Tsunami Readiness

The first day we arrived for our work/camp hosting at Bullards Beach State Park, we attended a meeting with our Park Ranger, who along with telling us all about our work duties, also told us about Tsunami’s, and showed us where the Tsunami evacuation route is located.

I tried not to let the idea of a Tsunami worry me too much because I like to think positive and want to believe it won’t happen… However, it is real hard not to think about Tsunami’s around here because everywhere you go there is a big sign reminding you of what to do and where to go in the event a Tsunami strikes.

I finally decided Bill and I better get educated as best we can on exactly what to do if a Tsunami does strike while we are here. So, last Thursday evening, Bill and I attended a Tsunami readiness class offered right here in the park. The park brought in an expert guest speaker from Coos Bay to enlighten us on the facts about Tsunami’s. It was very informative, and we learned a lot about how Tsunami’s happen, and how often they occur, on average, here on the Oregon Coast.

I was surprised to learn that, on average, a Tsunami has hit the Oregon coast, every 250 years. Right here, in this very spot where we are located. Now imagine my “deer in the headlights” look when the instructor went on to inform us that it has been 315 years since the last Tsunami hit. He went on to tell us that when (not if) the next one hits, it’s going to be huge. He said the first and only warning we will have is the huge earthquake that will proceed the Tsunami. He told us the earthquake will be violent, and last for at least five full minutes. He actually set a timer and continued talking just to show us how long that five minutes will be… He said we will think the world is going to come to an end, but it’s not, and that we will think we are all going to die, but we won’t. He said the earth will be shaking so hard we won’t be able to stand up or walk at all. He told us to drop, take cover, and hold onto whatever we can find as protection against things falling on us. He said when the shaking stops we will have about 10 minutes to get to our ‘safe zone” before the Tsunami hits. Then he said “now I don’t tell you this to scare anyone, but rather to help you understand how important it is for you to be ready”. OMG! Well it’s already too late to try not to scare me about this! And, now, knowing all that will happen, that put a whole new level of importance on making sure Bill and I know what to do, and where to go, not if, but when the next Tsunami hits!!

Important things we learned were to have a “to go bag” packed, and at the ready, to grab and run with. In the grab and go bag you need water, medications, food, flash light, extra set of cloths etc. for at least three days. The instructor told us we will be on our own because bridges will be gone, there will be no power because all the power lines will be gone… and no one is going to be able to come and get us for days, or even weeks… You better know I’m a planner, and our backpacks are packed and ready right this very minute..

We were also told to practice the Tsunami evacuation route so we know exactly where to go and how long it will take us to get there. So this morning, instead of taking my usual walk around the park, Bill and I practiced the Tsunami evacuation route and timed how long it will take us to reach “the safe zone”.

This is the route we have to take. The pictures are not as sharp as I would like, but when your trying to run and shoot pictures at the same time, you take what you get… Also keep in mind, after the earthquake stops, you have about 10 minutes to get to the “safe zone”.

So, here we go… We have to leave our campsite

run past all the other 100 plus campsites

run down this long road

turn a corner and run down another long road,

turn another corner and go to the Tsunami route trail head

run up the evacuation route that will take us up 80 feet high. It’s a long, winding trail.

Oh, look, sand… now where did that come from. Keep in mind our park is 3 miles from the ocean/beach…

keep running up, up, up…

dodge trees

 

Oh, more sand…

and try not to trip on tree roots that stick up out of the ground and might be hidden by all the sand… I asked Bill where he thought all the sand came from? He said he didn’t know, but it was probably from the last Tsunami. Are you kidding me!!! This is supposed to be a “safe zone” that will keep us above the Tsunami waters…. Now, I’m not always the brightest bulb in the bunch…, but something is  not adding up for me with this picture… Especially now that I remember the instructor saying some Tsunami waves can reach heights of 100 feet or more… This “safe zone’ is only 80 feet high… Do you think that adds up??

But no matter how high the “safe zone” is, it’s better than staying in the campground where the Tsunami waters are for sure going to cover everything… so just keep on running until…

finally, you reach a clearing which is the meeting place for us, and all the other hundreds of people that will be heading for the same little spot…

Bill said it took us seven minutes to reach the “safe zone” from our campsite. Not good enough, because we were fully dressed with shoes etc. If we were to have to do this in the middle of the night, we would have to get dressed, or at least put our shoes on, then grab our to go bags… Thankfully, they are all packed and ready to go..

