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    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    I had a completely different post prepared for today, but unless you've been under a rock for the past 24 hours, you'll understand why I want to talk about the earthquake we just experienced.


    It's funny that we left the apartment when we did. We purposely waited until the scallywag was awake from his nap before going to the market for dinner. We delayed our trip further so that Eldest was able to put away her laundry.

    We arrived at Nissin, grabbed what we needed, and headed toward the drink aisle to grab some libations when we felt it. I'm used to the subtle shifting in my equilibrium when tremors hit. Since it's usually small, I didn't stop immediately. Then the wall right next to the children and I holding all the glass bottles began shaking violently.

    We stopped. The Nissan employees beckoned us to an aisle away from the glasses, and just as we moved, the wall fell down. The store shook so violently it was breathtaking. Strangely enough, I had never felt more still. Eldest later assured me there was nothing even remotely still about what we'd experienced, but it was my perception that even though the entire store was swaying from side to side, I was not moving.

    Isn't that odd?

    Apparently things were going to grow more intense and guards from the street ran in to escort us from the second floor of the store to the main avenue. We had three cans of soup in the stroller.


    Phone signals were weak and no one was immediately able to reach one another.

    That has to be most blindingly, panic-inducing feeling. Being disconnected.


    Unaware of what is happening or what is yet to come.


    Thank goodness for Facebook! I may send Mark Zuckerberg a fruit basket.

    The children were just fine. Eldest was a true shining pillar of calm and good humor as she entertained the scallywag.


    Thank God for her!

    The clerks at Nissan were instantly cheered, laughing as I attempted to return the cans of soup. I was happy to bring merriment to an otherwise nerve-wracking moment.

    We walked home, unsure what to expect within the apartment. It didn't matter, of course. Power was a non-issue, but elevators were shut down as the quake wasn't quite over.


    Within moments of our arrival, we were rocked with yet another earth-shaking ride. We walked beyond our building and watched people pour out of work, leaving stores en masse. They crossed to the median, all on their phones and smoking.


    No one seemed particularly concerned, and for the first time I truly felt like a duck out of water.

    I still hadn't heard from Husband, but I was hopeful as my messages finally went through. Thanks to Mark Zuckerberg, my heart was calmed considerably when I learned husband was no longer under his desk, but taking iPhone pictures of an uncontrollable fire in Odaiba.


    We finally reached one another via Facebook, made sure everyone was okay, then proceeded to try and figure out what was going on.


    Two days ago, my Facebook friends heard me bemoan the mild aftershocks we were experiencing thanks to some off-shore quakes near Miyagi. We can all look back at it now with an eerie sense of foreshadowing. While in Nissan, at 2:46 PM, another off-shore earthquake struck Miyagi, measuring a rare 8.9 on the American Richter scale. Within minutes Tokyo was hit, and moments after that, a tsunami alert issued.

    It should surprise no one that the Japanese are incredibly prepared and on top of their emergency services. Unfortunately, not even their warnings could stop the devastation that hit Miyagi.

    Please keep all those in the Northeastern part of Japan, and those along the coast in your prayers. A tsunami has a tragic ripple effect and for many, everything is gone.

    Keep our spirits in your prayers as well. We are so blessed that we are safe, we are not injured, and though it is small, our apartment is fine as well.


    The children are doing well. They're playing and watching "The Incredibles" as I type. My nerves are, understandably, frayed. After walking to our apartment on the 21st floor, I was tired, aching, and shaky from the loss of adrenaline.


    We're still having aftershocks and they're quite intense. After experiencing this first real violent show of nature, I think my flight instincts are in high gear and I'm prepared to grab the children and fly down the stairs with our emergency bag should it become necessary.

    Can I be totally honest and express my desire to be back home in the States now?


    I'm off to drink some coffee and hug my babies so very extra tight.

    Husband...come home soon. I love you.

    22 Responses to “

    2PreppyGirls.com said...

    It is 7am and I have only Just Now found out about the quake!

    Oh Honey, I am SO THANKFUL that you and your sweet peeps are alright!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you so much for keeping your bloggy friends in the loop and let us know if you need treats from the US and we will be happy to send.

    You were my very first thought when I saw the news. I am so glad you are alright, Elizabeth!!!!!

    BIG HUGE HUGS from your Preppy Family,

    Heather said...

    As soon as I read about what was happening in Japan my thoughts and prayers went out to your family. I'm glad you guys are ok.

    Carole said...

    Found you and your earthquake post via 2PreppyGirls.com

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and thank God you and yours are well.

