Thursday, March 17, 2011

First blackout

Good morning!

I have come back from crosswalk duty (wearing a mask). The children are covered in layers of clothes from head to toe... "Yoo-hoo! Are you in there?" It seems that the situation is serious enough to entail taking precautions from radiation contamination but not serious enough to cancel school... nor even DRIVE children to school.

Maybe I'm blowing this all up too much. My friend in Utsunomiya went out for a nice long walk yesterday and she is hanging her laundry outside as normal. Her philosophy is that Utsunomiya (and Nikko where I am) does not have dangerous radiation levels yet and so people are panicking unnecessarily. Besides which, even if we do get fallout, the consequences will show 30 years from now when she and I will be in our eighties... if we are around at all. I find her cheerfulness uplifting and inspiring. Thus Choco and I went out for our normal 30 minute walk at 6:00 this morning.

On the other hand, there were more explosions yesterday and I have other friends telling me to stay inside because the government isn't giving out reliable information. Don't drive or hang out laundry, wash clothes immediately upon coming in from outside, wear masks with wet filters inside... This is much more disturbing to the mind and makes me feel sad and out of control... I can't think of everything and I might skip an important point that connects me to the future... Yesterday I was trying to think of everything. Today I think I'll "cease striving."

We had our first round of blackout last night from 6:30 to 8:30 (it was supposed to last until 10:00 but someone took pity on us and we got back an extra hour.) Thinking along the everything lines, I dragged out candles (too bad I've never been so fore-sighted as to have flashlights and batteries on hand) I made potato soup (comfort food again) and rice balls. I fed animals (Choco is now allowed run of the house. I couldn't see keeping her in that little kennel for weeks), and I put hot water bottles in the kotatsu. When the lights went out I had an obento, soup, my Kindle, cell phone, candles and lighter, contact lens case and glasses, all laid out on the kotatsu table. I am ready!

Yet when the lights went out, there I sat trying to read my Kindle by candlelight (and a little Bible too) but I just got sleepy and snuggled deep under the blanketed table and slept for two hours. Awakened by the sound of the doorbell which turned out to be an automatic switch on for the doorbell when the electricity came back.

We still have tremors big and small. The room is cold. I'm still trying to conserve fuel and electricity (and avoid using the air-conditioning/heater). This morning Tetsu and I have brought out an absolutely filthy carpet that was headed for the dump someday and have laid that down under the table with the less filthy daily carpet on top of it. Hopefully two layers will keep the warmth in. And two heavy comforters instead of one on top of the table too. The cats are in heaven (except that they fight under there when non-allies meet up.) Tetsu has told me that I'm to let the cats roam the house too. No more protecting them from each other and trying to keep everybody happy in different rooms. They can fight it out themselves.

In the meantime I am working on Mrs. Okutomi's Hawaiian quilt block and keeping my hands busy. When I'm not blogging or chatting with my children on this computer, I am listening to gospel CDs.

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