My House Burns Down Just Weeks Before My Tour?!
I want to say the hugest thank you to everyone for your messages and gestures of support since I lost my home to a fire.
It has taken me a few weeks to be able to put ‘pen to paper’ to let all of you know what on earth happened to my house. I am a bit behind in getting back to people individually, but my heart’s desire is to get back to you before Christmas, and I want you to know that your messages have meant so much to me. I am blown away by the love around me, and the way that my home town and friends around the country have been showing their support.
It will be three weeks on Sunday morning since I arrived at the site of what has been my beautiful, peaceful sanctuary for the last two years, and a special home to our family for much longer, to witness what was left. I stared at the blackened, burnt out shell that remained as the Country Fire Service worked hard to contain the persistent flames, and burn back to protect everyone’s precious crops in the surrounding wheatfields. I walked around the fence in the arms of my sisters who were in town for our sacred family day the day before, crying and in shock as I stared at the charred corrugated iron smoking on the ground where my bedroom used to be, shaking at the fact that I wasn’t in there. That I stood there safe, when barely anything remained of my house and my things. I still have tears thinking about the earnestness on my sister Linda’s face, as we stood there, and she spoke of how strange it felt to stand in the face of such an extreme disaster and actually be feeling amidst the shock, the emotion of joy that our family only had to deal with losing a house and not me inside it. Once you’ve lost a person from your life, as we have recently, everything else that life may throw at you is immediately put into perspective.
When I had got home on Thursday, I discovered the mice had been having a soiree in my room while I had been away. I couldn’t stand the thought, and resolved to sleep at Mum and Dad’s, my closest neighbour, 3km down the dirt track, until Sunday when I had my plan to spring clean. It was great to be with my family again.
However, house cleaning was not how Sunday turned out. At about 8am on Sunday morning, Mum burst into the room I was sleeping in and said ‘Jodi, your house is burning down.’
‘WHAAAAT???’ In a blur I made the 3km drive to find over twenty CFS volunteers, three fire trucks, police cars and neighbours surrounding the smoking remains of my beautiful farmhouse. The house was completely gutted, and a couple of firefighters gently told me to prepare myself that I would most likely be able to salvage nothing from my home.
The fire inspector who came over from Adelaide told me he believes the fire had started in the middle of the kitchen ceiling. I had heard mice making noise in the ceiling when I got home. He said that a risk for old farmhouses is mice chewing electrical wires and starting a fire.
It has always been an ongoing battle keeping the mice out of my farmhouse.
The irony is profound. Earlier this year, our region fought the biggest bushfire we have witnessed in over 150 years. Dad used an old grader to protect my house with a fire brake, and the 25 km front bushfire was stopped before it got there. It seems ridiculous to think that after all that, my beautiful house and everything I had collected in my life, except what I had in my car from the tour, had been brought down by something as small as a mouse.
I haven’t wanted to put any sad fire photos of my burnt electric guitars on social media right now. However when my updated website goes live in about two weeks, I will put some of those photos on my blog page there, so stay tuned to jodimartin.com
If you go to my official Youtube channel www.youtube.com/c/jodimartinTV, you can see what’s left of my kitchen stove and my Yamaha mixing desk that was by the door in the front hallway, though all the inner walls are gone now. You will find it on the video where I am covering Passenger’s song Holes. That is one of those songs I think is captures the feelings around loss and moving on with life so well, I wish I wrote it myself.
Meanwhile, the January tour from Forster to Byron Bay is going ahead, might see you there. My single Saltwater in My Hair, which I will be touring with, is just as profound as ever for me right now. ‘No matter what life may deal me, I’m okay if I’ve got saltwater in my hair…’ May your Christmas be a relaxed and happy one with those you love. xo