Friday, March 11, 2011

plans change

i had a great post planned for this morning, and then i opened my computer and the awful news of japan's ravaging tsunami came up on my screen. so, i'll just table that post for another day.

i won't lie. i am so afraid of earthquakes. and tsunamis. to which you may say, "way to go, susannah, you live on a massive fault line, right along the coast of northern california." and i would say, "yep- you're right. and it freaks the crap out of me all the time."

little known fact: i think about earthquakes and tsunamis about every other day or so.

sometimes when i'm in bed at night i think to myself, if there was a crazy strong earthquake right now, i wonder if we could get into the girls' room and rescue them? i need to remember where near the bed my shoes are. is everything secured to the wall in their room?   

or maybe matt is gone at work and i am alone with the girls and i imagine an earthquake with him stuck on one side of the tunnel that he drives through to get to work and me stuck in our rubble of a house, crying because our wedding pictures have been destroyed. oh yeah, and our house.

or i worry about an earthquake happening & being without electricity, and no way to charge m's rechargeable implant batteries, and running out of her disposable batteries, and realizing she won't be able to hear us soon. (yes- i have a massive stockpile of batteries, but i'm still afraid that i won't be able to get to them.)

and i kid you not, every day that i drive over the san mateo bridge (which is essentially smack on top of the water) to take m to school, i imagine a tsunami sweeping over our car and me scrambling to rescue my children from their carseats while somehow also opening a window or door so that we don't get stuck in the car. the other bridge scenario does not involve a tsunami, but just a really big earthquake that is so strong that as we drive across, maybe even almost to the shore (which still would not be safe because a huge earthquake has just happened,) breaks the bridge up into little pieces and then tosses my little pitiful car, full of me and my two amazing children, like a kleenex into the water.

as you can see, the thought of a (very likely) bay area earthquake is on my mind. there isn't much that i worry about, but this is one of those things. so as i looked at these heartbreaking photographs this morning, of families just like us -except for halfway around the world-whose lives just changed completely and forever, it hits me somewhere in that soft, raw space in my heart where fear and sadness lives.

praying today for those who have lost something, or everything, in this tragedy.


  1. Yeah. I was in the 1989 Loma Prieta quake (just a few miles from the epicenter). The devastation was nothing like what we're seeing in Japan. But it was still a terrifying and life-changing experience. I have a friend whose wife is from northern Japan; I need to find out if her family is okay.

    Yes, you live right on a fault line, and you can expect big quakes from time to time. But take comfort in the fact that construction codes and techniques in California are much more advanced than in other quake-prone areas. Even in the event of The Big One, i.e. something super-massive, the chances of your family personally being affected in the ways you're envisioning are still extremely small.

    But still, I know what you mean -- if you live in quake territory, it's pretty much always in the back of your mind. Life is precious.

  2. it was so bizarre to read this post because other than the Tsunami part you were saying all the things i think on a regular basis. no one has any idea how much i think through earthquake scenarios. definitely at least every other day. i have routes to the girls rooms mapped out and a huge fear because our home is old and not bolted just wanted to share that i understand what you are saying.


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