Thursday, June 23, 2011

Caught in the Eye of Fear Tonight


I had just set the water sprinklers on the front and back lawns. We sat down to eat our grilled pork chops, fresh asparagus, steamed rice with a lovely salad using all fresh greens from the Market. Daddy-O and I were eating on TV trays after a busy, busy work day, enjoying the company of one another and watching the nothingness of NBC re-runs when an Emergency Broadcast blared that ugly panic sound and messages rolled and flashed across the screen… TSUNAMI WARNING ISSUED FOR DUTCH HARBOR FOLLOWING A 7.3 PRELIMINARY MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE THAT STRUCK 20 MILES SOUTHEAST OF AMUTKA PASS… that is exactly where Kristen is, in Dutch Harbor getting ready to board the US Coast Guard Cutter Healy for another scientific research trip. I immediately was able to reach her via our cell phones. She was napping thankfully on board the ship which was still in the harbor. I had reached her before she had heard what was happening and as we were talking all hell broke loose as the emergency warning system went into effect for all of Dutch Harbor and on board the ship. The worst part was I could hear the emergency sirens blaring in the background while Kristen was running to find her lab mate so they could await further safety instructions. She could see the “coasties” running to board the boat who hd been on shore leave, residents of Dutch Harbor fleeing for higher ground all while the horrible sound of the sirens were wailing. She could see little kids in pajamas running to higher ground, cars going 80 mph trying to reach the highest parts of the island, everybody exiting the town any way they could. The entire fleet of fishing trawlers and boats were trying to leave the harbor desperate to reach deeper water. Kristen had to hang up and called seconds later to report that the Tusanami was due to hit in 26 minutes! She had to go again and would call me back as soon as she could. I felt like I was going to throw up. I surfed all the available web sites for information and 15 minutes into the dreaded 26 minutes the Tsunami warning was cancelled. I still feel like I’m going to throw up my pork chop and my cocktail(s) are sitting at the top of my throat. Tears spilled from my eyes and Derek hugged me. All I could visualize is the Japanese man who rode out the horrific Tsunami in Japan aboard his large fishing boat. Kristen called me back and said the worst part was watching the exodus from aboard their huge vessel feeling helpless. As we hung up, I said “I love you -be safe” having a bit more meaning tonight.


On a less dramatic note, here is a sculpture I made this week after being inspired by one of my Hosta's finally coming up. I was supposed to be knee deep in production work but just had to make something inspired from Nature. Interesting that is was something from the ground and not the sea...


7 comments:

Peter said...

It must have been horrific counting down like that, and imagining your daughter caught up in a disaster. I do feel so sorry for you. Sometimes technology is a mixed blessing... warnings can save lives, and that's a great thing, phones can bring loved ones together, and that is good too,.. but the price to pay for knowledge and news can be an emotional roller-coaster of the sort that people would not have had 100 years ago when news travelled more slowly. Glad that she is safe. xx

Peter said...

Bye-the-way, your metal Hostas is gorgeous! Love the way you've done the veining of the leaves.

cookingwithgas said...

CINDY! I hope you feel the hug I am sending you from NC- my nerves would be shattered!
BE safe!
And send our best to your dear sweet daughter.

Patricia Griffin said...

Sooooo glad to read the coast is clear, literally!... When we had the tsunami warning here, it sure put the priorities in sharp focus... Glad Kristen is safe!

Tracey Broome said...

I was a nervous wreck just reading this post! I found myself clutching the edge of my laptop as I read it! Big hugs from here too, and prayers that Kristen will be safe, she is on a huge adventure! Brave, smart girl!!!
I'm feeling inspired by the sea right now too without a clue what to do with it all....

Hollis Engley said...

Glad it worked out that way, Cindy. For you and everyone in DH.

Cowgirl Goods said...

Holy Crap! Cocktail(s) for sure on that one. WOW scary stuff!