We had friends over for Saturday dinner and were just getting ready to eat, with Oceanic Cable’s blues channel playing in the background, when we saw the first tsunami alert crawl across the top of the television screen. The warning sirens never sounded anywhere on our coast, at least none within earshot of Kaaawa, but word spread quickly. We rushed through dinner so that our friends could get on the road back to Kaneohe ahead of any possible road closures. And then we got on the phone to friends and beach acquaintances to offer them (and their animals) refuge up here on the hill.
We ended up with three people and two dogs downstairs in our house, and five people plus seven dogs (including Bruce, the handsome great dane) stashed in a neighbor’s garage and adjoining apartment two houses over from us. Meda and I made the rounds, making sure everyone was okay and sharing any news that we heard. Other refugees from the low lands lined Olohu Road as we all waited and worried about the possiblity of The Big One finally materializing.
Within a couple of hours, it seemed clear that the BC earthquake hadn’t generated a destructive tsunami, and the dogs were herded into the cars for the short drive down the hill and back home.
One thing of note, in the midst of this divisive election season–at least one couple who we invited up the hill last night are Republicans (gasp!!), although they haven’t put up any Romney signs this year. Another couple are likely reliable Democratic votes. Others, I don’t know and wouldn’t want to guess. At our neighborhood level, we relate and form friendships in which partisan politics are somewhat irrelevant. We actually avoid bringing up political issues because we don’t want to tap that level of potential disagreement. In their absence, we’ve got lots of things we easily agree on. And, to top it off, our Republican friends are really nice people, and they’ve got some great dogs!
It’s one of the lessons of living in a community and experiencing other people directly rather than getting tripped up by stereotypes and campaign caricatures.