It was 42 days ago. Just a short 6 weeks. Joe and I were getting ready to move to the bedroom and read for a while before going to sleep. I was standing in the kitchen and Joe was in the computer room. Then the shaking started, things started to crash to the floor and Joe running grabbed my hand and we found ourselves out on the driveway shaking. Not from being scared but because the quake was still moving us about.
That was a time that will never totally be erased from our lives.
Today as I look at two pair of shorts sitting on the couch near the front door, a bag packed with our personal papers sitting ready to be taken out, it reminds me that every day for the past 43 days we have had some sort of earthquake or aftershock. Yes, Joe and I and our neighbors made it through it with little physical harm to ourselves or our homes but the stress we still feel is unbelievable. We’ve been through a number of earthquakes previously, but nothing like this in its violence and duration. Lifelong Ecuador residents said the same.
If a shutter rattles, an almond fall from the tree onto our roof or a wall creaks we are both jumping to run outside. If I turn over in bed during the night I feel Joe tense up. I can’t imagine how those who lost a loved one, lost their home with all their belongings or were injured feel when they feel yet another aftershock.
I never totally understood Post-Tramatic Stress, I totally get it now!
This afternoon when I was out pulling a few weeds, the blackbirds that have a nest in the one tree were having fits because I was outside. I looked around and saw a baby bird on the ground. No wonder they were carrying on so.
A little while later two blackbirds were attacking something on the ground. It was a snake and Joe saw it retreat into the next yard through the hole we had placed in our wall to drain our outdoor shower. (Note to self, get a grid to plug that hole) I asked David our neighbor if he would be kind enough to find someone to clear part of the empty lot next door that is growing too close to our house. Within 5 minutes David and a young man named Jose arrived are at our gate. For $20 he will chop back all the trees, vines and other vegetation for at least 3 to 5 meters along the full length of our property.
It was like a jungle, tall bushes, flowering vines, trees… you name it and it was growing bigger every day and finding the snake in our yard pushed me to get someone to clean it up….I will have him cut the tall branches of the almond tree to stop the nuts from hitting our roof, and he will put the little bird back up in the nest before he leaves.
He did a great job, the yard is beautiful, except for plastic bags, bottles and some construction materials that Joe will clean up next week. All in all a great day!!!
The greatest thing each of us offers the world is ourselves, not a whirlwind of activity. People all around us are starving for love. People need our company, our presence and our comfort. ~ Susan K. Rowland (Make Room for God)
Almond Tree, Very Pretty….
With the start of the rain many new experiences have confronted us here in San Clemente. Besides the bugs those darn beetles that leave a yucky mess when they die or you step on them whichever comes first, the little gnats that love the outside walls of our porch and drop to the floor and cover it each morning, we have one more issue to contend with. The bomb-like bang of the almonds dropping from the tree behind our house. The rain must make them loosen up and in the middle of the night you will hear a loud bang as they hit the roof.
The fruit is really not that big on this tree but when it falls and hits the roof it does sound like someone has just jumped on the roof instead of this little nut falling on it.
This morning I went out to take the above photo and Pilly (Pee Gee) our neighbor was working on his truck. I explained about the bomb noise in the night and he said he would take care of it for me. Within minutes I heard him out there with a machete making quick work of this sleep stealer!