Monday, February 16, 2015
I do think about life and it's earthquakes more than once a year. I really do think more often than that. I just forget to write about it. As we have been nearing the 22nd of February, the date that marks the anniversary of the deadly earthquake, I have been thinking about life all the time. I've even been formulating a post in my mind. Tonight I was shaken out of thoughts and decided to write. Yes, literally shaken. Yes, I know what literally means. We had a earthquake. It was one of those rumbles and then a jolt and this funny one rumbled again. My fingers knew exactly what to do...geonet.co.nz. On that site, I can see what I felt. How often did I look up earthquakes two, three and four years ago? It's been awhile since I have typed that into my search engine on my computer, but I could do it without a thought as to what to type. That is how much practice I had in the past. It is one of the oddities of life during the earthquakes. That driving need to find the technical numbers to explain the shake we felt. You would think that just feeling the thing and saying, "Oh, that was scary." or "That knocked over my china teacups." would be enough. But, no. Somehow I just need those numbers. And I am not alone. My twitter and my Facebook light up with people posting or asking what the numbers are on any given earthquake. We aren't done with earthquake-life in Christchurch. Most of us know that when we drive the streets that are bumpy, or full of cones because of the repair being done to the infrastructure of the city. We know that when we talk to our friends or see posts on our Facebook from friends who are still living the hell of repairs or rebuilds, or even worse, not yet knowing which their house and property are facing. Just two days ago, I sat with an acquaintance who is the mother of five boys who was lamenting her situation four years on and still no certainty about what is going to happen to her home. I've been to her house. It is so broken and sitting on broken land. There is no doubt about the truth as she talked about her massive power bills and one can only wonder why there would be any doubts about the fact that it needs to be pulled down an rebuilt. I thought we were personally done with the earthquake. We have our lovely new house, we worked through the minor repairs we needed it our new house, so we are sorted. Then came the repairs on my daughter's house. Her 5 or 6 weeks repair job turned into her being out of her home (and in ours) for four months. She is home again, but the back room of her house seems to be a difficulty they can't quite sort out and the floor hasn't been completed again. My son-in-law said to me a few days ago, "Is it okay if we come back for a few days while the builders do the floor?" Of course it is. We can't really be done with the earthquake. Maybe we will never be. We will always remember those days. We will jump when there is a little earthquake and run to to find the geonet site and see what the numbers say. Should we have jumped, or where we just being silly. We will talk with people who lost more than we did, and tell our stories to people who didn't experience it. Life's earthquakes, be they seismic or personal remain with a person. They alter our world and change us. My daughter's bed broke. (What a random thing to say now, right?) My husband fixed it. The wood had twisted and he doesn't know if the fix he did will hold. It had been put back together again incorrectly sometime in the last few years as we moved out of two broken houses and into two different non-broken houses. When and who did it doesn't matter. He has screwed the wood tightly together and hopes it will hold. If not, we figure it is just another causality of this odd earthquake life we have been living for the past four years.