Couple's dreams go up in smoke
By ZOE SINCLAIRzoe@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
LYN and Graeme Wardlaw dreamed of sitting on their verandah, gazing at the ocean views from the deck of their home.
But the dream was shattered by the ringing of a telephone.
After living in a shed at the property south of Gladstone for two years, they bought an old Queenslander eight weeks ago.
"The house was perfect,'' Mrs Wardlaw said.
She had only visited the site where their home was to be moved from on Sunday morning, when emergency services rang to tell her it had been burnt down.
"I couldn't believe it.''
The home they had hung everything on had been burnt to the ground.
"ALL that hard work that we put in there over the past seven weeks, every last min- ute gone,'' Mrs Wardlaw said.
"The house is now someone's fill in a backyard.''
Once the shock had been overcome, the enormity of what had happened sunk in.
"You build a dream and they just knock it down,'' Mrs Wardlaw said.
"It's devastated us, it's devastated us as a family.''
"We envisaged the house going on the side of the hill. You could see the sea on one side and then the bush.
"It's lovely and quiet out there - it's just peaceful.
"We don't want fancy houses. Just our home.''
The Wardlaws have spent the last few weeks clearing the remains of their home from the site and trying not to think of what the future may hold.
The house could not be insured until it was on the property and the Wardlaws still have to pay back their loan.
"We have to get over it, get cleaned up and maybe down the track try again,'' Mrs Wardlaw said.
"Our aim is to stay in the shed and make the most of what we've got.