Friday, March 18, 2011

Day Three

March 13, 2011 (Sunday)

Sunday morning arrived with a long list of things that need doing. And even though the list was long, most things would not get checked off. Usually I try to go to the 9:00 a.m. service at my church (and I rush back home to get lunch for my family), but this day I didn’t go. We did have our pancakes as we tend to do on Sundays. Some frozen blueberries were thawing out right there in the freezer drawer, so we plopped them five per pancake. They tasted really yummy. I think it was the ashes from our outdoor fire that added the right touch. We ate something else, too, but I can’t even remember now (I’m writing this 5 days later) what we had.

The bulk of the morning was spent getting water, and boiling it over and over and over again, so that we all could wash our bodies and shampoo our heads. Not knowing how long we’d have to live like campers, we tried to gather more wood, too. Dad and Ai went up the hill to a neighbor’s house to use their well, and when they came back, they brought Ayumi-chan. She was the cute little granddaughter in the family, and it was our first time to meet her. She told me that she and Ai had already become great friends. When I asked her how old she was, she told me she was six, and that she’d be starting first grade when the calendar turns to the 4 page (in other words, April).  After a while, she noticed I was different. She exclaimed, “Oh, an American mother!”  Yuko came into the room, and Ayumi announced that she and Ai were friends. Yuko pouted a little and asked if she could be friends, too. Ayumi cheerfully agreed. But then when we said there was one more kid in our family, a big boy, Ayumi quickly said, “Oh, I’m not good at [being friends with] boys!”  It was fun having her here. I love how kids are just plain real. They got out our Red Flyer wagon, played games in the yard, and could just have some fun for a few hours. It was like the good old days. ;-)

As it was sunny and clear, it was a good time to finally go upstairs and see what to do about the place. There are four rooms and a toilet closet. The toilet and the hallway were the only places where you could see the floor at all! None of the furniture had fallen over, but some in my room had moved away from the wall. The closet doors in all of the kids’ rooms had been thrown open, and the contents all jumbled and/or tossed into the rooms. The most I could accomplish was to clear a path in my own room so that I could get to the south window where I have a laundry pole set up to dry our laundry indoors when the weather is bad. Then I folded laundry, other clothes that were scattered all about, and untangled hangers. Then it was time for a coffee break!

After our break, I was sitting in the tatami room where we had all of our futon airing out and soaking in the sunshine. If it were a regular Sunday, I probably would have taken my ritual nap. Instead, I read for a while in my Treasury of Daily Prayer, and prayed that those that were worried about us would soon learn that we were fine. Then it was time to do some kitchen work and make sure we would have a decent supper. During that time, I was listening to our emergency radio. The reports were so awful, so much damage done, so many lives lost, so many needing to evacuate, so many, so many, too many! Then I tried to read the newspaper. Yes, the newspaper had been delivered. It was only a few pages, and all the news was about the Great Tohoku Kanto Earthquake. As I was taking in the enormity of this disaster, ---

Ai gasped, “The electricity is on!” She was looking at the air conditioner on the east wall of our living room, and we could see the little lights blinking and the vent flaps closing. Oh! We scrambled up, she to try to recharge her cell phone, I mean PHS, and I to turn on my lap top. We shouted out to everyone else. The lap top needs time to warm up, so during that time, I ran all over the house testing switches and feeling happy. Just the day before, my husband had gone out and bought these nice little flashlights that have a strap and clip (like a pen does) so we each could have our own, but now we would be able to save our flashlight power for another time! Turning on my lap top these days usually means my cyber life is beckoning me, so, of course, the first thing to check is whether or not I can get online. Success! THAT means the telephone lines work, and THAT means I can call Megumi! So, I did. And she cried joyful tears of relief. And the phone got passed around. And I was able to let others know via the internet* that we were alive!

*Kudos to Mr. Gore for inventing the Internet!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! Great installment!

That must have been a moment like none other, when you got a hold of Megumi.

Al Gore saves the day...AGAIN!

Keep 'em coming, Becky!