'Fortunate' family go back to basics

CHARLOTTE SQUIRE
Last updated 13:00 16/12/2013
udell
CHARLOTTE SQUIRE / Fairfax NZ
SUNNIER OUTLOOK: Lynne Udell relaxes at her family's new home in Ligar Bay, two years after a wall of water and logs obliterated their Pohara Valley home.

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Two years after a landslide wrecked her family's home in Pohara Valley Rd, Golden Bay, Lynne Udell has a much happier outlook.

The Udell family have moved on and are finally settling into their new home.

"It seems a long time ago now," Udell said from their new one-hectare property on a sunny hillside in nearby Ligar Bay.

"I think it's always been the same for us. It's just a house, it's not a life. We were all safe."

The Udells moved into Onetahua Marae for three months after the flood, then rented a house in Ligar Bay, "just waiting for the insurance and trying to deliberate about what to do next".

In September, they received their insurance payout.

"I certainly think that the process of waiting taught us more patience . . . we did know that ultimately, it would work out," Udell said.

"We're starting again on a higher level. We have more land, and we feel really fortunate. We're still really grateful for everyone's support in the community."

She said it hadn't been easy for husband Chris, a plumber, to continue working after they lost the house.

"He lost his workshop. He had to get it all set up again. It's only now that we've moved here that we've got that stuff worked out."

She said daughters Gina and Emma had been "fine" and "carried on".

"You can certainly say we're much more aware of the environment now. You kind of drive along and think, ‘Oh . . . if that rain happened again' . . . I guess it's about realising our vulnerability, really. It's probably the same for many people in the Bay."

She said the family were now much more content with the "back to basics" style of living.

"We're very content with growing our veges and building a shed. We were like that when we first moved to the Bay."

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