After 10 days from hell, we've had a lovely weekend in Nowra for DH's Grandfather's birthday. We came down Friday, and spent the night watching the Bulldogs lose their chance at the Grand final (sad for DH; I'm indifferent). Then a beautiful warm day (bit of wind) with family, great food, and lots of laughing at children (Like poor Lily when she jumped in the pool with me. Let's just say it was very 'bracing'. Not so funny was her picking up the phrase 'bugger him' from Uncle Dave...). On Saturday night I spent the night playing with my Nana's 'new' Bernina 1630. It was alot of fun! It writes, embroiders, and pretty much runs itself. A far cry from my old Elnita (Elna). I've made a couple of things for various blog-folk. Watch this space for sneak previews.
We got up early this morning and got ready to come home. My grandparents had just got home and had narrowly missed being hit by a falling tree. My grandfather's cat-like reflexes and the early hour were the only things that had stopped them being squashed. Nana got hot coffee all over her lap, but better a hot coffee than a large tree...
The wind had picked up heaps and by the time we left there was a gale force wind warning. The road was littered with broken branches and detritius was flying about everywhere. DH and I commented that it you wouldn't want to be a motorcyclist out in this weather; too dangerous. Just out of Kangaroo Valley we had to stop because of an accident. It was only 100m in front of us. A motorcyclist had been hit by a falling tree and struck off his bike. His bike had continued on without him for a further 200m until it hit an oncoming car. The poor driver of the car - visibly shaking - was telling people to turn around. It had happened moments before and the Ambulance arrived about 2 minutes after we got there. As this was one of the only roads back to Canberra we stopped tentatively under a huge gum. DH got out to see if it was possible for us to pass. That's when he saw the ambulance officers lay a sheet over the man. Meanwhile, more and more people were getting out of their cars to walk up and see what was happening. Right up to where this man was laying. Upon finding out what happened, many were just pissed off that they'd have to go hours out of their way to get home. This man's death was considered more an inconvienience than a tragedy. More an interesting story to tell than the end of a life. We turned around and tried to go down the Berry Road, but only 2km I had swerved to avoid 3 trees on the road. Given Nana and Pa's close call, the accident we'd just seen and the prospect of driving at least 100km through heavily tree'd forests we decided to come back to Nowra. DH's parents decided to try and get back to Canberra via Ulladulla, but got stopped by a fire. It ended up taking them 8 hours to get home. If it had been DH and I we'd probably have done the same, but we couldn't do it to Lily. Anyway, we're back at Nana's and will be doing the dash back early tomorrow morning because I've got a planning day for work.
The whole thing has shaken me. I can't identify exactly why, but it was just so sad and tragic. And close. And real. I thought writing about it would help. It hasn't helped me understand why I feel so bad, but I don't feel anxious anymore. Thanks blogmosphere.