March 14, 2011 (Monday)
Another sunny morning! A sunny day always means we can air out our bedding, so everybody had to be up and moving so we could pick up the futon in the tatami room and drape them over some chairs so that air could circulate and freshen them up. Our tatami room is next to the living room, and it’s also the room where my husband and I sleep. Now, though, all five of us were sleeping wall to wall. Talk about the “family bed!”
The kids got to fetch LOTS of water, and I was able to wash two loads of laundry. It sure took a long time! I had to operate the machine manually since we didn’t have running water, and had to keep dumping pickle buckets of water into the machine every time you turned around! What usually would be a one hour task in which you put the clothes in the machine and push a button and leave the machine to do everything on its own until it calls you with it’s I’m-finished beeps, took nearly four hours. There must be a better way to do this! (Hopefully we’ll have running water again soon so I don’t have to hurt my head thinking how.)
In between dumping buckets, I tried to get our a.m. meal ready. That was a bit easier because I could cook on my IH range top and even use the microwave as usual. But when it came time to wash the dishes, that too, took a lot more time than I was expecting. I was having a hard time remembering which buckets of water were for cooking and which were for washing. We were using water from different sources. The water from one neighbor’s well was not yet clear, but it wasn’t sandy. The water from another neighbor’s spring was a little cloudy, so we didn’t want to use that for cooking. Oh, and we also had river water in the buckets to use for flushing the toilet. It gave me some insight into those times and places where people (usually women) had to go to a community well to secure water for their family. We are so spoiled.
Back to fixing our A.M. meal (I call it that because we decided we would eat only twice a day until we are sure that we’ll be able to get around and go shopping). I was listening to our emergency radio, and all of a sudden there was a song. It was the fourth day since the earthquake happened, and the radio was always reporting on the earthquake and tsunami horrors. For the first time I cried. A song. I don’t even remember what song it was, but it touched that place in my heart that reminds you that there are depths where no one can go. No one, and sometimes even you yourself dare not go there for fear that what you see deep down there is too much for you to handle. They (who are they?) say that music soothes the soul. I suppose it does, but there are times when I’m listening to Tschaikowsky or Mozart when I have to stop everything I’m doing and just BE in that music. It pierces my heart and makes me yearn for whatever it is that is good to be true and to come now. That’s what happened when I heard that song. I cried and was glad, because it gave me, and not only me (I mused), but all the other listeners as well, hope. Hope that this would soon be over and we could resume our lives in spite of all the damage done.
Then, after finishing the morning dishes, and getting the laundry out to dry, as though I hadn’t even had that tearful moment, I was irked because it started to rain and to feel cold. The weather report said it would turn to snow and continue until the weekend. Oh, that’s just great!