Friday, March 18, 2011

One week after the quake

It has been one week since the earthquake changed the lives of everyone in Japan.
Today was to be my quilt group meeting but at the last minute it was cancelled. It seems so many things have been cancelled or postponed this past week that without my regular schedule it is hard to even tell what day it is. What had been looking like a very tight schedule suddenly loosened up and gave a bit of breathing room.

Today was the day we decided to arrange the quilt blocks for Kimie's quilt. Our neighbor rice store owner graciously offered the use of her large tatami room to lay out the blocks. She even took out a set of toy blocks for my granddaughter to play with while we worked.

The original plan was one large block and four small blocks in a checkerboard fashion. I made extra small blocks from my stash so the quilt could be made bigger for a full size bed and I may frame the blocks with an outer border.

Before we could finish the plan we had to run off leaving the quilt blocks spread out on the floor as we were meeting my husband's sister for lunch. By the time we returned, it was nap time for the little one. She was tucked in bed but someone needed to stay home. The only way to finish was to take a picture of what we had begun, pick it all up and bring it home and play with it some more on the living room floor.

By the time we had it the way we liked it and began to pin it together the baby was awake and on the run. As I was putting in the last few pins another daughter arrived with her daughter. The two little ones needed that space for play. Poor Nikko was told "Off!" and dutifully obeyed but after all, that small space between the sofa and Papa's chair is her favorite spot and with children running around in the rest of the space she reclaimed it for a nap, reminding me that there are any number of blogs out there with cats lying around on quilts in progress.

Only a day and a half remain of Kimie's visit. It will be so sad to take her back to the airport and although she arrived on a fairly empty plane, I fear going back to the states will be a challenge
with the hoards of people leaving. One more day I can cluck with two chicks and two chicklets under my wings.

I do see some quilting time on the horizon. The Pack meeting was cancelled. The pinewood derby was cancelled. the spring camporee was cancelled. OA was cancelled. The district Committee meeting has been cancelled. Internet connections have been spotty at best. Choir practice was cancelled. Even our pack trip to the disaster center has been cancelled. I feel sorry for the kids if all they have left to do is sit at home and watch the gloomy news on the TV. Then again we had a bright sunny day. The Sweet Daphne is perfuming the air. The Magnolias are beginning to open. It is cold but the wind is blowing steadily in the "right" direction and I am blessed with wonderful neighbors, family, and friends.

All around me are stories of the kindness of strangers rising to meet the challenges of the day, setting aside their own trials to help another in need. I'm glad these deeds are being told to balance the drama being run over and over on the TV.

Even Nikko is counting her blessings. She has gotten her piece of the floor back.


  1. The picture of Nikko on the quilt is just beautiful. Good luck to you and to Japan. Hoping for safety and recovery to you all.

  2. The quilt is beautiful. I can't imagine what it must be like there right now. So happy that you are able to get some things done. We continue to pray for Japan.

  3. The quilt will be beautiful. The setting and the colors are great.
    I sincerely hope that the situation in Japan will rapidly improve.

  4. Thank you, thank you for writing about how your life is different, and yet the same, with enjoyment of family, quilting and the flowers! You are my only "contact" in Japan, and it is so GOOD to hear that tho' life is changed, life goes on. Especially the value of acts of goodness to one another.

  5. That gorgeous bright quilt has to be brightening up your day! It is so good to hear that although the normalcy isn't the same, life is still life. All we get on the news here is continuing dire warnings about the state of the nuclear reactor. I think Japan must be a beautiful place in the spring.

  6. As well as the awful stories and pictures we are hearing wonderful things coming from Japan. How life is going on, how people are reacting, the kindness you speak of, so much good seems to have come from something so terrible. Thank you for sharing your day.

  7. The television/radio news from Japan makes me anxious and sad. It is hard to reconcile it with the calm voice of your diary. Is it only just over a week ago since the earthquake? What a week. If you can find the internet connection, please tell us more about how Tokyo and you, in particular, are affected.
    Your quilt is amazing by the way. I love the colours and the simplicity of the design.

  8. I'm thankful for sunny days during power outages! I'm almost finished with my bearpaw quiltlet for coworker's soon.

  9. Hi Julie, I am so glad I was able to find you!! We have been watching the news as it is unfolding from your part of the world. I love your colorful quilt!! Thank you for the personal insight you are giving through your blog. God Bless!

  10. Wonderful post Julie - uplifting to see life going on as normal in at least your little part of Japan. I know you are sad that your daughter will be leaving but the memories from her visit will live in your heart and be replayed many times I'm sure. My heart hurts for Japan and the trials the people are having to endure in these difficult days. And my prayers are being said with you first in line! blessings, marlene

  11. Thanks for this lovely and positive post! It has been awe-inspiring watching the generosity and kindness that has arisen from such heartache. I'm glad you were able to have your family there with you. My husband and I went to Osaka to visit friends but finally came to stay with my parents in Sydney as of yesterday. I continue to pray unceasingly for God's light to shine through this dark and sad time, and am thankful to see him for supporting you well :) Please take care of yourselves. I look forward to seeing you in the choir again at TUC very soon!

  12. Julie, many prayers out to you!! I love the Japanese people and I'm so sad about all that's going on. I'm praying for the quick solution to the reactors. I've been watching the news like a hawk. Much to my children's dismay!! lol

    I miss Japan in the spring. Its so beautiful, especially with all the cherry blossoms.

    Keep inside on Monday. I heard that the wind will shift south again.

    Take care friend.

    Oh, and you asked for my address for the thimbles. 1113 Olympic Court, Oak Harbor, WA 98277. I know with everything going on, its ridiculous to give you now, but I'll end up forgetting again. Do you need anything from the states?

  13. Julie, so good to hear from you and a bit of your life in Japan these days. Your quilt for your daughter is beautiful - she will surely treasure it! I'm sure it is hard to let her leave - hope she had an uneventful trip back home.

  14. So glad you are ok. I enjoyed reading through your blog and am so impressed that you do all your quilting by hand. I am doing mostly handwork these days and enjoy it as well.

  15. Keep on praying!

    Nikko is so charming!♥