It’s been two weeks since the storm. I remember, because I had taken Monday off work. It turns out that God was really looking after me. If I had been working that day, I would have left work to try to scurry home before the storm hit and got myself stuck in flooding like our desert city has never seen, traffic jams and hail stones the size of golf balls.
As it turns out, my husband phoned from his work in one of the worst hit areas, to warn me.
“Gee thanks, Honey. What am I going to do? We have no under cover parking at home!”
His advice to me?
“Quick! Drive down to Coles and park in their under cover car park!” “And be careful. It’s pretty scary over here!”
Scary??! I was petrified. The wind had really whipped up by then, the clouds looked almost demonic and the thunder claps sounded right down into my soul!!
“Honey, I’m scared! Should I still go?”
“Yes go! Go now!”
Being the obedient wife that I am, I bravely drove the 400 metres to Coles, parked undercover and coolly strolled inside. I needed to buy toothpaste anyway. Safe! I was a little panic-stricken when I heard pelting on the tin roof and saw cascades of water pouring from the exhaust fans throughout the centre, along with a raging river building up in the car park.
HOWEVER!! I avoided hail damage (although I don’t think there was much in our area) and major traffic delays and was spared much inconvenience, other than having to almost swim back to my car.
Again I say, God was looking after me that day!
So, next day I return to work to discover much water damage and inconvenience, wet and subsequently stinky carpet (guinea pig cage aromas, bringing back memories of my childhood, having won myself a guinea pig in a mystery raffle at the school fete), no phone system and my boss/only other person I work with, flying out to Sydney in an hour.
I’ve moved on – two weeks later. Yes I am over it. We still need to replace the carpet but everything else is operational and the boss returned from Sydney (then went to Bali for a week) and I can finally start to act like I care about my clients again!
Now. Photos of the aftermath. I hope this doesn’t sound morbid, but I pass the cemetery every day and WOW! The destruction there was astounding. I just had to get in there and take some photos (which I did on the Friday). This was in one of the areas worst affected and it just happens that the cemetery occupies a great chunk of the area. I found the visit surprisingly peaceful and there was something beautiful and comforting about being there.
I think I will go again. It felt like a nice place to be, I think, especially since I didn’t HAVE to be there, if you know what I mean? I saw love there too. Families had been to clear debris off their loved one’s plaques and to replace flowers that had literally been annihilated, with vases of fresh bouquets.
There was damage that was sad and shocking, almost like vandals had stomped their way through the graveyard (although, I doubt even vandals could cause this much widespread destruction).
Lovingly placed ornaments, plastic flowers and objects that obviously represented things dear to those who were at rest, looked as though they had been pelted with a hail of machine-gun fire!
Trees had been denuded of their foliage as though a napalm bomb had been dropped.
While our beautiful strong native trees looked like they had been used for rifle practice.
It is Autumn in Perth, but most of our trees retain their leaves and colour. This year at the cemetery Autumn looks like Autumn in the northern hemisphere. Bare branches reach skyward, as though they are waiting for their Winter blanket of white. That won’t be happening though (unless something is even more awry with climate change than we’re willing to consider). No, I guess leaves will grow again and the gardens will be restored.
I’m glad I made this visit to the cemetery. This isn’t something we experience every day. It was a frightening experience, terrifying for some and we’re still talking about our hail storm two weeks later. Can you believe? There was no loss of life? God was looking after us all, I think. I’m not too sure if He was overly concerned about all the Audis, Mercs, Beemers or Porsches though…