I just hope all the other folks around here are packed and ready like we are. Because, if they aren’t, and I saw some little kid looking at me hungry, or cold… I would have to give them all our stuff and we would end up just like we never prepared at all..

Stay Tuned!

 

 

Looking For Common Sense

Anyone that knows me, or follows my blog, knows my husband, Bill, and I legally adopted our first granddaughter, Shantel. She had both eyes enucleated due to cancer before she was two years old. If anyone reading this doesn’t know what enucleated means. The dictionary says it means ” removal of an organ or other mass intact from its supporting tissue”. In layman terms, it means both of her eyes were taken out. I hate to be that blunt, but as you read this post you will understand why.

I cannot even begin to tell you how many people, from the time Shantel first lost her sight, to this very day, come up and ask what caused Shantel to be blind. When she, or I, explain she had to have both eyes removed due to cancer, and that what they are seeing when they look at her are prosthetic eyes… These folks will actually ask if she can see anything through her prosthetic eyes?I have to say, I think sometimes, the folks Shantel ,and/or Bill, and I come in contact with when we are out together, just don’t grasp what we are telling them about Shantel’s loss of sight. They ask questions before they really think about what they are saying…

But I will never, ever, excuse that kind of questioning from people in agencies, that are supposed to be there to help people in their time of need.

To say the very least, Shantel losing her sight, and all that followed trying to help her become the contributing member of our society she wants to be, was a horrific experience that I would not wish on anyone. But it was a journey both Bill and I were willing to take with Shantel to save her life and because we love her.

Because Shantel is totally blind, she can, and does, receive social security disability insurance from time to time. I say from time to time, because Shantel doesn’t want to depend on any government assistance. No, she wants to make her own way in life.

Shantel went to a Community College, and graduated with two AA degrees. One in psychology, and one in general studies. And, she also has a license to sell life and health insurance in Arizona…

All Shantel wants to do is work. When she graduated college, she made it her job to find a job. She went on endless interviews. I took her to these interviews, so I know first hand what she was told.

Over and over, Shantel was told ” you don’t have enough work experience… Of course not, when she was in High School, like all her High School peers, she applied for jobs in every burger joint etc. around our community, and not one place would hire her stating “we have more qualified applicants”…

Fast forward several years… Shantel is out on her own. Living in a one bedroom apartment. She finally got a job working in a Call Center. She LOVED working there even though they couldn’t support her need to have a screen reader on her workstation. She went through two training sessions, because they were not ready for her to take active calls after she graduated the first class… So, finally, she was assigned to listen in on calls with new employees and help them know what to say to the customer… She worked there for about nine months when the company was sold, and the people in the division Shantel worked in where let go.

So, what now for Shantel? Well, she applied for unemployment benefits, and was told she would have to go to get a note from a doctor that says she is “visually impaired” before she can receive unemployment benefits.  Shantel told the unemployment office she has a doctor’s letter from Social Security stating she had both eyes enucleated before she was two years old.

This is where I’m looking for  “common sense”. .. The unemployment agency actually told Shantel,  “you need to have a letter stating that you are still blind today”. Apparently the unemployment agency does not understand what enucleated means…

So Shantel had to go to yet another Doctor today, just to give her a letter saying… YES, YOU ARE TOTALLY BLIND, and your EYES ARE NEVER GOING TO GROW BACK!!!

OMG, as her parents, and going through all that we have gone through just to get Shantel where she is today, which is where we are so PROUD of her to be… We just can’t believe she still has to deal with this kind of incompetence …

If you know where common sense is… please let me know!

Beyond belief…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lesson In Futility

One of the items for sale in the Lighthouse where Bill and I work two days a week, is a Jigsaw Puzzle of the Lighthouse. The pieces come in a cute little pail, and I decided we should purchase one so we could work on it together in the evenings when it was raining to hard to be out and about…

Now, I’ve never been big on games and such, but I thought this jigsaw puzzle might be perfect on rainy nights, because we don’t have any TV reception here…

I don’t know whatever possessed me to think this was going to be a good thing, because I’ve never put together a jigsaw puzzle, and had no idea how frustrating they can be when all the pieces begin to look-alike, and I have the patience of a gnat for things like this. I just thought this was a small item, that won’t take up much space in our RV, so we bought it.

