Friday, May 31, 2013

1000 Days --1 % Celebration, what is the other 99%?

Today marks 1000 days since the September 4th earthquake. That's the one that took out my house. Since then, I've lived in 3 houses. Yesterday the EQC (Earthquake Commission) and Fletcher's Building contractors visited our new house to sort out the scope of work that needs to be done here. (We bought the house and, OH JOY, we get to work through the repairs.) Isn't it funny how we love to mark time. Frankly, at 53 I'm ready to stop marking the time of my birth, except for the presents and cake bit. Sometimes you wonder if we ought to go on and on marking out the time of events. But today, 1000 days from the first Christchurch earthquake, we are marking the time. Today hasn't exactly looked like a celebration, no one served me any cake. It seems to be to feel more like a day of complaint. Now, I must say, many people have reasons to make it a day of complaint and stress. Three years on and there are still people living in broken houses, driving roads full of holes and bumps, and struggling with insurance companies. And I think of those people often. But today, I'm going to take a little time on this 1000th day to do a little personal celebration. It is easier to celebrate the 1000th day from the September earthquake, where only buildings, land and roads were broken. 1000 days later: 1. I have a house. A very nice house. Okay, it needs some repair, still it is a nice house. 2. I hardly ever feel an aftershock. 3. There is always something to talk about in every crowd of people. Even after 1000 days since the first earthquake, if the chat dries up, we can share earthquake stories. 4. I know how to drive an obstacle course. I mean, Christchurch roads are nearly all obstacle courses, so one must learn this new skill. 5. I've learned to drive the roads based on road names. Landmark buildings are mostly gone...had to learn the road names, didn't I? 6. I've made a lot of new friends. When you move to the other side of the city and have to find a new church, one bonus is new friends! 7. I've learned to appreciate the mundane. Excitement is completely overrated. 8. I am shaken out of my ruts. All those road closures force me to learn to navigate new paths to the places I want to go. 9. New Regent Street has reopened, not that my hubby has taken me out to eat there yet! 10.My daughter and son-in-law bought a new house. Okay, they had to work through an extraordinary amount of paperwork because of all the earthquake and insurance issues, and the post-earthquake house prices are way too high because of lack of available housing, but still they have a lovely new house. Did I say, it needs repairs? So, there you go, ten little personal celebrations to mark the 1000th day since the September 4th earthquake . Ten little markers to be the 1%. We'll save the 99% (complaints, grumbles and depression) for another day!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Life after...

It's May 30th 2013. So much time as passed since the major earthquakes struck the city of Christchurch. There have been numerous natural disasters around the world since we had ours. The news seems ever full of these huge events. I can't decide if there are more of them, or if I have become super sensitive to the pain of those who are going through such events. It has been so long since I updated this blog. The new normal of our life here seems almost mundane, but today, I realized once again that having gone through an event like ours, means that life has changed for me forever. I called Richard at work at 7am like I do most Wednesday mornings because he tries to be at work somewhere between 5:30-6 am. I always call to make sure he made there safely while I was sleeping. (So far, so good) "Did you feel the earthquake this morning?" he asks. "No, was there another?" says me. "Yup, quiet a long rumbling one. I heard it coming." I knew what he meant. A few, short years ago, that conversation would have made no sense to me. Now it is a part of my life. I reached for my phone and it was quiet easy to find geonet to check the size and depth of the earthquake. (It was a shallow 3.5, on the east side of the city). The fact that is so easy to find on my phone and computer is part of the new normal as well. But when I think about it, my smart phone is new, my house is new, having only two children living is new, my car is new. I have a new way of living. I'm alittle different myself. But not all that different and new in my life has do with the earthquakes. Life changes. I don't know what would be different in my life today if there had been no Christchurch earthquake on September 10, 2010. I don't know what life would look like for me had there been no earthquake February 22, 2011. I guess it doesn't matter. Every person who goes through a disaster, big or little, natural or manmade, personal or public, experiences change. And change can be awful...but it can also be good.