I woke up this morning a few minutes before the alarm went off. You know, where there's not really enough time left to catch a good snooze, but it's just that bit earlier than usual where you start the day with a slight sleep deficit? Yeh, that kind of 'early.'
I always check the news outlets over breakfast* so I sat down here in front of the computer with my morning coffee.
*Winston Churchill once said 'My wife and I tried to breakfast together, but we had to stop or our marriage would have been wrecked.' Himself and I have lunch together most days, and supper together always. Breakfast apart seems a good thing: I'm happy to emulate the Churchills on that one.
Of course, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan were on every news site. You may recall that a couple weeks ago I wrote about our houseguest, the Brit (well, Welshman is probably more correct) who moved to Japan a couple years ago but comes back to visit friends and family once or twice a year.
I sent an email, though he's in Osaka and sort of diagonally across the country from the earthquake zone in northwestern Japan. Took a while for him to respond, as so much of the Japanese communications network is overloaded and in places disrupted entirely.
Thankfully, he's fine. His biggest worry is trying to reach some of his Japanese friends, several of whom live north of Tokyo. Last he wrote me, he still hasn't heard from a couple of them. Things are understandably tense for him right now, but myself, I'm really glad he's okay.
We have another friend in Japan, an American. I went to school with Jesse - we were part of the original Home Guard of Corn County (don't ask). He worked his way thru college, then thru a master's degree, then thru a Ph.D. (Hard-working AND bright!) After he finished his doctorate, he was offered a teaching post at a Japanese university and went over to try it for a year. That was something like thirteen years ago. His wife is Japanese, they have two kids - and they live just north of Tokyo.
I haven't been able to reach him. I didn't want to inundate him with emails - there will be enough of that going on for anyone in Japan, I'm sure - and I know that where he is there's very likely to be problems with the telephone and internet connections. But I would rest easier if I could have even a brief reassuring note from him that he and his family are all okay.
I take my small anxiety and multiply it by 1000 and I begin to empathize even more with many of the people in Japan and some of the other areas that are suffering from the effects of the tidal waves.
So tonight, I'm grateful that we're alive and well, and that our families are just going about their business - and I'm sending up some heartfelt prayers for the people who are in the middle of disaster and chaos, and just plain not knowing where there loved ones are.
That's where my head is today. Tomorrow I'll blog the usual stuff, but today... well, it is what it is.
Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are...