Friday, March 11, 2011

A Spot of Excitment Around Here . . .

Before I went to bed last night, I heard about the awful earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  I said a prayer for them as I drifted off to sleep. This morning, at 5:45 a.m., I heard my husband's cell phone ring. I thought "This can't be good news; I hope no one is sick." A few moments later, my cell phone rang. I answered it and was greeted with a recorded message that all schools in our district were closed for the day and that voluntary evacuations were taking place because a tsunami watch was in effect!  Knowing that our house is on a hill several hundred feet above the local "Tsunami Gathering Site," I wasn't too worried about our safety.  But as the tsunami sirens were going off at fairly regular intervals between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m., I pulled myself out of bed and went upstairs to watch TV with my husband.
The authorities were in fact asking for voluntary evacuations in low-lying areas on the west side of the highway.  We're on the east side and up on top of a big hill, but there were plenty of people who did evacuate.  Our high school was one of the evacuation sites:
The kids woke up and trundled upstairs mid-morning for what felt to us like a snow day.  There wasn't much to do but watch the news and see what developed.  Luckily for us, the disaster turned out to be, in my son's words, "kind of lame." The ocean surge and wave action around here was less than what we normally see for a winter storm. My son's baseball game, scheduled for 3:30, went on as planned.  When I went to drop him off at the high school, I saw that the television crew was still around interviewing people:
Most of us here on the Coast are a hardy lot, and many think this was much ado about nothing.  But still . . . it does give one pause. It's nice to know that the systems are in place in case of a real emergency. And it's a good reminder of the power of nature and a reminder to not take our loved ones for granted.  My husband took the day off, and we had a very nice family day.  I made a point of hugging my kids today and telling them that I loved them.  Because part of me thinks that there's a thin line between the tsunami that wasn't and the tsunami that could have been.  And I'm glad that, for today at least, we were on the right side of that line.

15 comments:

laurie said...

i was thinking of all my west coast friends this morning when i heard the news. so glad all is well but my heart goes out to those affected in japan. i know what you mean about those periodic reminders that we are not completely in charge - they make our relationships and days so much more precious.

scrappyjacky said...

The world seems to be having one natural disaster after another at the moment....it predominates our news programmes day after day...and makes my complaints about the slow arrival of Spring seem very petty!!!!!
Am so glad it didn't actually 'affect' your part of the world.....but my heart certainly goes out to those who were affected.

humel said...

I'm so glad you were the right side of that line, too. When I heard that warnings were being issued for your part of the world, I did wonder if you might be affected. It's been terrifying to see what nature can do, and my heart goes out to all those who have been hurt or lost homes or loved ones - it will take a long time for Japan to recover from this.

Ginger said...

We were certainly glued to the t.v. last night watching the news and devastation in Japan. It is difficult to make sense of these disasters and the effects of each. I am thankful we have not had such experiences, and Jacky is right it certainly puts complaining about the Winter weather into perspective, at least I have a roof over my head, these unfortunate souls have lost more than their homes.

Sian said...

It certainly is a reason to stop and reflect, you are right. My brother spent a year in Taiwan - I'm pretty glad he's not there anymore. But, those poor people..

debs14 said...

We tend to forget what a powerful lady Mother Nature is and also how unpredictable. I did think of you when they showed the maps on the news of how far the tsunami could reach and am pleased that it was just a false alarm for you. Those poor people in Japan, it is just so heartbreaking to see. I think it made everyone sit back and give thanks that those we love are safe and sound.

Lizzie said...

It's almost too much to comprehend really - looking at the pictures of the utter devastation in Japan. I feel so, so sorry for those who have lost their homes, loved ones, jobs - how long will it take for the country to recover from this?
And so soon after the other disasters - Earthquakes in New Zealand and China, landslides in South America, storms and floods in Australia - all the other huge Earth-events that have been happening over the last couple of years...
It kind-of puts my petty little day-to-day stresses and worries into perspective (though it doesn't always feel that way when I'm exhausted from caring for a poorly mum, or stuck in bed with a chest infection). I feel that I'm generally lucky, living where I do - we were spared the flood problems that hit the UK in recent years also; we had flood warnings, but the water passed us by, just flooding the nearby fields and closing the bridges for a couple of days.
I have a long prayer list for tonight... and is it petty to end with "and please keep us all safe and well"?

So glad you and your loved ones were not affected any further, by this latest terrible disaster. Keep safe!

Karen said...

It's a vivid reminder that so often we are at the mercy of Mother Nature. It seems that my prayer list is so much longer than usual these days due to natural disasters and civil uprisings. The first time we were in your area I was surprised to see Tsunami Evacuation signs, but now I understand why they are there.

alexa said...

Glad all is well and you weren't affected.

Terry said...

Never take loved ones for granted is so true, because things can change in the blink of an eye! It is hard to comprehend that extreme devastation and I feel for those poor people! Have a great Sunday!

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Glad to hear you all remain safe!

Becky said...

I'm so glad you were all safe. My best friend's son is in Japan, near Tokyo, but fortunately he is safe. I am glad you were able to have a nice family day together and I can't agree more with you regarding your last two sentences - it really does make you think and make you feel so grateful. I am glad the UK doesn't have to worry about such severe conditions - we are very lucky.

Carola Bartz said...

I can't agree more with you, Rinda. I'm glad that the tsunami didn't hit us with such a force as in Japan (people in Crescent City certainly see this a bit different), but it really lets you pause. And when I watch the news about the nuclear power plants in northeastern Honshu I can only pray that this is not another catastrophe in the waiting.

Gloria said...

It's very sad. I too can't sleep well thinking of all the people who are now homeless. Their faces so etched with unbelieveability. The heart aches and all we can do is give what we can and pray for everyone. Thx for stopping by my blog. Have a great week.

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

It was a horrible week, wasn't it? I thought about you and wondered if you'd be affected by the tsunami that was looming. Sounds like you had a good day with your family though, and for that I am glad.