Today that changed! It was a beautiful spring day and we'd just come home from the store about 30 minutes earlier. I was sitting in our dining room and Mallory was upstairs asleep in her crib, when the room started to shake. At first I thought, "oh, an earthquake". No biggie, as we'd just had one 2 days ago and I didn't even notice it. But then the windows rattled, pictures started shaking and a few fell off the walls. The back sliding glass door was banging like crazy, as were the blinds on the windows. It kept going and going, and got stronger and stronger. It wouldn't stop, and I start to get scared. When I stood up from my chair, I had to brace myself with my hand on the table. I thought it would stop after a few seconds, but it just kept going. So I ran upstairs to get Mallory. Sorry girlie, no nap for you today. She had fallen asleep, but I think the quake woke her up because as I entered her room, she was lying in her crib with a very confused look on her face, staring up at the ceiling with her hands on the slats of her crib. I scooped her up and went back downstairs and sat down in the living room. I guess I should have gone outside, but I was just seriously terrified and not sure what to do. I just knew I needed Mallory with me and I wanted it to stop. It lasted at least 3 minutes, if not longer. But it felt like an eternity!
After it FINALLY stopped, my neighbor called to check on me/calm herself down and then I got online to see what the deal was. Apparently it was an 8.8 quake off the coast, about 200 miles from Tokyo. They said it is one of the largest earthquakes to ever hit Japan.
Then the aftershocks started and kept going. And THEN about 30 minutes later ANOTHER quake hit. It was about 7.4 and the epicenter was on land, north of here.
Sadly, as I type this, they are showing a tsunami sweep across the Japanese coast and fires in various buildings around Tokyo and northeast from there. We aren't in danger of a tsunami (thank God we are pretty far inland so that isn't a real concern) and we live on base, so if something did happen, we are near resources at least.
I'm very thankful I was at home and not out and about in Tokyo or somewhere, as I am not sure how or when we'd get back home, as they have shut down all the airports and trains and some of the highways too. But I think about the Japanese people I know and how several of them have family in various parts of Japan. I pray they are all ok, as well as those people I don't know but may have been affected. Although I'll never be Japanese, or even fluent in the language, the Japanese people are some of the kindest souls I've ever met and my heart already aches for those who were truly affected by this. Watching the tsunami sweep across the coast taking cars and houses in its wake, I can only image there will be a death toll and that is so sad and devestating.
I have so many memories of Japan and have loved my time here. This will most definitely be another memory of our time here, although not one of my fondest. I'm hoping the aftershocks are over, but if not, I have a diaper bag packed and my shoes nearby. We are fine, thank God, and Brett is fine (he was at work). But say a prayer for those who have been affected and that Japan doesn't suffer to much from this natural disaster.