    Southern Living: Preppy Style said...

    I thought of you the second I woke up this morning. Husband turned on the TV and I said, oh my gosh, did it hit Tokyo, I hope Elizabeth, my blog friend and family are okay! Husband also has friends in Japan though I'm not sure where. It's nervewracking to watch it from here, I can't imagine what it must be like for you. You and all of Japan and those affected are in my prayers.

    Ruth said...

    OMG!! I woke up to the news Japan had been hit by a big earthquake. I am glad that y'all are safe. My prayers are that you will continue to be safe.

    love y'all

    Your Southern Peach said...

    I had to log on to see if you and your family were safe. Thanks for posting and my prayers go out to you and the lovely country of Japan.

    High Heeled Life said...

    OMGosh... I was just listening to our Breakfast TV ... and the first thing that came to my mind was you and your family as they showed video of the disaster that is happening.. I had to log on and get your email .. and was happy to find you had just posted and are ok.. though I'm certain quite distressed. Know that you and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers ..and sending you many blessings to help keep you all safe!!! xo HHL

    Kerri said...

    Beth!!! I had not heard the news until this morning and I got chills from head to toe until I could get on the computer and see that you were okay. I am praying that you will have the peace that passes understanding in this stressful time. I am so very thankful you and your family are okay!!

    Mrs. Cozy Home said...

    You know, they say that feeling -- the ability to feel still inside and survey chaos around you -- is actually a classic heroic trait.

    Not everyone has it, it's chemical, and sounds like it came in to play that day.

    Katherine said...

    Thnking about you and your family Elizabeth. Sending lots of love and hugs your way. I'm so glad you posted on here! I was going to get your parents' phone number and call them if your blog wasn't updated! (They are neighbors of a friend of my husband's over in Russelin' Leaves in Oxford!) Take care!

    Katherine said...

    I'm so glad you updated your blog! I immediately thought of you and your family this morning when I heard the news. Sending hugs and lots of prayers your way. If your blog wasn't updated this morning I was going to call a friend of my husband's whose parents live next door to your parents in Russelin' Leaves in Oxford. I'm so glad you and your family are okay!

    Monograms and Margaritas said...

    Not only was I worried when I heard about the devastation last night on the news, but this morning my Gran (who adored your guest entry) also asked about you and your lovely children. I am endlessly glad to hear that you and your loved ones are safe and without injury.

    This entry brought me to tears. You took something bright and scary from my TV screen and made it seem all the more real. I am so glad you were able to reach your husband. I hope he was able to return home quickly and I hope your nerves are soon eased. I will keep Japan and your family in my prayers.



    Bella Michelle said...

    I had to come and check on you this morning, my out of the South Belle! I am glad you are safe and I fully understand your homesickness on this day. Sending prayers that you will have an extra measure of resolve and peace (not to mention NO more shakes!)(((hugs))) my dear friend.

    Casey said...

    When I saw the news this morning, I immediately wondered how everyone was. Sounds like a trying day, but so glad to hear that everyone is home safe and sound.

    JMW said...

    So glad to hear you and your family are safe and unhurt. How very scary for you! We've been watching the news and seeing images of the devastation. Those people in that area are in my prayers, as are you and your family.

    Fashion Flirt said...

    I am so glad you're OK. As soon as I read about the earthquake, I checked your blog to see if you'd updated, and make sure that you, Eldest, Husband and Scallywag were OK (I've been reading faithfully since the Fall 30*30 challenge, I think this is my first comment).

    Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

    I just came across your blog from another one you commented on and saw you were in Tokyo so had to click over. How awful everything is over there. My prayers are with everyone, glad you are okay.

    Beth said...

    Wow! So glad you and your family are okay.

    The Comeaux Family said...

    Found your blog through Katherine Thornton. Thank you for sharing your expereince. I find myself wanting to read it repeatedly. Prayers of thanks and prayers for peace are sent your way.

    Rambling Girl said...

    I am so glad to hear your family is alright! I have a online friend in Osaka and was worried about his family also...I thought of your family when I heard it on the news. I can only imagine how everyone is handling this during this difficult time.

    My prayers are with you and your family as well as the reast of Japan. Thanks for sharing about your ordeal.

    Will continue to keep the everyone in my prayers and the rebuilding begins!

    Hugs to all of you!Thank goodness for FB!

    paula said...

    thankful for you all.

    Noriko Nakada said...

    A friend shared your blog and I'm so glad she did. You words and images convey the beauty within this tragedy in a lovely way. Thanks for this peak into Tokyo...