Merry Christmas Christchurch

Saturday, December 24, 2011
My list of things to do yesterday seem pathetic this morning. I only managed to get about 4 things done, because we were yet again plunged into survival mode again at 2pm yesterday afternoon.

It was weird because at 1.30 after putting Alice to bed for her sleep I was walking down the hallway when I stopped suddenly because I heard a strange noise. A long, low rumble that wasn't quite the same sound as an airplane flying low overhead. I stopped to wait to see if there was any shaking, but there wasn't, so I just shrugged it off and carried on with my tasks. Then at 2 minutes to 2 o'├žlock, as my son was opening the garage door to go outside, and I was about to turn the gas on to make my raspberry cordial, we heard the rumble, then the roar, then the shaking. So what was that rumble at 1.30? A pre-tremor warning of some sort? I don't know. I do know that at 1.30 that sound made me pause and I actually considered phoning my husband at work to tell him to leave his office early, if he could.

It has been several months since I felt a shake. We were all hoping, here in Christchurch, that it was over. As the house rattled and rolled, I could hear Alice crying in her cot down the hallway, and I had to run to get her. In all these emergency situations, as a christian, I am so glad that my instinct is to call out to God. I just do it without thinking. That's a good thing, you know, for my faith. I'm glad that my sub-consciousness turns to God in emergencies.

The quake was strong enough to worry me about my husband in his 6 storied office building in the city. My daughter was also away, playing with her best friend in a suburb that has been very badly hit by the previous quakes. A house that has been thrown up and dropped and sunken. In their dining room, you can walk uphill from one corner and into the kitchen. So I was worried about her. They had been planning to go to the beach for the afternoon and I just hoped that they were already there. It turns out they weren't, but they were ok and spent the rest of the afternoon outside.

I couldn't get hold of my husband for a long time. The phone lines were down, but the worst thing was that his cell phone was ringing, but there was no reply. Finally, I got through and heard that he was out of the building and on his way home.
Then my brother-in-law, my husband's big brother, phoned to see if we were ok, and I struggled to keep the tears back. It was so nice to talk to a family member, I was relieved that Rob was ok, and that first half hour or so after the quakes is the worst, because you're usually on your own for awhile before you start hearing from other people.

Then the texts start coming in from friends and family and the phone calls, and the nicest part was having our neighbours call in for coffee and an earthquake de-briefing as they have done with every other major shake before. It's becoming a tradition with us, you know. 

But it won't ruin our Christmas. We're all safe. We have a good, strong house. I won't be going into the city for my haircut this morning - don't even know if they'll be open and I don't think I have the nerves to be trapped in a chair in a salon I was nervous to be in, even when things were calm. I haven't quite finished my Christmas shopping, but I can always pop down to our local shops, if they're open.

Merry Christmas Christchurch. We are learning to be strong. We are learning to love and appreciate life and each other.


Cottage Tails said...

Oh Boy!
Our tummies dropped when we heard the news. (((HUGS))))

Glad you are all safe!

Love Leanne

Jennifer said...

So glad to know you are all safe. I am so sorry that you keep having to go through all this!

Have a blessed Christmas!
Jennifer x

Miriam said...

Happy Christmas!!! Glad to hear you are okay it's a bit sad for us all but so glad for no loss of life. Bless you all x

bettyl said...

Glad you're ok. Didn't feel anything in Taranaki.

Heather L. said...

Oh dear! This is the first I have heard of it. I'm sorry!!! I hope there are no more over Christmas and you all have a special time together.

Cate said...

You were in our thoughts when the news updates began running.

Hoping that you did indeed have a wonderful Christmas, and here's to a New Year of new beginnings with no shakes in Tauranga! xx

Rebekah S. said...

I was in here yesterday while feeding Amelia and couldn't believe the news...AGAIN. I'm so glad your safe. Is there anything you need as you prepare to move as well. My thoughts and prayers are with you my dear friend!

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