COVID-19 restrictions stop Texan Tiffany leaving CQ
THE COVID-19 pandemic has turned everyone’s lives upside down in 2020, but for American Tiffany Fleming, it has been a particularly bittersweet, double-edged sword.
Hailing from Tyler, Texas, Ms Fleming fell for the charms of Rockhampton’s Dale Graff after their paths crossed while he was holidaying in Nashville (Music City).
Last October, the smitten Texan followed her heart and moved with her nine-year-old miniature pinscher Tank, across the Pacific to be with Mr Gaff and his daughter Amelia in Parkhurst.
Things were going swimmingly for the couple with Ms Fleming, 38, loving the beauty of Central Queensland and landing her “dream job”.
“(I’ve been) loving the weather and the absolute beauty of Australia,” Ms Fleming said.
“I love being able to drive to the beach and bring my dog Tank, as well as taking a boat ride to Great Keppel Island and enjoying the island life.
“Byfield is another beautiful area with the lush landscaping and creeks to kayak.”
After working to help others buy “their forever homes or investment properties” in Florida, she was delighted to be doing that again working as an agent to Mr Real Estate.
“Helping to enrich lives is a blessing,” she said.
With big plans in motion to bring Amelia, Dale and his mum Jean Graff back with her to the states, they were extinguished when coronavirus swept across the globe, and Queensland’s border slammed shut.
“This has isolated me from family and friends I cherish,” she said.
“Love and hugs and basic support from the ones I love is definitely going to be missed this year.
“It’s the little things we take for granted. We stay in touch via Facebook video calls and messages mostly, although that’s challenging as well due to the time difference.”
While she dearly misses everyone back home, her family is happy for her to be surrounded by a loving family here in Australia.
The fact that COVID-19 was claiming more lives in America than any other country, wasn’t lost on Ms Fleming, who was grateful to be weathering the pandemic in Queensland.
“I do feel safer here than I would in America at the moment,” she said.
“My cousin was diagnosed, hospitalised and released back home from Covid. However, my aunt just got admitted from her nursing home to ICU in the hospital with Covid.”
While hopeful that she will still be able to return home next year, Ms Fleming is keeping a lid on her expectations, resigned to playing the waiting game for as long as it takes for a successful vaccine to be developed and international travel to recommence.
“I’m now enjoying life with my loving partner, and being a stepmum to the most beautiful little girl Amelia,” she said.
“I have been blessed to call Rockhampton home and to have been welcomed with open arms.”