 

Well, the first thing we realized, a little too late, was that we needed to go buy some kind of board, or tray, to put the jigsaw puzzle together on. Because, if we put it together on the table, we need to be able to pick it up and move it when we have dinner or need to work on the computer…

So we went off to Walmart to purchase a cutting board to work the jigsaw puzzle on. We decided on a cutting board because I have a rule of making sure anything we put in the RV needs to serve at least two purposes… I wish I would have remembered that rule before we bought the jigsaw puzzle..

Finally, it was time to begin working the jigsaw puzzle. We spent hours here and there, spread over many days, working on our puzzle. We talked, and laughed, and had a lot of fun trying to get all the little pieces into the right positions… And, Isn’t it pretty?

What a great feeling of accomplishment and creativity it was to place the very last puzzle piece into its proper place. We stood back and admired our work with big smiles on our faces.. Then, the “big picture” sunk into my head. What are we going to do with our master piece now? We can’t frame it because we have no wall to hang it on, we don’t have a coffee table to set it on etc. .. No, it’s still sitting on the cutting board that we move from the table to the sofa and back again as needed. All we can really do with it is take it apart and put it back in the cute little pail it came out of…??

The dictionary says the definition of futility is “having little or no purpose or importance or has little positive outcome“. That’s exactly how I feel about our jigsaw puzzle right now… Ha!

Bill said “we can at least use the cutting board for the next jigsaw puzzle we buy” to which I promptly said “why would we ever need to ever buy another jigsaw puzzle when we can just keep putting this one together and taking it back apart again? He said “you’re the one that thought it would be a good, fun, thing to do” and I said “well, what do I know, I also thought it would be a good idea for us to volunteer to take down snow fences in Wyoming, and that didn’t turn out so great for us either”. 🙂 🙂

I don’t have the heart to do it just yet, but soon, I will take our jigsaw puzzle apart and put it back in the cute little pail.  I will just take pleasure knowing that the little positive outcome from this was that we had fun talking and laughing while we put our temporary masterpiece together. And that made it all worthwhile.

Stay Tuned!

 

Take 1, Beach Sunset

Bill and I went to the beach last night to watch the sunset here at Bullards Beach State Park. We are located just three miles from the beach, and when we left our campsite at 8:00 p.m. the sky was a little cloudy, but clear with no sign of any rain/storms…

When we arrived at the beach, just three miles away… the picture was very different. The water was very choppy, and there was a lot of fog and haze hiding the sun from our view.

Every now and then we could see a bit of an orange glow in the clouds, but the sun never really showed itself.

We watched, and watched for the magic to happen… because

I wanted to see the sun, looking like a big orange ball, set right down into the ocean just like you see in all the beautiful ocean sunset movies…

The weather chart we used said the sun was to set at 9:00 p.m. We were at the beach at 8:00 p.m.  I was ready and waiting for the breathtaking scene to take place… But, it didn’t happen last night…

When I told my bro, Danny, we were going to the beach to watch the sun set, and I was so excited that I was going to get to take pictures of it, he said “sorry for you”. Ha! Now, when he asks me if I got the pictures I wanted, I’ll just have to tell him no, but that he can keep feeling “sorry for me”… as we go out again, and again, until it happens…

Stay tuned!

 

 

Florence, Oregon

Today was a picture perfect day here at Bullards Beach State Park and surrounding areas. It stopped raining, the sun came out for a visit, and blessed us with blue skies…

Well, when that happens, it didn’t take long for Bill and I to get the “big picture”, and take advantage of every beautiful day we have here, especially when one falls on our day’s off…

 

So off we went, to visit the lovely, quaint, little town of Florence, Oregon.

 

 

 

We are on a quest to sample clam chowder, and fish and chips, from various areas along the Oregon coast while we are here. Last week we had some folks come into the lighthouse while we were working our shift, and they told us if you want “really good claim chowder” you must go to Mo’s, in Florence.. Well OK… Mo’s it is…

Both Bill and I had the fish & chips that came with a cup of clam chowder.

