Tsunami mommy.

01.04.13 AK earthquake

Photo Courtesy of, yet again, Google Images.

(Don’t let the title of this blog post fool you. I am not referring to myself. I am 150% not pregnant, nor will I be for a while. Also, do not let the rumors mislead you either. According to our friend, Ben, I’ve been pregnant for the last 2 years. Talk about a long gestational period.)

Speaking of, my dad just asked me the other day, “Are you pregnant yet?” Cheese and rice, Dad. NO!!!!!! My mom said we should have babies since there is nothing else to do in Alaska. Valid point, but still, HELL NO. But, you never know….maybe in the next couple years I WILL be writing about a ninja in the oven. Only time will tell….

Day 2 in Sitka

I’m beginning to accept the reality of our situation. I realized that life is too short to be pissed off or stressed out. Also, I realized I need to embrace the opportunity for adventure and enjoy every moment. We have the opportunity to live in Sitka, AK for two years AND be able to go back home afterwards. Not a bad deal. We get to experience a new place and make new memories. I keep reminding myself:

“Do not dwell in the past. Do not dream of the future. Concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha

I intend on doing just that….

My mornings consist of sleeping in, making myself breakfast, showering (when I feel like it), hang out with the dogs, read, and browse Facebook on my BlackBerry. Riveting.

By the time my husband comes home for lunch to eat and drop the truck off, I only have about 3 hours left of daylight. That’s another joy of Alaska in the winter. At least I’m not up north where they have ZERO daylight. At least we get 7 hours…

I started exploring the island by driving from one end to the other. You can’t really go far, but I did my best. I drove up Halibut Point Road to the very end. It’s amazing how the weather changes in just a few miles. The temperature dropped nearly 5 degrees and there was about 2 inches of slush/snow on the road. I ventured through town; the main part of town and some of the side streets. (Word to the wise, some side streets should be avoided. Yikes. I could feel myself tense up and hope to buddah that I wouldn’t break down or need directions.)

Pretty soon, my exploring has to come to an end due to the lack of daylight. Thankfully, both grocery stores have DVD kiosks where you can rent a movie for $1.20 (+tax). Not too shabby, I guess…at least for a bored housewife.

After fixing dinner, we set up our movie area. This consists of pulling over one of the dog crates in front of our air mattress, propping up the laptop on its case, and leaning the pillows up against the wall. The true cinematic experience. After watching “The Dark Knight Rises,” we started dozing off…

It was that moment where I wasn’t fully awake, but so close to dozing off when I could hear the rattling of the big picture window on our left (we set up our bedroom downstairs in the living room temporarily). It was shaking like there was severe high wind. During this time, I could ALSO feel our air mattress shifting back and forth (it was not a moment of, “when the air matress is a rockin’, don’t come a knockin’), the room was also shaking. HOLY SHIT, the whole house is shaking!!! Elliott just laid on our air mattress while Finley had jumped up and bounded through the house barking. After everything subsided, we were still trying to piece together everything that happened. “Was that….an earthquake??” Sure enough, about 10 minutes after that happened, my husband’s co-worker called us. I was listening to my husband’s responses….”Wait, what?! What’s going on?!” “You’re shittin’ me.” “OK, we’re leaving now.” At that moment, I started to feel a bit of panic. Something bad is happening. At first I thought it had to do with their work and had nothing to do with what just happened. He got off the phone and said, “Get your shit, we gotta go!!” Wait….WHAT?!?!?! I probably sounded like Kristen Wiig in “Bridesmaids,” “Whaaaaat is haaaappeniiing?!” Not even thinking about living at sea level…on an island…after an earthquake…that a tsunami is possible. Holy shit. Seriously?! We were in a mad dash to grab whatever we could, grab the dogs, and evacuate to higher ground. Luckily, the town of Sitka goes from sea level to mountains. Completely clueless, I grabbed a bag and threw in water, granola bags, dog food, toothbrushes, my jewelry (in case our house is submerged and I need to accessorize–kidding), my contacts, and a cashmere scarf. When we got outside, the sirens were going full blast. That’s a terrifying noise. I can only imagine that’s what it was like during a bomb raid. We loaded up the dogs and hauled ass up the street. We zig-zagged back and forth looking for any incline in the street. I called my parents (2:30ish am their time and woke them up from a dead sleep) with awesome news….”Dad, there’s been an earthquake and now we’re evacuating to higher elevation due to the tsunami warning.” Comforting for Mom & Dad, I’m sure.

We found ourselves at the end of a cul-de-sac with numerous other vehicles. We turned on the radio and listened to the local A.M. radio station. We learned that it was a 7.5 – 7.9 magnitude (depending on the source) earthquake 125 miles south of Sitka. The tsunami warning was from SE Cordova (Northwest of here) to Vancouver Island. The radio announced that the wave would hit at 12:45 am.

12:45 am rolled around, no reports of a wave. Phewww.

We sat in the truck for nearly 3 hours until the warning was cancelled. Thank goodness. Time to go home. By the time we got home, we were wide awake, and afraid to fall asleep in case another one hit. Awesome.

Well, that was a fun night. Haven’t even been here a week and THAT happens? I told my husband and parents that if bad things continue to happen, I’m packin’ my shit and going home.

Come to find out, the “wave” was less than 1/2 foot tall. All of that terror for 4 inches?!?! (That’s what she said.)

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One thought on “Tsunami mommy.

  1. Julie Bennett says:

    Ali – I love your blog! You kill me! I’ve been entertaining Rich with excerpts. Keep it coming. So cool about the whales. Hope all your stuff shows up really soon.

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