Sunday, September 11, 2016
“An earthquake is such fun when it is over.” ― George Orwell
It seems I may have spoken too soon in yesterday’s blog. No sooner had John and Shaban left and we had an earthquake (5.7 according to the BBC) whose epicenter is on the map at the right. Bunda (where we live) is at the tip of the watery boot kicking East from the bottom of Lake Victoria. Our house shook for 67 seconds which is a long time for a house with cement floors to be shaking. We lived through a much worse earthquake (a 7.3) when we lived in Los Angeles, but like Karen said then and said again yesterday, “If you can’t trust the ground, then who can you trust?” Wasn’t long after this that Karen fell and twisted her ankle and banged her knee on the concrete floor. The doctors who always come to help were out of the country, so it was me who jumped in and got her knee wrapped and her ankle braced. Since I went through a similar, if worse, experience, I knew what to do, and we just happened to have a walker to help her get around. I had R.I.C.E. drilled into me in Nairobi for ankle problems: R est, I ce, C ompression, and E levation, so I did all those with her, and she is better this morning and the swelling is way down. Usually, we are on our own on Sundays, but Rachel insisted on coming and helping and cooking for the whole day. An earthquake and a fall and a hurt ankle, but us old folks are tough and we’re doing just fine, thank you very much--even with two of us limping—we’re still walking and smiling.
Today is a sad anniversary of a terrible event that happened on my oldest son’s birthday. Chris is 49 years old today and is on a hundred mile bike ride in upstate New York. When the disaster struck New York City on 9/11/2001, Chris called a few days later to ask if he could legally have his birthday changed. Sadly, he couldn’t and living in New York City, his birthdays since then have been low key affairs or held somewhere else in the state. He called last night since he wouldn’t be available today (doesn’t take his cell phone on his long rides and wouldn’t answer it if he did). We told him that forty-nine years ago, Karen and I were at the movies watching Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn in a film called “Two For The Road” when Karen went into labor and we left before it was over to rush to the hospital in Abilene, Texas, the very same hospital where Karen had been born. Chris was able to order that movie and he and Brenda watched it last night. We were at that movie on September 10th and if Karen hadn’t been in labor for over twenty hours, Chris wouldn’t have had his birthday on the anniversary of a tragedy but what can you do? We were sure happy to see him when he arrived—just can’t believe it was almost a half century ago.
If any of you were surprised to hear we had an earthquake, you should know we have an active volcano just 200 miles from here, and, if you ever see a big enough map, you can see the Great Rift Valley that runs from Tanzania through Kenya and north to Ethiopia. That “Great Rift” was caused by an earthquake sometime in the far distant past, but it is a reminder that we live where these things happen. There is no place on this planet that is free from natural or manmade disasters, so you’d better get right with God and live your life in imitation of Christ. Eternity has the same slogan has good real estate, “Location, location, location.” Amen.