Living in the Green Zone

So I’m less angry now. Actually, now I think about it, not really angry at all. I’m in ‘pick up and get on with it’ mode again. Feeling a little more battered than before, but A-okay, all things considered.

The big news of the week was the government releasing information on the suburbs it has deemed potentially unrepairable (I’ll blog more about the ins-and-outs of this later). Our suburb was on that list. Not a great feeling. More detailed information was scheduled to be released on Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday morning, Stephen and I sat at the breakfast table looking on google maps at the list of suburbs in question. Which would be in the red? The most badly damaged areas were around the Avon river and Horseshoe Lake. Our lovely little suburb of Dallington sits in between these. Would they just wipe out the lot? It made me nervous. Even the usually cool, calm and collected Stephen admits to a little anxiety.

I had trouble concentrating at work that morning. It felt like a big part of our future would be decided by the announcement that afternoon. Either our house and land would be considered repairable, or it would be not. And to be honest, either option didn’t sound great.

So on Thursday afternoon we found out that we are ‘Green’. The street we live in is fine. The land is not so badly damaged by the repeated shakes since September 4th that it can’t be lived on. I was so relieved. We put so much effort and energy (and money!) into buying our house. We wanted to make ourselves a home there. A base for us and the rest of our Frompson crew to be safe and comfortable for a long time to come. To lose that, after everything else, would be so hard. But now we don’t have to worry about it.

The Red Zone, Christchurch
The Red Zone, and us

And then the reality and enormity of what was going to happen started to sink in as I drove to collect Bronwen from school on Thursday afternoon.

We are surrounded by the red zone. The houses between where we live and where Bronwen goes to school (and where Stephen grew up) will eventually be gone. Over the past couple of years we’ve driven, walked, skated and run through that area. It feels like our place.

The next few weeks and months will be interesting as it all shakes down. People will accept the offer the government has made to buy their land, and they’ll leave. The government has said they will demolish houses as people go. Within two years, the 5000+ houses will be gone, and we will live surrounded by a green belt. It’s hard to imagine.

2 thoughts on “Living in the Green Zone

  1. Katie June 26, 2011 / 8:20 PM

    I love reading your blog…makes me feel closer to home 🙂

  2. Julio From NY June 27, 2011 / 6:45 AM

    Wow. That is pretty amazing. It sounds similar to an old town in PA that had to be completely abandoned because of a fire in a coal mine below the town that burns to this day. I can’t imagine being one of the few people remaining in a relative ghost town.

    You guys are so brave and amazing. Hope things continue to get better with time.

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