Welcome to the Neighborhood


I love living near the ocean. At night, I love the sounds of foghorns, barking seals on the jetty, and the launch that shuttles the oilrig workers home from their graveyard shift. On a sunny day, I like hearing kids frolicking on the beach, the sound of a volleyball being volleyed back and forth, and even that noisy Nerf football that squeals and whistles in flight.

Now there’s something new in town that doesn’t give me warm, fuzzy feelings – tsunami warning signs. (Do you feel a rant coming?) Every time I pull out of my carport, they’re there at every turn. It’s more than a pet peeve. It’s a reminder that life is short and we could be wiped out any day. It’s a source of negative energy more than a helpful guide.

Especially when I reminisce about the one and only tsunami warning that occurred here in the past 14 years. It happened a few months after the real tsunami that forever altered so many places on the other side of the world. The NBA playoffs were interrupted by a red screen that said, “TSUNAMI WARNING” and a blaring horn.

I think I was the only human being in town who paid attention to it. I was in complete and utter adrenaline overload. Yeah, it doesn’t take much for me to be afraid of normal waves, let alone BIG ONES.

I escaped apparently the wrong way, but the shortest way to reach my sister’s kids who were home alone. I was in one of the only cars leaving town. I left the house without a cell phone, family albums, portfolio, or anything of importance. I left the house in my coke bottle glasses and pajamas. We were all fine and I’m so grateful for that, of course.

These signs strike me as a little over the top – though well intentioned. After all, you can drag a horse to water. But it’s pretty obvious you can’t drag my neighbors away from the sea, especially during the playoffs.