Small Talk

Tsunami warning

February 27th, 2010

In a few hours, the state is about to get hit with a tsunami. I figured this out at 6:30 am when Olivia woke me up. My husband wasn't in bed, but I could tell he wasn't exercising either since I couldn't hear the stationery bike and his exercise clothes were on the floor.

Paul's in Hilo

Paul's in Hilo

I hollered to him to see what he was doing. "We have a tsunami coming," he replied. "I have to make arrangements for work stuff (the mortuary is open Saturdays, and weekends are the busiest time for funerals)."

Boy. That got me up!

I was supposed to attend the Kamehameha Schools Ho'olaule'a today. I later heard on the news that the event is still on, but my friends and I decided to heed the Civil Defense request to keep roads clear. I'll hunker down here at home.

"Should I get gas? I only have half tank. Should we go get more food?" I asked Claus, slightly panicky. I'm prone to worry. He is not. That's good. We balance each other out. Dang, that I didn't go to Costco yesterday. I was JUST about to but I didn't.


"No," he said, and pointed out that I've long ago made provisions here at home. Good thing I just last month bought a PortaChef butane cooker from City Mill, per Paul Drewes' advice.

So I filled up some buckets with water and busied myself at home doing stuff I want to attend to before the power goes out. Here is the difference between me and my husband: I get nervously busy, and he lounges.

He is watching TV in his favorite position on the sofa. I'm zipping around the house distracting myself because I'm anxious. I've already asked him three times if we're about to turn into a scene from Lost.


We watched the television for a bit to get the latest information, until it turned into the same information I've been hearing over and over. I know those days. I was once the one sitting up there doing the rip and read, or the live interviews. I enjoyed the adrenaline of those days.

It still feels weird to be sitting at home, NOT covering an event, NOT having to go to work in a disaster. I am not saying I miss it and want to be working, but it is a little weird, that's all, to break a 16 year habit.


At some point, I realized there are some Honey Do things I want him to attend to- nailing pictures to a wall, installing racks for our surfboards. Stuff that's been sitting around for six months (that's the typical pattern) before he gets to it.

He works so much, and six days a week, that when he gets home he doesn't want to do chores, so usually he only will do chores on Sunday for a half day before he begs off. Four hours a week. That's all I have from him.

"Hey," I called over to the sofa. "Since you're home today, can you please put up the surf rack?" He didn't love the idea, but he didn't complain, and he went to the garage and did it. I was pleased.


I went out 15 minutes later to tend to the laundry, just as he was wrapping it up. He had put away the drill and was cleaning up. "Oh. Why are you doing that? Don't you want to put up the pictures, too?" I asked. "I mean, since you're home."


He made his lips tight and looked at me flatly. "Do you have Ed's cell phone?"

"Ed who?" I asked, and considered what Eds I know and why he wants their number. There's Ed at Oceanic. There's Ed the photog. There's Ed Teixiera, vice director of State Civil Defense.

Me, Ed Teixeira, Paul Drewes- at a mock drill

Me, Ed Teixeira, Paul Drewes- at a mock drill

"Teixeira. I wanna see if I can call off this tsunami event." And he walked into the house with the drill kit.

12 Responses to “Tsunami warning”

  1. maxcat:

    Diane ... this is too funny ... great writing ... chill and be safe ... and I hope you linked this on fb

  2. Michael:

    Isn't it dangerous to go surfing? Put surf racks up(?)

  3. gigi-hawaii:

    LOL. Hilarious! David is outside in the patio, counting soda cans and beer bottles to take to the recycling plant. He hopes to make around $13 total.

    It's so eerily quiet. Can't believe a tsunami is approaching. Fortunately, we are inland.

  4. Diane Ako:

    Michael, he is just putting racks to keep the boards on the wall. They've fallen twice because they were just leaning on the wall in a high traffic area and all it took was someone to bump them.They got severely dinged and I'm tired of taking them to repair.

    maxcat- so he put up the pictures on one wall but i had photos leaning against two walls. that was an indicator that "this goes here". i look at it and approve the final product and he says (regarding the photo against the second wall) "is this going up too?" and i said with exasperation and disbelief that such a smart man can ask such a silly question "yes." and he goes "i just put the drill away."

    and then he curled up around olivia on the floor and asked if they could take a nap. oh, sheesh. but he later put that up too. so all done.

    now he ran away literally (jogging) because he says he has been "screwing and drilling" all morning and has nothing to show for it. i have the funniest husband.

  5. maxcat:

    hahaha ... Diane, you make me remember the looks I used to get from my wife ... told too many stories already, but we used to clean windows especially the sliding glass doors to the lanai together. Of course we had to do it her way and used old newspapers to wipe off the Windex. I'd be on the outside and she'd be on the inside. She would finish first of course and wait until I finished the other side. Then, she would stand back, shake her head, tap the spots I had missed and give me 'the look.' That look said husbands are always a work in progress.

  6. RedZone:

    I live on high ground so it was kind of strange watching all these cars coming into the neighborhood and seeing people sitting on the curb.

    I tried to watch the tsu on tv but I fell asleep. Watching the ocean and the waves have that effect on me. When I got up the people were gone and there was regular programing on the tv. I had to go oline to find out that the warning was cancelled.

  7. RedZone:

    Diane I was at the market doing my tsu shopping early this morning and noticed that there wasn't any blue food coloring. Where do you get your blue food coloring?

  8. RedZone:

    On preparedness I already keep an emergency food supply on hand that I rotate thru out the year including bottled water.

    When an event like this happens I try to stuff as much bottled water into the freezer of my refrigerator. Once frozen it will help to keep everything cold if the power goes down. I also have a couple of empty but clean and unused plastic trash containers that I keep in storage just to fill with water.

  9. Michael:

    Sorry misunderstood.

  10. theDman:

    Well, we missed you at the Ho'olaule'a Diane, tsunami or not, it was a fun time. As long as it was a go, I wanted to fulfill my volunteer commitment, so off we went!

    Man, flipping burgers over that hot charcoal grill for 3 hours was the hardest volunteer job I've done yet! Washing dishes in the steamy cafeteria was easier than that.

    It was obvious that less people were there this year, but I'm glad they did it.

  11. World Wide Ed:

    Haha, thanks for the link. I'm just happy I was the first "Ed" you thought about... 😛

  12. Diane Ako:

    RedZone, great idea with the bottled water freezing! I'll have to do that. Food coloring: Ben Franklin. I got mine in a box of 8 colors.
    maxcat- husbands as a work in progress... ha ha...

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