The Earthquake Chocolate Relief Fund by Deb Mia

This just out: if you can make it through a 6.7 earthquake (including a 5.8 aftershock and some), then you are entitled to some chocolate. Or, at least, to write off-topic.

“The hairy thing that lurks under my bed” suddenly seems harmless when compared with your entire house rocking and rolling like nobody’s business. “The hairy thing that lurks under my bed” could be a science project gone bad, a small farm animal (I live in a part of Hawaii that has its share of small, odd-looking farm animals), even a troll (I’ve never seen one but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist – I try to keep an open mind about these things).

But an earthquake? That’s serious, scary business. You want to run, but exactly where are you going to run to?

And, if you have kids or a spouse, then it’s like you have a responsibility to keep a level head. No screaming or panicking, lest you freak out the 6-years-old-and-under set. So even though EVERYTHING is rumbling and quaking (it really is!), you sort of say nonchalantly, “Hey, let’s go stand under the door frame!” You try to make it sound like a game even though you are shouting over the din (earthquakes are LOUD) and wearing only a T-shirt and boxers. You try not to look perturbed as you calculate how far away the front door is from the bedroom door, or wondering if maybe you really should start screaming and panicking. This isn’t Space Mountain, this is the EARTH under your HOUSE moving and NOT STOPPING. It’s disconcerting to say the least.

But it does stop, does a few hiccups, and as you continue the “game” of loading up your car as fast as you can with all the emergency supplies you bought from Costco five years ago, you realize – again – that, shoot, I live on an island. Where am I going to go? If I drive non-stop for seven hours, guess where I end up? Back in my front yard again!

But, truthfully, it wasn’t as if staying in the house was a bad idea. There was hardly any property damage. There were cracks in the walls and the carport ceiling caved in on the car but only one thing broke, a picture frame. And our eight million bookshelves (I’m exaggerating here) with all sorts of stuff – nothing fell off. Things came down from the closet shelves but since they were already in boxes (with lids!), we just had to push the boxes back on the closet shelves. Done! Oh, and a plastic piece on the shower door broke so that the door swings out, and the water heater spit out some black water onto the wall. Even the TV worked. I did a quick vacuum, wiped up the dust, pulled the sheetrock off of our car, washed my hands, and we were off to the neighborhood Pumpkin Patch by 1:00 pm (the earthquake was at 7:07 am).

So, as you probably guessed, I headed straight for the bake sale table, looking for chocolate. None. Nada. There were macadamia nuts cookies, pumpkin bread, caramel apples, Rice Krispy treats, peanut butter cookies, but no chocolate ANYTHING. The parent manning the booth gave an apologetic shrug. “They were the first to go.” The grocery stores were closed for clean-up so there was no chance of getting chocolate there. Ditto with the gas stations.

I am grateful no one was injured. I am grateful my family and our things were safe and sound. I am grateful that our community managed to pull off a Pumpkin Patch within hours of a major earthquake. I am grateful that we had electricity and running water restored almost immediately. I am grateful that our little house that I constantly bitch about (never again!) held up so well. I am grateful that 100 FEMA experts were deployed in record time even though, as it turned out, there really wasn’t any catastrophe needing their immediate attention. As far as big earthquakes go, we fared pretty damn well, especially since the epicenter was about 15 miles from our house.

Still, there’s the chocolate. While I’m not expecting another major disaster any time soon, I want to be prepared this time. So send your donations to: The Earthquake Chocolate Relief Fund, care of Mia King, PO Box 6886, Kamuela, HI 96743. This is not tax deductible and you will not receive a receipt. All proceeds go to benefit me (hey, I could have post traumatic stress!) and will probably be eaten within 24 hours. Thank you for your attention to this matter, and know that your donation will be going to a good cause!

17 Replies to “The Earthquake Chocolate Relief Fund by Deb Mia”

  1. Sunday was a pretty scary day. We are all a little tramatized now. I’m glad to hear that everyone is fine. Toni is still afraid with all the aftershocks. She won’t sleep in her room at all. She barely even goes in there lately. How is Maya handling all the aftershocks? Oh yeah and I think chocolate may be the cure to all my problems. There is always chocolate somewhere in my place(sometimes it’s hidden from others…my secret stash, lol).

