Hi there, I know, its been ages and I cant really explain why other than to say that I needed a break, and I needed to get some perspective on a few things. I cant say I have found all of the answers I was seeking, but I feel like I am moving in the right direction.
Last weekend something happened to us that really pin pointed a need in me to make changes. Real changes, not just the ones that I talk about a lot, do for a little while then run out of steam with. The story will probably get long, and there will be pictures, so settle in if you are interested ;-)
13 years or more ago my husband and I went to a Camping Show and I started collecting brochures about Camper Trailers. In the following years we gathered a huge range of camping equipment, and I religiously checked for updates on Camper Trailer sites and attended Camping Shows. You might say I was a little obsessed about it :-D
I love camping, and we go often. We have survived for ages with our various tents, but I have always hated setting up and packing away, thus my obsession with camper trailers.
Anyway last month, after much deliberating and searching we bought a camper trailer. It was pre loved, and exactly what we needed. Can you spell H A P P Y, that was me!
The weekend just gone was the Labour Day weekend in NSW, so we had a public holiday on the Monday. For the past six years we have gone camping with a group of friends for this weekend. This year was no different. We drove to Jervis Bay on the beautiful NSW South Coast, and we set up our camper trailer for the first time. It was awesome! so much quicker and easier than the tent.
We cooked tea, we settled in with our friends for some of the usual camping fun, drinking wine, eating cheese and crackers and talking. Good times.
At about ten I decided it was time for bed, so said goodnight and trundled off. Sometime later my husband came to bed too, and we both fell asleep.
At 3.15 am I was woken by the most horrible noise:
a loud cracking
the screeching of metal
and the sound of my husband screaming
The trailer was buffeted back and forth, and we were tossed sideways in bed. Then everything went quiet, and I found myself gripping onto my husband while we asked each other if we were all right. Then I asked him what happened?
He told me that a tree had fallen on us.
Well he was half right, it was actually a branch, which weighed about half a tonne not the entire tree, and it had hit his arm as it had fallen. Thankfully he was only badly bruised and his arm is OK.
I helped him rip the canvas open further and he raced out to see if the children were OK. I stayed where I was until I knew, I did not want to find them if the worst had happened.
My youngest daughter had set her tent up right beside the camper trailer and her tent was flattened, but thankfully she had opted to share her sisters tent at the last moment before going to bed, and both her sister, and her brothers tents were untouched. My children were safe, and the girls didn't even feel curious enough to come out of the tents when they heard the noise, in fact they both said they didn't hear anything, and they only woke up when all the people started arriving around us.
People arrived from everywhere. One of our friends helped me out of the trailer, then we all stood just staring in shock. Almost everyone there commented that they couldn't believe we escaped unscathed.
We moved the children to another tent away from the scene, then needless to say none of us could sleep so we sat together for the remaining hours of night. My husband and I were both in shock unable to believe what had nearly happened.
Many people told me to buy a lottery ticket, because it must be my lucky day, my response was that a million dollars would never have the same value to me as the moment I had been able to hold my whole family knowing how close we had come to meeting our maker.
It is possible after this kind of experience to feel angry, to say Why Me? and to dwell on the negative aspects. For me I am looking at it as the luckiest day of my life, the day I could have died but didn't. The day my husband could have died, but didn't. We are very very lucky.
It has given me pause to look at my life, to evaluate my past my present and my future. It has given me reason to think about living with purpose, about living every day as if it were my last, because I know now how easily it could be.
I have some photos, but blogger wont let me upload them right now, I will try again later, you can see the tree the branch fell from, you can see the mangled metal frame of our trailer tent, and the ripped canvas, and the smashed kitchen. Its a mess. The trailer though is still intact and completely unharmed, we cut off the canvas and towed it home and are beginning the process of rebuilding. If we had been in our old tent we would definitely be dead. The metal frame of the trailer although now resembling a pretzel took the weight of the fall and protected us from harm. The only damage was my husbands left arm where the branch hit him as it came past, this was why he screamed, he knew the branch was falling on us and when it hit him he was terrified and didn't expect to make it.
I think my heart may have stopped beating for a millisecond.