Sunday, January 16, 2011

salvaging memories

It's been a big week and the topic of conversation on every Queenslander's lips is 'the floods'. I just have one little story that I wanted to document.

Yesterday, after pushing slush out of homes and discarding people's belongings (so many antiques...) onto huge piles in the middle of the road I came across some ladies who were salvaging an elderly woman's photographs. I was so happy to assist.

I chatted to this lovely, lovely woman as she cleaned off cd's in her kitchen sink. She'd lived in the property for 30 years and talked of her son whom she'd travelled the world over with, hence the bundles of photographs. She was so humble as she sympathised at the devastation of others and repeatedly said it was too nice of us to help and not to worry ourselves with the photos. 

Photos are the history of a person, their family and their life. We persevered. Below is the backyard of her home in Milton. The water had reached waist deep to the top floor. So much lost.

We separated the photos one by one, dried them with a chux and either placed them on a dry area or pegged them to the 'hills hoist' as you can see.

As she was leaving she spoke to one of the other volunteers and emotionally revealed that her son had passed away in recent years. The same son whom she'd travelled with and was pictured in many of the photo's. She insisted that we write our name's down so that she could send us a thank you note, she was so appreciative. This woman was so lovely that she didn't want to bother us with something that was in fact very special to her. We were so pleased we'd salvaged what we could.
And ... a change of tempo ... as it turned out, my fabulous sidekick for the afternoon has a blog called Have a look, it has the most beautiful images. She comes from an Arts background and you can tell. She's pretty handy with a shovel too.

On another brief note. I had to go to the coast today and decided to bring this plant home with me. I left it down there 5 months ago and it was not nearly as impressive as this. It seems that on one hand, tenants will steal your remote control for the DVD player(and replace it with a curb side pick up remote that's broken) and on the other - water your plant.


  1. Hey there - I saw this on facebook might be worth it for that lady?

    Via Alicia Kennison URGENT - to save any photographs damaged by flood waters, immerse them in clean fresh water and get them to Inkjet Lab at Bowen Hills ASAP. They will clean, copy and save to disk for you at no charge.

  2. What a lovely albeit sad tale of this lady with the photos. The image with the hills hoist spoke volumes. You can meet bloggers anywhere it seems.
    Love your new plant. Reminds me of my Mum's office back in the 80's and everyone had them growing in water out of wine bottles. Usually the Italian variety. :)

  3. So nice to hear the photos were valued. I know it is different but you would be surprised to know that often I return photos to families when we buy a house lot, thinking they have accidently gotten muddled up with the items we have purchased....The most common response is something along the lines of..."you shouldn't have bothered that's only rubbish" Same goes for birth and wedding certificates too. Your plant is lovely and I like the retro style pot...very cool! xx Katherine