  2. Oh, Mia! 😉 I’m all written out! :0 That’s all I’ve been doing all week–answering concerned emails and phone calls from family and friends! Main thing is calming my anxious 6 year old’s nerves …That sudden thunder and lightning storm the next day didn’t help! You’ve pretty much said it all. We’re fortunate. The damage to our home is trivial. But day in and day out this week, I have patients who aren’t as fortunate. Yes, there were no fatalities. But there are a lot of exposed nerves. There are those with significant structural damage to their homes, the only asset they’ve got. One patient even jumped off the second story of his house because it was literally splitting in half! Now that is scary!

    To less shakier days,

  3. I know what you mean about the chocolate. I went searching for chocolate in my house after we got the main things cleaned up. I can always find a hidden piece or two (yes, I have a stash sometimes). And I really did crave it on Sunday. Well, actually, this whole week because the crazy rainstorm on Monday. Then waking up to a far lesser quake on Tuesday and a decent aftershock. Then just a few minutes ago, late on Wednesday night (or is it Thursday morning by now?), there was another small aftershock. But big enough to give you that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach: “Is this a big one again?!”

    My 7 year old would run to stand under the doorframe with each aftershock. It really bothered him. Luckily he didn’t wake with the little aftershock a little while ago!

    What I appreciate is the coming together of neighbors and friends–a neighbor from behind my place and through the brush, whom I only met about a month ago, was the first one over checking on us. All day long people stopped by and called and we went checking on others. I feel a real sense of caring and community here. And friends and relatives who are far away called with their kind words. A few said I still sounded “shaken.” And I guess I am this week–that’s the best way to describe it.

    Shaken, but grateful,

  4. Went out to get that chocolate but then remembered you forgot to specify milk or dark chocolate and would hate to disappoint by getting the wrong one.
    Next time you are going to have to be more specific.

  5. When I read about the earthquake, I (of course) immediately thought about you and your family… but little did I know, the biggest worry was the lack of chocolate at your disposal after the quake! (Do they have a CA — Chocoholics Anonymous — on the island?)

    I am thankful you, Darrin, and the kids are all okay. Earthquakes ARE scary business. Living in CA and surviving 2 major earthquakes so far hasn’t toughened me up about them. It still scares the bejeezes out of me. Speaking of scary things, I have to change my daughter’s big stinky poop diaper now.

    Sending you guys lots of love from SF!!! XOXO

  6. Good to hear you and your family were unharmed during the earthquake. I live in the chocolate mecca of the world, on the border of France and Switzerland. I have connections at the red cross and I will immediately contact them concerning the suffering folks in Hawaii. You do need to be more specific concerning the type of chocolate. We prescribe a certain type of chocolate depending on the type of trauma suffered.

    Give my love to the kids and Darrin. Come out and visit at some point.

    Love, Elaine

  7. I, too, immediately thought of you and your family, Mia. So glad you’re all fine, but an earthquake has to register as the hairiest/scariest thing under a bed.

  8. Dark chocolate, people, dark chocolate! Almonds are great, too, or mint. How could I forget to mention this?!

    Thanks for all of the well wishes, and for the comments by my Hawaii friends with the updates on their kids and friends. The sheetrock finally went to the dump today, and Foodland had plenty of chocolate yesterday, so things are looking up!

    In other news, the galleys for my book have arrived, which is wonderful since it probably means the publisher can’t back out now!

  9. Knowing you might not have ready access to chocolate I took the plunge and ate some myself while thinking of you. That is just the kind of friend I am, willing to take the calorie hit. All of us are so glad that your shaken and stirred experience is over.

  10. GALLEYS!!!!! Wahoooooo! Well, that’s gotta make the earthquake fall-out feel just a little better. What an exciting step!

    So pleased the chocolate emergency is resolved. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into how your family is coping, and know that we’re all wishing you and all of Hawaii well.

  11. Glad to hear you all survived the big quake cousin! I can’t believe you didn’t already have a secret stash of chocolate hidden somewhere in an earthquake proof part of the island for just such emergencies. You’re slipping…P.S. I pre-ordered my copy of the book today!

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