24 December 2011

Shakin' & Bakin'

House sitting
We're back at Chris & Paula's now!

Yesterday afternoon, while lazily surfing the web, I heard an approaching train. Then I realized there are no trains nearby, right around the time I noticed the house was shaking.  The ceiling swayed from side to side, glass windows distorting images of the sunny yard as their frames contorted.

Sam and I looked at each other across the room, mouths open, before I snapped my laptop shut, leapt off the sofa and said, "C'mon, get in the doorway!"

Sam jumped off his stool, glanced at my laptop in my arms and decided to bring his along too, but forgot it was plugged in and got pulled back for a moment. He quickly joined me in an adjacent doorway, where we stood, shock painting our faces, watching the kitchen pendant light swing back and forth.

It continued for a minute or so before the large quake dissolved into wee tremors. After those faded I still felt like the room was churning while I found my land legs.  Bella made some confused noises from the yard that made me wonder what dogs think of earthquakes.

Amazingly, there was no damage.  No pantry items or picture frames fell from their shelves, no glass shattered, and thankfully the walls did not crack, as the Arnolds just finished repairing the cracks from the last big quake. Everything seemed normal around us once again, so I assumed it must have been on the small side as far as earthquakes go. 

We are lucky Kate gave us a rundown on what to do in case of an earthquake before she left us to house sit. When I noticed we had no power, I knew to fetch the portable radio from their bedside table to hear the news.  From this we gathered that the quake had been much worse in the city center and in the Eastern suburbs. It was a 5.8 or a 6, according to various sources.  Thankfully there were no deaths, but some areas have been devastated with damage and liquefaction.  It's very sad, because the people of this area have been through this time and again during the past 15 months and they were hoping the end of the year might bring about some peace. Instead they've been hit with another large earthquake 2 days before Christmas.

Last night was nice, though. Sam and I made a HUGE batch of sushi rolls and feasted with the Arnold family when they got home, followed by my homemade L&P cake (a spin off of 7-Up cake).

Jason & Kate have 2 adorable boys, Lui & Nico, who took turns overwhelming us with cuteness. Whenever Jason ate wasabi, he would do a little spicy dance in his chair, which dissolved the boys into giggles. Lui & Arnold are very adventurous eaters for 7 & 9 year olds, much unlike I was at that age. It's so cool, and I hope my kids are like that.

Bad Toby
Naughty Toby kept climbing in the car when we carried in a load of stuff, but he was too cute to scold.

We said goodbye to the Arnolds this morning and returned to Chris & Paula's for 2 more days of house sitting. We've had a few small shakes throughout the day, but nothing like yesterday. We plan to spend Christmas day baking, cooking and skyping with family in the US.

I hope you're all having a merry Christmas!

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