Sunday, May 29, 2011

Earthquake March 11 2011- by Shelley Kaylor

Shelley with her lovely family all around her
It is with great pleasure, I introduce you to Shelley Kaylor.

She is not only my dearest friend...but she is also a woman who I highly respect. She is a wonderful example of how to live life to the fullest. When you read her guest post, which she so graciously agreed to do for me, I know you will want to convince her to get her own blog...something I've tried to do...she actually started one, Shelley's stories and stuff and only has 2 posts...maybe you can nudge her into blogging more regularly. So without further is Shelley.....

Living in Tokyo, Japan, I'm used to having a few slight tremors every year, but on March 11th, I had no idea what was coming. Let me back track to the day before. 

Shelley with her youngest children at Disneyland the day before
My husband and I had decided to take our two youngest children, Jake and Lydia to Tokyo Disneyland. Through the years I have learned that after spending a day at Disneyland, my body needs the next day to recuperate. So on March 11th, I let my husband, Steven, know that I was going to relax, rest up, clean house, stay in my PJs, and not answer the door if the doorbell should ring. Being the great man that he is, he knew that's what I'd need to do. 

I remember I took several naps off and on so the day was passing quickly. Lydia came home from school and went directly to her upstairs bedroom. Jake had just walked in the door and came into the Great Room where I was sitting.  I was asking him how school was when the earthquake began.  It didn't take long to realize this quake was stronger and longer than any I had experienced before in my twenty-two years of living in Japan. 

Our house is large and running from the Great Room, to the front door seemed too far away and dangerous. At that same time, being in my short Summer T-shirt PJs, I was thinking, "If the neighbors see me they'll think I am nuts," but when the shaking intensified to the point I thought the second floor would be coming down on us, I yelled for Jake to follow me; I opened up a window and dove out through the screen, busting it in half, and rolling on the smooth stones below. 

My hair wasn't done, I had no makeup on, and I couldn't have looked worse. I stood up, saw that Jake had jumped out after me, and saw Lydia standing in shock in our carport yelling out, "Mommy Mommy!!!" I grabbed her and Jake and went around to the back of my van where I didn't think anything could fall on us and was hoping nobody could see me. I remember thinking, "Thank God I'm not naked!" But in my shock, I completely forgot about the two houses behind my van which had an even better view of me than my other neighbors. 

Everything was a mess
As soon as the quake ended I peeked around the van to see if anybody else ran out. I could only see children so I dashed back in the house. I ran upstairs to grab some clothes, only to find out that all my clothes were pinned under fallen dressers. Every shelf was empty, every dresser fallen, with broken glass throughout the house. It was a mess!  The dressers were too heavy for me to lift. 
The T.V. fell out of the case

Eventually I was able to pull out clothes that were not inside dresser drawers but pinned underneath. From there I drove to my oldest daughter's house and my husband's work to make sure all were safe. Several strong quakes hit while I was driving. Very scary!  
Everything had fallen everywhere

Since that time, I feel as if I am finally beginning to get back to normal. The constant tremors shook more than my house. They shook my nerves. Yet, in it all, we are very thankful to be alive, to have a home still standing with only a few visible cracks that can be repaired. Many others had a more difficult hurdle to cross, but from what I've seen, many are helping out and all seem to have smiles while doing it. Even with it's earthquakes, I love living in Japan.


  1. I love this post from Shelley. What a post it is!
    First, it had me in splits.
    Shelley, in that serious situation, you are able to discern humor through your writing. Not many people have this flair.

    I love the way you handled the situation, without losing hope and your mind. ;)
    I saw the photos, the scene was pretty bad. Hope all is okay now.

    Looking forward to reading more of your writing.

  2. @ Nisha- sorry my blog makes it so difficult to post comments- not sure why that is!! I loved this post also-I'm going to forward your comments to Shelley and I hope you have encouraged her to start blogging :) Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment!!


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