After

Mar 16th, 2011

After our very successful Thursday night dinner show, I returned home about 11 PM and Lenore said she had a plan. A plan for what? First we will pack our van with the Tsunami kits, extra jackets and blow up mattress. We’ll drive up to Haystack Heights and park it. Then we’ll come home, try to get some sleep, but know that we will be evacuating by 7 AM. That is when the waves could potentially reach the Oregon shoreline. We live just four houses from the beach–almost at sea level. We have lots of pictures saved in boxes as high as they could be in the garage and we thought that would do. Anyway, as I was fighting a cold, Lenore insisted I get some sleep. She slept on and off with the tv on, not knowing if their predictions and timing were accurate. What if we couldn’t hear the alarm, and so on it went through her mind. About 4 AM, as the East coast started to wake up and get the news, our good friend in Maryland called. Lenore told her she was ready. Alice insisted on doing more–she said do you have clothing, your important papers, etc? Well we didn’t. We just planned for our personal safety. Plus we  went into school to wake up our intern, who is here from the Oregon Culinary Institute for his externship, and who is staying in our studio at the school. He was sleepy but quickly packed his stuff and came along. By now the authorities were telling us to get to high ground before 6 AM and that was an hour away.

What strikes me looking back is that nothing mattered as much as our personal safety. It felt hopeless to begin to gather important possessions. Not enough time, not sure where everything is anyway, and not organized enough to do it well. Note to self, get organize for the next time. And next time is probable as long as we live on the coast. The planning and efforts by the authorities to educate us and prepare us is appreciated and our consciousness is awakened. We have had our tsunami kits prepared since the last time, but now we are questioning if  high ground is high enough. After watching the destruction in Japan we think there is going to be so much debris (our house included) pushing up the hill that maybe we need to reassess the distance required.

All this said, we must do our due diligence and make sure our emergency plans are more solid than this time, but we also must relegate the potential for such an event to the same place we put getting hit by lightening, which I guess, odds are better that will happen than a tsunami. We must go back to work and play in this delightful community, knowing that ours is probably safer than most. After all Californians go back to their homes after fires and earthquakes. Gratefully the filters in our minds keep us from going obsessive. We can move on and get back to day to day. Day to day, that for me keeps me mindful of the present and getting the most from it.

While we were in our safe place with friends up in Haystack Heights, we were surprised to see our Thusday night guests on the news as they were being evacuated from their hotel in Cannon Beach. By noon, when our town was declared safe to return, we once again saw the same customers walking through town. They came back! And so did our guests for Friday night, and Saturday too. In fact, it was a busy Savor Cannon Beach weekend! Our salt tasting was very well attended and I had a great time doing it. We will be doing that again! And the winter wine tour seemed to be quite successful too. So good was the weekend in fact by Sunday we slept till noon, forgetting we were to “spring forward,” and being completely rested we took the entire day to ourselves.