Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Speaking of This and Speaking of That

The numbers coming out of our two most recent disasters just blow me away. I can't get over the numbers. Imagine if a windstorm and flood wiped out Everett by killing every single man woman and child. Next imagine if an earthquake leveled Mukilteo leaving no survivors. Finally, let's say that the Seattle Metropolitan area experienced so much damage that half of the population was left homeless. The truth is I cannot imagine but these are the numbers of victims we are hearing about.

The last major earthquake in Seattle was in 2001. It measured a 6.8 and lasted forty seconds. Think about forty seconds: One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three,.....all the way to one thousand forty. It was terrifying for me as my house shook and rolled. My son was in high school and my daughter was in middle school---brand new schools that held up well. They were not frightened as they ducked under their desks. Each of their schools is about the size of the school that collapsed in China killing most of the students. In China, the quake measured orders of magnitude greater at a 7.9 and it lasted over two minutes. So, just keep counting past one thousand forty and keep going until you pass one thousand sixty and then count all over again. All of those families.......Geez! The idea of an earthquake leveling Mukilteo is actually more probable than possible.

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The only damage we had besides frayed nerves was this signed print by artist Marlow Urdahl of Bozeman, Montana. It crashed on the fireplace and the broken glass left a big scratch across it. Nevertheless, I'll keep it forever. Imagine your whole house gone, your neighborhood gone, your town gone and friends and family killed. Hopefully, some sort of help would arrive quickly but if Katrina is any indication, I'm not so sure.

Anyway, on to happier thoughts. Speaking of Bozeman. Bozeman is where Montana State University is located and where Dave and I attended college. Next month we will celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. Our wedding was in Helena but we became engaged in Bozeman. On Mother's Day, as we were enjoying a nice dinner, we reminisced about our engagement dinner. We were dining on a couple of lobster tails we bought at Costco and this started the conversation.

Probably, we had lobster that summer evening so long ago. My gosh, we were younger than our children are now and were in the midst of a hippie stage except for this particular evening when I remember I dressed up a little in a dark blue mini-skirt. Actually, Dave and I had broken up several months before. Over the summer, he was working for Coca-Cola in Helena hauling pop and driving trucks. I stayed in Bozeman to go to summer school. Since we were not together, I dated a couple of different guys that summer. As a matter of fact, when Dave called me and said he wanted to drive from Helena to take me out to dinner, I had to break a date with a pre-law student I kind of liked.

Dave made the dinner date sound important so I guessed his plan was to ask me to get back together again. We went to the Topper Restaurant which no longer exists but it was one of the nicer places in Bozeman at the time. Not only did Dave want to get back together but he actually proposed with a ring and everything. Since his Dad was a jeweler, he had access to such things. His Mom thought he was being presumptuous to pick out a ring without asking me first. She helped him with the selection and asked what he would do if I said no. "She won't say no!" was Dave's response. I was shocked and thrilled and said "Yes!" Never did I have any doubts or regrets about my answer.

Yes, we probably had lobster and steak or prime rib that night and even though we were only 19, we probably had some wine. The drinking age in 1972 in Montana was 19. Because of the Vietnam war, while we were in college, they changed the voting age to 18 and the drinking age to 19. Lawmakers figured that since over 40,000 kids had given their lives for that ridiculous war, the least they could do was to let them have the right to vote and the right to have a beer now and then.

Our lobster tails from Costco were not as good as the Topper's but it was fun to remember. While we ate, we spotted one of our bald eagles with a fish dangling from its talons as it landed in the giant doug fir. She was eating her Mother's Day dinner, too, and her life partner was not far away.

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UPDATE: I took this picture of our eagle a few minutes ago at 2:30 in the afternoon. Our skies are dark dark dark today but by Thursday, the sun is supposed to be here with 80 degrees.