Friends In High Places

Waimea

We can officially say we have friends in high places.  Growing up in San Diego, California I knew I would someday own my beach house and my mountain cabin. In San Diego you live at or near the beach. The proximity of the ocean water makes you relax as the smell of the salty sea air permeates your clothes, fills your day, and the warm light breeze caresses your body.  As you drive an hour east you find yourself in the mountains. If you drive another 30 minutes you are in the desert scaling boulders, hiking up a wash in Palm Canyon, or four wheeling.

Since the population of San Diego grew sooooo much, I vowed to not go back until after half the people slide off into the ocean in The Great Earthquake to come. lol. Now that we are living in Hawaii I see no need to go anywhere. We live at the beach in Kona. We live at the base of Hualālai Mountain which, at 8271′, is a foothill to Mauna Loa at 13,678′. So, we have the mountainous area a short half hour drive up the hill when we desire a cooler climate. If we desire snow in the winter we drive up to Mauna Kea (13,796′). The temperature at the beach is consistent 75-85 degrees throughout the year. Life is good. The pace is relaxed, even slow some would say. What more could you ask for?

Well it would be nice to not have tsunamis. The land born shockwaves which send an energy ripple through the ocean until it reaches you in the form of a massive wave of water which destroys most things in its way, are not pleasant. Tsunamis claim businesses and lives. They take away joy and they share pain, frustration, fear, and anxiety. They wake you in the middle of the night via the tsunami warning sirens. Thank G@D they don’t come often. Thank G@D our government has created a tsunami early warning system. A system of buoys in the ocean that warn us of an approaching tsunami.

When you hear the sirens or the announcement on your tv or radio an adrenaline based feeling of panic rushes through your body as all the horrific possible realities come to mind.  Your mind races as you listen intently for the details of where is the epicenter of the event which caused the up coming tsunami, how fast is the wave moving, how tall is the wave expected to be, when is it expected to hit, and what area?  Will your home or part of the island be sheltered by the natural terrain of the island or ocean’s floor?  Did we remember to buy a home which is above the tsunami evacuation area?  Honey, did you hear how far inland the wave is expected to hit? Can we grab what we need?  What do we need? Where will we go?  Are we prepared for this? Do we have an evacuation plan?  Do we go to the shelter or do we know someone we can stay with who lives upcountry at a higher elevation?  Can we get there in time?  Will the roads be clogged with panicking people?  Will our home be safe from looting while we are evacuated?

Then we remember. We have a very good friend who lives in Waimea at an elevation of roughly 3000′. The largest possible tsunami anticipated would hit 1000′.  We breathe a sigh of relief as we realize, we have friends in high places.

aloha,

James Christopher

ThruJimsEyes.com

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