Thursday, October 08, 2009

Typhoon 18

Typhoon 18 has hit Japan's main island and is headed this way. Every year around this time we get a parade of typhoons that approach Japan and Taiwan and either go north (towards us) or west (towards Taiwan and China). Last year all the typhoons faded away before they reached mainland Japan but this one has "landed" and is now crossing Japan.

I suppose typhoons could be described as hurricanes. They are characterized by wind and rain and come off the Pacific, and they tear up trees and blow down buildings. Rivers flood, even streets and towns flood and sometimes people must be evacuated from their homes.

The area that I live in hasn't had major typhoon damage in decades but there have been casualties with people being swept away after bridges fail or underpasses fill with back water. Our house is backed by a large forest so we become concerned when the cedar and pine trees start swaying dangerously. There have been a couple times that we chose to camp out in the living room rather than worry about a tree that might blow down and fall through the bedroom window. Never happened yet though one year a huge tree fell just a few yards from us blocking the road for many hours.

I worry mostly about my pear farming friends. The pear season is at its peak now and the whole year's efforts can easily be blown away for the farmers. I'm sure they have been up all night trying to harvest what is ripe enough, stabilizing what still must stay on the trees another couple weeks.

Schools and kindergartens have been cancelled all over the city today and people have battened down their garden furniture and flower pots. I was supposed to have three ladies come this morning for English but I'm assuming they aren't going to be able to come. Tetsu slept on the sofa all night, keeping an eye on the news and he left early this morning to help make decisions about whether the convalescent day center was going to be able to provide regular services today.

For me, I have started a pot of soup. It seems like a soup sort of day. Choco and all the cats are in the house. Choco is especially happy.

"Oh good! Which cat will play with me?"

The cats all walk around Choco gingerly but have accepted a noisy, slightly dirty dog amidst them. I've got a lot of quilting still to do and that is probably all that is on my agenda today. I'm happy that I changed over our summer clothes to winter clothes yesterday morning. As soon as typhoon season passes Japan gets it's cold front so the sweaters will soon be put into use. Looking at this picture reminds me that I need to start thinking about knitting a sweater or vest for Tetsu's Christmas present this year.

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