SLIDER

Aftermath

Monday, September 6, 2010
When we were kids we used to sing a little song like this. . . I wonder if anyone else remembers it.

Don't build your house on the sandy land,
don't build it too near the shore.
For it might look kind of nice,
but you'll have to build it twice,
oh you'll have to build your house once more.

(I think it was a Sunday School song).

Oh dear, how true those words ring now. It's like people who build on the clifftops of Auckland. (Weren't they listening in Fifth Form Geography class)?

Reading through the news accounts of the devastation of so many homes and the shock in the faces of so many people in Christchurch I was nearly bought to tears today. I saw one of my favourite shops get demolished. Such a familiar sight as I drove past it four or five times a week. I have ornaments in my home that I love that I found in that shop. Just on Thursday I drove past and admired a beautiful white chair and an ornate birdcage in the window. I guess it's all gone now. One of my close friends' house in uninhabitable. Another friend lost her chimneys. One friend has a huge gap in her floor. Most everyone I know has had trouble with hot water cylinders. And every single person wants to forget that one very long minute so early in the morning.

It's a feeling of being so very thankful that we have been largely untouched - except for the trauma and a few breakages. I still wake up with a jolt at night randomly. Everytime a plane flies overhead I think it is the rumble starting again and my whole body tenses, ready to spring out of bed.

But there's also the feeling of helplessness - unable to help, unable to do anything practical when we live so far out. We have good, uncontaminated water out here, and our power never went out. Some people still have nothing. I felt slightly better today when a friend asked if he could stay over tomorrow night to get hot food and a warm shower and restock his water bottles. (He helped build our house, so he ought to know it's strong, right)? And some other friends are on evacuation notice down by the Waimakariri River and will be coming here with their four children if they have to leave.

Just a little thing that I can do in the vastness of such need.

7 comments :

Cadi said...

While it might be "just somethin' small" to you, I'm sure to them it's wonderful to know they can come to your home.

I've been trying to find a place where to donate to the relief effort, but I haven't been able to locate anything so far. Let me know if you know somethin'.

Clara said...

I think I have that song on tape somewhere, we sang it as kids too!

How wonderful that your house itself is undamaged, allowing you to be able to provide somewhere for others to come if they need to. I can only imagine how horrible it is every time you wake up in the night :( I hope you get some peaceful sleep very soon!

Sandy Addison said...

Thanks for this Rach I have been wondering how you are getting along. I have been watching the news and wondering. It must be so unsettling to drive around and see thing so changed - That happened to us 18 months ago when the suburb Anthony grew up in was devastated by a storm and all around his parents home had houses damaged and trees ripped out of the ground. But good came out of it his parents got to know neighbours they had never met

bettyl said...

Glad you are ok. I can't imagine all the emotions that come with such an ordeal. I'm sure those coming to your home are very happy to have such good friends.

frangipani said...

Good on you for helping where you can. It's just been so terrifying for all of us. take care.

call*me*kate said...

God bless you for opening up your home to those in need. I've been praying for you and your family, plus the people in your area. My husband reads Radio New Zealand online every day, so we have been keeping up. (We don't have TV and the radio doesn't tell a lot.) We have been interested in New Zealand for several years, it looks like such a beautiful place. I hope those in your area can get the help they need soon to begin rebuilding their homes/buildings soon.

momentsofwhimsy said...

Hey there, glad that you are okay, and able to offer assistance to others. Been following the news up here, and hubby's boss is down there now trying to get the food distribution centres for the major food chains operational. Hubby may have to go take over.

Thinking of you!

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