What a day!! It really seems that EVERY TIME Mike is gone, there is a minor disaster, or a threat of one at least. We'll start with the first year we were in HI Mike was on a training mission at PTA and there was a earthquake on the Big Island that knocked out power and all phone service everywhere very suddenly and basically sent the island in panic mode. Then about a week after he deployed for Iraq in '07 we had a big storm that again knocked out power most everywhere and caused lots of flooding, damage and road closings, and then of course was today's tsunami warning.
Although nothing came of it, once again i found myself running around making sure that everything was in order and safe except this time i had an extra two babies and a grandmother to take care of too! i mean, where's a husband when you need him??
Today was certainly interesting-there were moments of high stress and emotions followed by moments of practicality and calmness. It all started at about 3 am when my step mom called to tell me what was going on. As I am sure you have all experienced, late night calls are NEVER good, and with all the things i was imagining her to say, the threat of a tsunami in 8 hrs was actually a bit of relief...at first anyway.
As soon as we got off the phone, i woke up my mom and we immediately started packing to leave. With threats of flooding, i got to put into action that dreaded question that goes through your mind from time to time..."what do you save when your house is on fire??" Although they are just "things", these things in your house are what makes your house a home, what holds all your memories and your past...it's quite a stressful situation to have to deal with.
So, "what did i grab" you ask? Well for starters the computer and external hard drive, then all the documents in the safe (diplomas, marriage and birth certificates, social security cards, passports, insurance papers, etc), my good and meaningful jewelry, the PETS, and my froggie (that's right babe, no leaving him behind!). Of course i did try to move other important things upstairs and as high as i could just in case, but there is only so much room in the cars and it is just "stuff" ya know?
Anyway, besides those things mentioned above, i had to also think about all the necessities we would need for an undetermined and possibly LONG amt of time. With the babies now, i basically just packed some clothes for myself and left the rest of the room in the suitcases for the babies --diapers, wipes, clothes, medicines, blankets, binkies, blah blah blah...because really if your baby ain't happy, ain't nobody happy--i even went as far as to bring the swing with us! Although like a dummy i forgot to bring batteries for it and of course they had died just the night before for the first time since the babies were born--which leads me to the next topic...
My first official "emergency supply run" in the height of a whole island in panic mode. See, being that my house is just 5 ft above sea level and a mile from the ocean, we were in the evacuation area. So we packed up and headed to base to stay with my friend, Tracey, and wait out this looming disaster. As thankful as i am to have had a place to stay, it's quite inconvenient to be away from your home with all its supplies and food. These were the things i had not quite thought about in my rushed evac trying to beat traffic. So i head to the commissary (or grocery store, for you civilians out there) to grab a few things we need, D batteries for that swing being my number 1 concern! Oh, oh, oh, can i just say how incredibly crazy the commissary was!!!! i mean i expected busy...i was not expecting this--no parking spaces, no shopping carts, no spaces to walk down the aisles, FRANTIC people EVERYWHERE, constant PA announcements asking everyone to stay calm, be patient and limit the "essential items" so everyone can have some, customers arguing, the longest lines you have ever seen and NO BATTERIES! 2 hours later i walked out of the commissary with 2 bags, sweating and exhausted from all the commotion. I seriously NEVER want to do that again.
When i got back to Tracy's house, we put up the food, searched the house for all forms of battery powered light and candles, and filled all bathtubs, pots and pitchers with water. Whew, what a morning!
And really, i apologize for all this build-up just to abruptly end the story, but that's exactly what it felt like to be us. After that horrible commissary experience and preparing the house, i showered, fed the babies, layed down on the couch to watch the news about our impending doom, fell asleep and then woke up to "House" on the TV with a small news scroll at the bottom of the screen saying the warning had been lifted.
So that was it. Maybe the craziest morning of my life to be followed by nothing. And really, i am thankful. I truly believe God was watching over us and protected us from what could have been a terrible situation. Even though it was a lot of work, i don't regret packing up and moving out at all, i don't even regret going to the commissary-- better safe than sorry, ya know--especially now that i have two sweet but very helpless babies to take care of.
After packing everything back up in the cars, we headed back for our house and it was all very surreal. It was a beautiful afternoon, people were out riding bikes, driving towards the beaches with their surfboards, and there were even people playing in our neighborhood pool when we returned...just as if it was a normal day. And in reality, i guess it was a normal day...we just spent the day acting like it wasn't!