IT'S a love affair that has lasted more than half a century, but 79-year-old Thelma Thwaite is not talking about her marriage.
"You couldn't get a better place than this," the long-term Tannum Sands resident said.
Thelma and her husband Cliff's beach house was the first of its kind on Scallop St - an original from 1964 - and now it's up for auction this week.
After living out of a garage in Gladstone in the early sixties, Thelma and Cliff set their sights on Tannum Sands, picking up the block for 450 pounds.
Things have changed since then.
As of June 30 this year, RP Data valued Thelma's beach house at $305,000.
This weathered two-storey house, built by hand from spotted gum timber off a 'bush block' at Iveragh, took Cliff and family the weekends of two years to build.
The house has panoramic views of the ocean and overlooks Port Curtis and Facing Island.
"It was great living here. The kids would come home from school and eat biscuits and cake and then go off to the beach till dark - I could watch them from my kitchen. Nobody had to worry about their kids," she said.
For Thelma little has changed over the years: "The people here are sociable, everybody gets along and if you get up early enough you can still see the kangaroos."
It wasn't always easy.
"In the early days we had water tanks and outside toilets and the only way to come into town was along a dirt track or wait for the tide to go out," she said.
Born at Inverell, NSW, in 1936 and a self-confessed "cheat of a Queenslander", Thelma said she had loved every minute. As she described it: "60 years of marriage, four children, 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren".
"I've been lucky and I'm sad to leave my house - I love my house, but it's time to move on," she said.
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