I’ve been putting off posting for a few reasons, the main one being that I’m currently pouring most of my energies into a complete revamp and redesign of Inner Child Crochet – and I’m continually convinced that I’ll have the preview for the new format finished ‘by the end of today.’ I would have it done, too, but though I finished the body of my code two weeks ago, I’ve spent nearly every day since then attempting to pound Internet Explorer into submission. (If you browse with IE, please, for the love of web standards and my sanity, switch to something more compliant.) I decided that it was time for a new theme – I created the autumn theme in an homage to the season that I missed the most – something a little less overbearing. I’ve also got more experience designing than I did when I created the site – over a year more – and I’m well able now to create something more fluid, elegant and functional than the site I built a year ago. With luck and hard work, I will have a preview page to satisfy your curiosity within the next week.
In other news, we had another earthquake on Tuesday. It was in the middle of the afternoon, this time: the boys were sleeping and I was in the kitchen, cooking. The ground started to shake and tremble, the dishes in the cupboards behind me began rattling quietly, and after a moment I looked up to see if a truck was passing by – but I knew that it wasn’t. It was too hard for that, and there was a subtle sensation of slipping sideways that not even the big earth-movers can produce. After another moment I turned off my mixer, wondering briefly if I should move to a doorway and whether the boys would wake up, but in the end I just stood there by my bowl of frosting and watched the world outside my window as though I would be able to see a harder quake coming. After a while – ten seconds? Thirty? A minute? I don’t know – the shaking stopped, though tiny shudders continued for a few minutes more.
I went back to mixing, strangely disturbed. Maybe this seems commonplace to those of you who live (or have lived) in earthquake-prone areas, but it’s not to me. I grew up in the Midwest. Tornadoes? Nooo problem. But earthquakes? What? The part that unsettled me most, I think, is that there was an earthquake and I just stopped, waited, and went about my business. (I probably didn’t have to stop, either, but I’m new to this.) If there’s a tornado, first of all you usually know it’s coming. You gather your family, your flashlights and your radio and go to a safe place – or, if there’s less chance it’ll hit you, you go somewhere with access to a safe place. If they’re farther away, you might go out to the Sonic for a Cherry Limeade (gee, I miss those) and hang out with your friends until the clouds start to thicken and then head home so you can sit on your sofa and watch tv, getting annoyed when they interrupt CSI with those pesky weather updates. With very few exceptions, it’s Not a Big Deal.
Two earthquakes in as many weeks has started me thinking that this may be a somewhat regular occurrence. But if Japan has a dangerous side, it also has beauty:
The cherry trees are in bloom, and I was stunned by how many of the bare branches we’d seen this winter suddenly pushed out blossoms. (Click on the pics to see better!)
Anyone more than marginally familiar with Japan and Japanese culture will have heard of sakura, but the full extent (and, in fact, the beauty) of the phenomenon cannot I think be easily grasped without seeing it.
There are cherry trees everywhere. Parks are planted full of them. In places, they line the streets on both sides. People have planted them in their tiny yards, public buildings are surrounded by them, and it’s difficult to drive for more than a minute or two without passing a tree full of blossoms.
I took the boys up to a fairly unfrequented hill yesterday: it was planted all over with cherry trees. We walked underneath them – the blossoms are beginning to fall now and when the wind blew we were sprinkled with fragrant petals. The smell of cherry blossoms is sweet and delicate: with so many together every breath we took was scented with the beautiful fragrance. Max and Charlie were delighted with the flowers, and patient with me as I stopped again and again to take pictures in a futile attempt to capture the moment.
The best part? Everyone we talk to concedes that the cherry blossoms here are “pretty okay.” For really good cherry blossom viewing, there’s a city about two hours away that our friends enthusiastically recommend. We didn’t go this year – their blossoms have already fallen – but I think we’ll take the trip next year.
I could take a thousand pictures in a thousand different ways and still not truly capture the sheer magnitude and beauty of these cherry trees.