Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This Day

Driving, pounding rain slashing the windows as if to break them in two. Overflowing gutters spilling onto the steps. Thunder cracking and crashing and wind whipping the trees sideways. Some trees uprooted and power outages everywhere. Creeks flooded and storm drains backed up. This March Tuesday is a day of violent weather. At least violent for here in the Northwest corner of Oregon. Nothing to compare to Japan where there is total devastation from the 8.9 earthquake on Friday and the subsequent tsunami and now the threat of nuclear meltdown.

It is hard to get the images of tragedy out of my head. Seeing such damage at such a distance takes away some of the awfulness but the pictures still haunt me. I have sat on this couch and watched as disasters around the world played out on TV in the last ten years. Nine Eleven, Katrina, the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, the trapped miners. So much pain and sorrow. So much lost to catastrophe. The earth is not a gentle place. How do people bear the losses?

Looking around my living room I am thinking of what it would mean to lose all of this. My life. All my possessions. The antique furniture from my grandparents, my books, my treasured memories and mementos, all the photographs, Ember’s room and all her toys. What if it was all gone?

I try to think what I would grab to take in the precious fifteen minutes we would be granted before being inundated should such an earthquake strike here. Ember of course. The dogs. Skye if I could catch her. My purse with my ID and credit cards. Our coats. My Disaster Box. My passport & birth certificate, my prescriptions, the emergency $100 bill I keep hidden. My jewelry. My computer. The cedar box with my journals. Or none of that but just the living things. I must save my granddaughter at all costs. That is all that is important.

I need to update my Disaster Box and replenish the food and water. Maybe stock the car with pet food and toilet paper. Thankfully we don’t need diapers anymore. The Red Cross always has warm blankets and hygiene products and food. Don’t bother taking things you can buy later like clothes.

Maybe thinking about it now will help me to remember when the time comes. We need a Family Plan so each of us knows what the rest of us will do, where we will try to go, what route we will take, who will look for who. We should have phone numbers although cell phones might not work.

It’s a bit overwhelming, is it not. Being prepared for the unknown.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

My Dream

The Mountain wears a shroud of clouds and the River is draped in mist and fog. Somewhere behind these curtains, Spring is hiding. Only two weeks until she comes out. Already there are buds on the trees and bushes. The first robin has appeared, the tried and true harbinger of Spring. Seed catalogs are arriving in the mail and the first Community Garden meeting is this Saturday.

It is hard to believe this vicious winter will ever end. It has been a long haul and tiresome beyond belief. The last day of sunshine was a month ago. The overflowing gutter dripped on my head this morning when I went out for the paper. The dogs track in mud every time they go out. Even the indefatigueable kids that play in the street have stayed indoors.

They tell me this is the perfect preparation for my trip to Scotland where the weather is similar. The difference of course being that when it rains in Scotland, it is in beautiful SCOTLAND not in ugly dreary Oregon. I think I would not mind the rain if I could go out and walk on the moors or listen to the waves crashing on the shore of a wild and stormy sea. Here I just watch the rain puddles in the Walmart parking lot or listen to the crashing wrecks on the slick Interstate.

This is without a doubt the ugliest place I have ever lived. I have nothing to look at that touches my soul or lifts my spirits. And the people are equally dreary all bundled up in their Columbia coats and trudging along with hunched shoulders.

I could leave. I could move. I could get the hell out of Dodge. I don’t because of three little persons who are special in my life. Ember, Oliver and Levi. If only I could persuade their parents there are better places to live. I cannot figure out why my children who were raised in a better place chose to settle here.

Maybe when the grandkids are a little older I will be able to take them with me back to Missouri for the summer. I could rent a place on the Lake and enjoy the warmth and sunshine and get together with my friends. I would like for them to have a taste of “down home.”

That’s my dream.