In all honesty, it was just OK. Both Bill and I agree, that so far… (and we have only been here 17 days), Captain Jack’s Crab Shack in Charleston, has the best clam chowder, and Bandon Fish Market, has the best fish and chips… But, hey we still have six weeks to explore many more good seafood eats in and around Bullards Beach State Park.. 🙂

Lunch didn’t meet our expectations, but it was well worth the beautiful drive to visit this pretty little town.

Stay tuned!

Tears in Heaven

I’ve heard it said that when we get to heaven there will be no more tears and no more pain… But I now believe there will be tears in heaven, at least for me there will be.

Today is our daughter, Shantel’s, birthday. She is 24 years old today.

Shantel lost both her eyes to cancer before she was two years old. Because she was so young when she lost her sight, she doesn’t know what Bill and I look like. In fact, when she first lost her sight, I would always say “hi, Shantel, it’s mama” whenever I picked her up from her crib etc. so she would learn to recognize my voice.

As she got older, and I would go to pick her up from daycare, or even a little later when I would go to pick her up from school…, I would always approach her saying “hi Shantel, it’s mama”, and she would always answer “hi mama”.

A couple of weeks ago I had a dream that was so real, and affected me so profoundly, that I couldn’t even tell Bill about it because it just overwhelmed me with emotion. I dreamed I had passed away, and was in heaven, and I became aware that it was Shantel’s time to come to heaven, and I was sent to meet her at the gates of heaven. I stood at the gates of heaven and watched as Shantel approached me. Of course, she could see now because she was made whole and had both her natural eyes again. As she came closer to me I said “hi Shantel”, and she looked into my eyes and said “mama”? I said “yes”, and she said “oh, mama, you’re so beautiful”, and we hugged each other so long, and so hard, and let me tell you there were tears in heaven that day… tears of pure joy!

Happy Birthday, Shantel.

I love you,

Mama

Destination, Cape Arago State Park, Oregon

Today Bill and I took a short, little day trip, outside of the park. Our destination was, Cape Arago State Park, here in Oregon. But first, we just had to stop off at Cap’n Jacks Crab Shack in Coos Bay. We read about this little place on-line, and wanted to see for ourselves if it was as good as it is advertised to be…

 

When we arrived, at 12:00 noon today, Cap’n Jack himself was just opening the door and welcomed us in.

And when I say Cap’n Jack, that is for real… He actually, owns the place, and he is the Captain of the fishing boat that goes out to catch a lot of the seafood that supplies a lot of local restaurants. He has his own boat, and a full crew. We know that for sure, because while we were there, several other restaurant owners, that surround Cap’n Jacks ,came in to put in their orders for the next week…

The next picture is of what Cap’n Jack told us is a rock crab. He said when it’s in the ocean it looks just like a rock..

And of course, they have fresh crabs for sale in their showcase for you to purchase and take home to cook..

Bill/Bro had a clam chowder bread bowl that he said was the best HE ever had, even better than what we had in San Francisco.

I had the fish tacos, Yum, Yum, but only because they said crabs would not be ready for a while, and we wanted to get on our way…

After lunch, we stopped off at Sunset Beach, to check out the tide pools. We were able to collect some feathers on the beach, but we were not able to really get to the tide pools. Or at least we didn’t see how we could get there…

Moving on, we made our way to Cape Arago State Park. Oh, my, it was just breathtaking to Bill and I. I talked to our daughter, Shantel, who is totally blind, on the phone today, and tried to explain what all we saw today, and of course, as her mother, it always brings tears to my eyes when I see this kind of beauty, and know I don’t really have the words to help her understand what she can’t see..

We could hear the sea lions barking, barking, barking, from these rocks… But I couldn’t get a close enough picture, because some of this area is closed off due to sea-lion pupping season..  When I told our daughter, Shantel ,about the sea lions, she wanted to know if we could pet them… It’s just so hard to explain what we see, and what she never will..

Driving home we took the “seven devil’s” road. It was beautiful as well…

Another beautiful day. Another reason Bill/Bro and I are so thankful to be here… And, I’m still being told… “you ain’t seen nothing yet”…

Stay Tuned!

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