyway.  Tomorrow is supposed to be the worst of it so we'll spend another day checking on friends and family and figuring out what kind of help might be needed.       

Definitely cuppsy tea times.


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