Around 54 years ago, my grandfather bought a bush property in Taggerty, somewhere for his 5 growing boys to fish, go rabbitting and be boys. Over the years those boys will grow and have there own families, and they will continue to visit Taggerty and the surrounding towns of Buxton, Alexander and Marysville and share those experiences with there children. There were trips to the snow on Lake Mountain, blackberry pies to be made by Grandma with hand picked berries, and marshmallows to be toasted and games of Canasta to be played around the fire at night.
Now that I have my own little family, I had hoped to share the same experiences with them and last October I was able to take my little boy up for what I hoped to be his first of many visits. We stopped at the picnic grounds at Fernshew, we drove past the towns of Narbethong and Buxton (watching out for the Police cameras as always) and we took the turn off the Highway down Glendale Lane, and I found myself signing to him, the same song that I use to always sign, and drive my parents and older brother crazy.
"There's a track winding back to an old fashioned shack along the round to TAGGERTY"
We had wonderful weekend, on the Saturday my Mum and I walked up to the Achron (with Bastian in the pusher) and later that day I climbed the mountain up the back along with my brother and his 3 oldest kids. The next day we all walked up to the end of Glendale lane to the start of the national park. The whole time I was commenting to my Mum how much I loved it up there and how beautiful, lush and green it was.
Why am I telling you all this you ask, well I am sitting here tonight watching Channel 9 seeing all these wonderful people and companies not only from Australia but right around the world dig deep to help out others. We here in Victoria (and right around Australia) are feeling the impact of the recent fires and I am sad to say that my family have been impacted directly. While we were lucky enough to not lose any family or friends, we lost our beloved property on Glendale lane, the place were I spent many long weekend and school holiday is no more.
While the land of course is still there and we could always rebuild, it will never be the same, the house it self was just a shack, it was over 100 yrs old, had no running water, no phone or power and the toilet was wooden outhouse with a bucket that had to be empty into a freshly dug hole at the end of each visit. To many it sounds like hell, and I had many people screw up there face as if how that hell could I love somewhere like that. But love it I did. And now it is no more.
Don't get me wrong I know that compared to many, our loss is nothing, there was nothing inside the house of any value, all the furniture was family hand downs and I will always have the memories.
This post wasn't written for anyone else but me, I think in order to try and make some sense out of this tragedy I needed to get it down.
If anyone out there reads my story and is touched by it. Please if you haven't already, donate to the Red Cross and become a blood donor or shop at Coles on Friday 13th