I felt somewhat guilty that I seemingly pushed the sixth anniversary of the 22 February 2011 quake to the back of my mind. As I mentioned in my last post, I seem to be living day-to-day lately (being “present”), and this has caused problems like, well, everything seemingly sneaking up on me. I need to work on a better balance in that regard, the pendulum swinging a little too far the opposite way.
So, the week finishing today has thrown me a lot of different emotions. A diagnosis, a major fire, a victory, a good-bye, a frustrating day, and, finally, a “down” day.
Read My Topsy-Turvy Week
We really didn’t need the earth-shaking reminder on Valentine’s Day that the fifth anniversary of the devastating 22 February 2011 earthquake was coming up.
Somehow, it (literally) shook my confidence that everything was settling down again, and the ground below me could be trusted like it had been before the 4 September 2010 quake and its “rich aftershock sequence”.
Last year, on the anniversary, I turned to Jacqui and said, “I’m over it. It seems like so long ago. It’s time to move on.”
I don’t feel that this year. Maybe the Valentine’s Day quake coming so close to the anniversary has caused me more damage than I know.
We’d just returned from lunch with my parents in quiet suburban Chicago. I’d left my iPhone at home because it was early in the morning in Christchurch, New Zealand, and I figured no one would call at that hour.
Checking my phone, I saw there were several missed calls from a few different people; something very strange was going on.
There are plenty of funny and amusing stories Noel and I could tell you about our cheeky cat Phoebe, who we sadly had to put to sleep on Monday after a short illness, pictured above in one of her more mischievous moods, but one that keeps sticking out in my mind is an earthquake story we have about her.
I woke up in the middle of the night. It was one of those half-awake, half-asleep moments, where you seem to be somewhere between dreaming and waking. After the 22 February 2011 quake and subsequent aftershocks, I hadn’t been sleeping very well at night, so waking up several times a night was more normal than not waking up at all.
But at about 2 AM on 13 June 2011, waking up was something different.
In the second, larger 13 June 2011 earthquake, two of the large decorative concrete panels came off our work building. That, in turn, made the engineers unsure how the building would perform in another large earthquake (and since we were on the third quake above 6.0 at the time in a rather rich aftershock sequence, no one was ruling out anything by that point… Mother Nature seemed to turf the rule book out the window). So, Unit 7 in Amuri Park was red-stickered, and the owners came to see us to tell us that it was cheaper for them to demolish and replace the building than to repair it.