After the rain, the heartbreaking clean-up

The recliner-rocker was given to them as a wedding present. In the earliest days of their marriage, it was one of a very few items of ‘living-room furniture’. They used to sit in it together – there was not much other choice.

During the years of their marriage, the recliner-rocker moved slowly, further and further back through their house.

By the time they retired, the three-times-recovered rocker lived on the wide back porch.

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When they moved to their retirement home in Cudgen in the northern rivers region of New South Wales, overlooking the Tweed River, the rocker moved with them.

The view across the Tweed was idyllic – its shallow and slow-moving surface only occasionally and briefly disturbed by a wandering houseboat or solitary jet skier.

The idyll was shattered in the last week of February. Torrential rains drenched the entire region and the Tweed, like all rivers in the region, flooded. The township of Cudgen was inundated.

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When the rains finally stopped and the floodwaters had subsided, the old rocker joined the pile of water-ruined furniture and household goods that covered much of the front lawn outside their house. The front lawns of other houses were similarly, sadly ‘decorated’ with the everyday and much-loved possessions of the occupants.

The few people who added to or walked the streets between the piles of ‘residential wreckage’ spoke in hushed voices as if at a funeral. Indeed, it was a burial site – marking the end of all those memories.

Happily there was no sign of the ‘vultures’ who often frequent the sites of such tragedies.

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Written by Peter Leith

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