7 Years After the 22 February 2011 Quake

Memorials at the CTV site, where 115 people died in the building’s collapse on 22 February 2011. Credit: Joseph Johnson/Stuff

Today is an anniversary date in my life that I could live without.

Actually, it’s so bad that the other day Noel asked me, “Isn’t the anniversary of Grandpa’s passing about this time of year,” the day after that anniversary, and I felt guilty about forgetting that. (My Grandpa passed away on 19 February 2004.)

Last year, I spoke about feeling stuck, like 22 February 2011 is a fixed-point in my timeline, and, like a black hole, the rest of my life slowly spins around it, stuck in its gravity.
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Spring Has Sprung, 2017 Style

It’s been raining a bit this week, so it was nice today to get out and about in the sunshine. Usually on the weekend, I take a walk down to the supermarket and back to get some outside fitness time in.

One of the features along the walk is Northwood Park. It’s a large, 1 block wide by 1 block long park where the Northwood Fair and Aussie Rules Football matches take place. (Woo hoo.) Along Northwood Boulevard — one of the main thoroughfares through our neighborhood, also named Northwood — runs a drainage ditch with a bus stop and pull-over area in the middle.

That drainage ditch is the local hangout for a bird couple. The type of bird is known as a spur-winged plover, and I think they are adorable. (Thank you New Zealand Birds Online for putting a name to the bird.) I’m not sure if it’s the long legs or the cool color scheme or what, but these two birds strike me as, well, neighbors of the feathery kind.
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Aftershocks

I’ve said in previous blogs about the earthquakes we went through in Christchurch and Canterbury and New Zealand that, on the last anniversary (or maybe the one before) that I was “over it”. And it did feel that way until a few days ago.

The earthquake near Mexico City on 19 September 2017, and the images coming out of Mexico, have seemingly triggered anxiety about earthquakes. The last few days haven’t been horrible but they haven’t been pleasant either anxiety-wise.
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6 Years After the 22 February 2011 Quake

Oi Manawa, the official New Zealand national memorial to the 185 victims of the 22 February 2011 earthquake, shown at dawn on the 6th anniversary of the quake.
Oi Manawa, the official New Zealand national memorial to the 185 victims of the 22 February 2011 earthquake, shown at dawn on the 6th anniversary of the quake. GEORGE HEARD/FAIRFAX NZ

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.

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