Sunday, March 13, 2011

Earthquake damage in the house.

Good morning from Japan.

Everyone has been so good to ask about us and pray for us and the people of Japan. Watching the news is so sobering. Of course, the nation is on national emergency and the news is a continuous reel of new disasters being discovered. The TV reporters are wilting before our eyes, many of them being on air for nearly 24 hours before a change and then the first ones are back. The scientists look like they are very smart... but the ones who seem to have the most knowledge also seem to look the gloomiest.

The piano moved away from the wall.

When Lorraine and I returned from our Oya adventure we were met with debris throughout the house. The piano and some of the cupboards had moved away from the wall by over a foot and books, dishes and games covered the floor. Chip and Cleo were hidden under the sofa and cowering in the corner but Toi and Mi found the whole mess very curious. Choco was sleeping in the yard unperturbed by the past couple hours. Chip has suffered the most trauma it seems and will hardly let a second go by without climbing on someone's lap or trying to crawl up a leg if she's being ignored. Her bathroom habits are now discombobulated and she is adding to the confusion by making puddles on top of debris.

Tetsu finally came home yesterday afternoon and related the headaches of making decisions about 50 some elderly people's health and safety. Take them back into a shaking building? Leave them out in the open with only a few blankets? Everyone was routed to a room (without cracks) where there was no second story over their heads.

Lorraine and I made a jaunt to the supermarket (Lorraine paid for our week's worth of groceries) and I was surprised to see that the shelves were fairly well stocked still. But surely that won't last for long. There was no bread however and the milk was almost gone. I talked with a neighbor this morning whose family runs a gasoline station and she said that they have hit the bottom of their supply because the cars were lined up in the street yesterday. I hadn't thought of that. My neighbor's advice was to sit tight and not try moving around since gasoline won't probably be available until next week or later.

Lorraine had some trouble sending word to her son and daughter-in-law that she was still in Nikko (with me) because of course they were gathering up their children from school and for many hours the phones and cell phones weren't working. It was agreed that we should all sit tight and see what the next day brings.

The elementary school principal called me (when the phones started working again) to say that the school had held the children on the grounds without shoes (they'd all run out of the building) and without their back packs for two or three hours until all the parents came to pick them up. That sounds smart because Lorraine and I had been surprised to see jr. high school kids riding home on their bicycles immediately after the first earthquake and what with tiles falling from roofs and walls tumbling, it seemed to us that students would be safer at school. Anyway, the principal was just checking his staff (including me) so see that everyone was okay and to ask that I report for crosswalk duty as usual on Monday as the children were to have regular school and get an education in how one picks up and cleans the mess in a school building after an earthquake.

The nuclear explosion plant is a few hundred miles north of us and as Tetsu says, we can't be worrying about everything at once. Takumi gives me regular, if not too comforting, updates from the States. What the world view is of our situation. What the Japanese government is doing right or wrong. His advice to me was

"I heard that you should protect yourself from the rain. If it rains don't go outside. There might be a radiator in it. Don't go outside."

Thank you Takumi. Tetsu and I feel all your love and concern in those few words. Gave me a laugh too. The word is radiation.

All in all, though things don't look too fun for the future, Tetsu and I and Lorraine and our families and our pets and our friends are all well. I'm quilting, Lorraine is embroidering. We don't act like there are any inconveniences in our lives at all!

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