Monday, September 17, 2007


Sometimes I wonder where my fascination with the disaster/apocalyptic scenario come from. It's not like I've experienced many real-life disasters...well...until recently. For me, the first real disaster that affect me in a profound way was the Challenger Disaster. I was a freshman in college. Up until that point in my life I had an unwavering faith in science and NASA exemplified all the best in the world. Afterwards, I felt hollow and betrayed, like finding out your parents aren't really yours. Almighty science had let me down, and I began to realize that people are pretty fallible. For me, a perfect world had been destroyed in one blazing explosion.

The next big disaster in my life, and probably everyone reading this, is of course 9/11. I've had one recurring nightmare most of my life: a nuclear attack. I had all but lost that dream until 9/11. I suddenly realized that death could come at any time. No place was safe from the terrorists. They would stop at nothing to kill us.

The last few years have seen a different kind of disaster--those of a personal nature. I've had deaths in the family, lost my job due to layoffs/bad management, and had health issues. But nothing could prepare me for the night of Dec 14, 2006.

It was a dark and stormy night. The power went out early, around 8, flickered back on around 9, and then died around 10. The wind blew harder and harder. Even as I lay in bed, I knew I wouldn't sleep. Branches kept hitting the roof, sounding like hammers as they smacked into the shingles. Then around 1:30, I heard a crash that I thought would be the last sound I ever heard. I jumped out of bed because I knew a tree had hit the house. I could smell the pine permeating the house. I ran all around the house looking for the impact. Finally I dared to venture outside, and found the tree right on top of my bedroom. It had smashed a small part of the roof but the frame held it. The next day I discovered another tree had fallen into our outbuilding.
Well, it's 9 months and $60K+ later (mostly paid for by insurance but not all) and we're still finishing the repairs. We've had to live in half our house all this time while they renovated the damaged areas. The thing with this event is that we knew it could have been much worse. If the tree had fallen a few feet over, I probably wouldn't be writing this.

So that's about as close as I'd like to get to a real disaster. I'd rather just write about them for now on.

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