We stopped yesterday for probably the last time at David’s parents’ property outside Grafton. The house is no longer there, only its concrete slab remains.

This is the same house that burned down in October 2010 after we had spent a week in the area and brought friends for a water-skiing weekend. Now David’s parents are selling their two acres and building new lives — Hugh in Kurri Kurri and Roselin in Woolongong.

Early in our marriage, David and I agreed that relationships are more important than possessions, and in the beautiful Grafton house I felt that the house’s state was more important than how the children interacted together or with their grandparents. So it was a relief for me when the house burned down. It represented all the angst that I felt when I had to stifle our children’s creativity and energy because the building and its contents were considered too precious to damage.

Grafton house's concrete slab, March 2012
With the circular steps still in place, it's easy to remember how we used to enter the house though the front door.

Grafton house's concrete slab, March 2012
The girls enjoy identifying the different rooms of the house from memory.

Grafton house's concrete slab, March 2012
"What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another." ― Mahatma Gandhi

Calista looking at the Grafton pool, March 2012
Calista hangs on the fence and asks if we can go swimming.

Calista and Lauren in the pool, March 2012
The water is lovely in this pool. It's always a joy to dive in.

Fishers' garden around the pool, March 2012
This fox-tail palm is the best specimens I've seen outside a botanic garden. Roselin and Hugh established all the gardens on the property.

Brioni floating, March 2012
Brioni practices floating in her new wetsuit.

Grafton pool yard, March 2012
The last time we were swimming in this pool, the house was still standing as a burned-out wreck.

Aisha swimming, March 2012
After seeing how well Aisha is swimming in this pool, I feel a twinge of sadness that this place won't be available for our use during our trips through the region.

We’ve had many good times at this location. This is the property at which we got married. We taught our children how to swim in the pool. This has been the location for family reunions.

Even after the house burned down, we camped with friends in the front yard and cooled off in the pool. In many ways, this has been an easier place to visit without the house.

So it’s fitting that we had the opportunity to have one last swim in the pool before it is belongs to someone else. Adieu, Kingfisher Place, Waterview Heights, Grafton.