Wednesday, March 16, 2011

De-lurking for Japan

Like many people I've spent the past few days reading and listening non-stop to news about Japan, and still it is all so inconceivable.  The effects of the earthquake and tsunami are utterly devastating and I think of all the people now living in fear of nuclear meltdown too and wonder how I would cope with all of that loss and uncertainty. A photo of a mom holding her young child up to be checked for radiation exposure sucked the wind out of me. 

Ruby asked a lot of questions tonight, particularly about the tsunami.  Her blue eyes grew big and round when I explained that the force and height of the water experienced in Japan's coastal areas would topple our house and push all the cars in the street around. She wanted to know how many people died and if we know any of them.  She wanted to know if anyone we know has ever even been to Japan.  She wanted to know how a tsunami starts in the first place. 

My doctor has been posting on her blog about possible radiation exposure where we live. It seems almost disrespectful to worry about some low level we might experience here but all the same I've increased our leafy green vegetables and sea vegetables to pump up our non-radioactive iodine levels.  I've heard before that most Americans are deficient in iodine but it never really seemed relevant before.  (Or, rather, so many other things seemed more urgent.)  Last night I made a lovely miso soup from homemade dashi with shitake, wakame, and kelp noodles and felt that the meal was both a tribute to the Japanese as well as the start of some protection against whatever radiation we may or may not be exposed to someday.

Two of my friends, Kate at mother words: mothers who write and Elizabeth at a moon, worn as if it had been a shell, are making a donation to the Red Cross for each reader who leaves a comment who has never left one before. I think that's a grand idea, and so I am borrowing it too.  If you are a new or infrequent commenter, leave one this time, and in a few days I will make a donation to the Red Cross.


  1. Wonderful that you're "spreading" the good. We received a note from our doctor's office stating that the risk of radiation exposure were "none" -- that the 5,000 miles were effective to dissipate the radiation. That being said, though, I wonder if there's a difference between southern and northern CA, the wind, the ocean currents, etc. -- I guess you and I both know what it's like to not be in control, anyway --

  2. I had never heard the word de-lurking before... OK, you caught me!
    I too have been following the sad events in Japan. For most of us, it is hard to imagine facing such devastating circumstances, but to some extent the Japanese people prepare for events similar to this, although I don't think even they could have imagined such devastation. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions (10% of the worlds active volcanos) are a way of life in Japan, and based on news reports about the history of the nuclear power plants... A nuclear accident was inevitable, even without help from mother nature.

    The Japanese live with honor, respect and what appears to be a very strong faith.

  3. Thanks for the reminder. Since I'm not a lurker on Elizabeth's blog, I thought I didn't qualify, but I will got to the other one!

  4. Elizabeth - I am glad to hear your doctor thinks the risk is minimal. (Have always loved what you say about your doctor!) I think that is the consensus here too -- those first few days some MDs were giving frequent, but calm, updates and recommending discussing a possible course of action with your doctor should the situation worsen. (I didn't, but now know a lot more about iodine)

    Terry-- thanks for stopping by. I think you are right that even with preparation no one could have expected events this catastrophic. I'm not prepared for a quake of much less magnitude and will looking at that this week.

    Karen -- thanks for stopping over at Kate's blog! I know you will like her writing and book recommendations.

  5. I think what you're doing as well as your blogging friends is wonderful, Mary.♥

    It's so frightening to watch the continual news footage of Japan, but it is more frightening to imagine the terror people must be feeling in the midst of the destruction.

    I'll definitely go to your friends' blogs even though we're donating already.

  6. Just stopping by to say I think it's great that you're writing for a cause.