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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Places I've Lived..

Betty, Of Minipaws and Menopause, made me think this morning. (yeah yeah, i called the fire department and cancelled their call to my house)

She asked how many places I've lived, ( New Providence NJ, Irvington NJ, Port St Lucie Fla, Fort Pierce, Fla, Encino CA, Sherman Oaks CA, Orange NJ) and then emailed me and said she bet I missed Southern California the most. Which got me to that smokey part. heh.

Living in "the valley" (Encino and Sherman Oaks CA) was a time I will remember forever.... for more then one reason.

I will remember the fun and laughter and the Kelley's, of course. (one of those great feelings you get like seeing your new born for the first time) I will remember some friends I made there and still think of often. A few I still remain in contact with. Sue, the gal we played pranks on, and I am still friends with, and Annie from Texas, who is still a very close friend.

But like any part of life, it wasn't ALL great. It also was a time when I was hurt badly by someone I thought was my best friend. And... then there was the 6.7 earthquake with the epicenter being right where i lived! I will NEVER, EVER forget it. It traumatized me. So much so, that each time after "the big one" that we had an "aftershock", the Kelley's would call me to see if I was alright. I think they were the only ones that really knew how badly it effected me.
I learned some hard lessons from the quake. Oh, did i mention what my wake up call for the quake was? It was going from sound asleep in bed, to being thrown completely acrossed the bedroom!

One was that "terra-firma" is a falsehood. When the ground drops from beneath your feet over and over again, I can promise you, that no matter how many times you may hear it said that you won't forget it.. YOU WON'T!

The other thing I "re-learned" was that your home does NOT mean safety. When you hear and think the roof is going to come down ontop of you and you will die.. it suddenly becomes a place you DON'T want to be.

(we lived and slept in the yard for about a week)

I also learned where some sayings came from that I mistakenly thought, were.. well, .. just sayings! "Having the Chit Scared out of you".. is NOT just a saying. Neither is "cotton mouth".. what a horrid feeling "cotton mouth" is! Instantly your lips stick together and you feel if you don't get a drop of water instantly your throat will stick together and you may die! I am certain that both of those sayings came from someone who had been through their first (and hopefully last) earthquake, and lived to tell about it.

It was some months after the quake, and the aftershocks were getting fewer, smaller, and farther in between, when we had a big aftershock of about 5.4 I thought for sure it was going to be another big one (5.4 is more then big enough!) I called my insurance to see if i was eligible for counciling, and since many were going this route since the quake I found I could go to some therapy. .......I went.

What I found was sad. I thought I was over reacting and hoped some conciling might help. I found people worse off then I was. There were some who, even after the quake happened months before, would be in their homes during the day to clean house and do chores but would then go and sleep in their cars. There were others who were sleeping in chairs, flashlights in hand, right next to a door for quick escape.

Though I feared having the house collapse on me if another quake happened I was still sleeping (fully clothed mind you) in my bed and still working on the 6th floor of a tall building (which swayed alot when a good aftershock happened) So, I decided I was better off then many others... but still scared from the event.

We'd eventually joke some about the fact that many of us now wore clothes to bed in case we had to run outside from a quake.

"geez, Pat.. what if your dream man George Lucas came along and asked you to get married?"

response: "Well, if he expects me to get undressed for sex with the marriage he'll have to take me out of California to get it!"

Although I stayed in California for several years after the quake, when I could no longer find work to support myself and had to move back to NJ, there was a part of me that didn't mind not having shoes next to my bed, or a flashlight nailed to the wall next to my bed, or not nailing dressers to the wall so that they wouldn't fall on you. A part of me kept saying: this is no way to live.

I knew people like Sue, who had been born in CA and lived their all their life, that quakes did not effect as it did me. I envy those people, because i love southern CA. I loved being around so many creative people, and so many people that accepted many things others don't.

There was much more of a live and let live attitude in the people I met while living there. They just didn't take time away from living their own life to worry about things like how someone else lives, or who or what they believe in etc. They were all just accepted. There's a lesson to be learned there.... it's time wasted that you can never get back.

Anyway... i did find there is good and bad in every place I lived. That much I learned will never change.


Blogger Virenda said...

I have never been in a major quake so I can only imagine how scared you must have been and why it is still a terrifying memory.

I live in So. Cal and it's alright. If I moved, I'm sure there are parts I would miss. I agree with you though, there are the good and the bag things about every place. You just have to measure and see which is best for you.

I myself prefer Northern California but it is expensive and the job market isn't good for my husband, so we make do with it here.

I'm sure you can always come and visit.


4:45 PM  

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