On November 30th, 2018, my life changed for the better. This is the day my world rocked and rolled, literally and figuratively. I woke up early that morning excited for the new day, and all the possibilities the day could bring. I remember this morning as being one of the best mornings I’ve had in a while. The air was cold and crisp, and the shadows of the fire danced on the wall. My mood was happy, and all I could think of was how awesome my Friday night was going to be. I poured myself a cup of coffee, and turned on my TV to watch The View. I watched the whole episode, and then turned the channel to Floribama Shore. Yes, I love trashy TV shows. I didn’t even get five minutes into the show when the house felt like a bus crashed into it. There was no warning. I didn’t know what was happening until I jumped up and ran to the top of my stairs. Then my mind understood what was happening. I was experiencing an earthquake. The house began to continuously rock back and forth, but wasn’t violent until the rocking slowly began to become fierce. When I was at the top of the stairs, I paused because I thought it was slowing down and stopping. I was wrong. The rocking started to get worse and it felt like being in a boat on top of massive waves. I slowly made my way down the stairs, but I had to grip the rails because the house was moving me so much that I could have easily fallen. I made it to the front door, and the shaking was not stopping. I was trying to unlock the deadbolt, but the movement of the earth made it difficult to unlock the door. I finally got the door open, and placed my hands on either side of the door frame. At this point, the shaking was almost unbearable, and I didn’t think it could get any worse. Then I glanced out into the distance towards Anchorage. All I could see was flashes of green light filling the dark sky. At this moment, I knew this quake was significant, and this is when the shaking got significantly worse. I gripped my door frame, brutally shut my eyes, and screamed into the darkness. My screams were specific, and I wondered if I was going to die. I was being heard, and the earth was starting to calm down. The ground relaxed, and I was able to open my eyes. I was amazed that the earth looked normal, and our house was still standing. It took me a minute to come to my senses, and then I realized my husband was probably trying to call me. I made my way upstairs, and when I got up to the top I couldn’t believe what I saw. My house was a disaster. Everything in the cabinets, in the drawers, have fallen on to the floor and I had to carefully step around broken glass and debris. I finally made it to my phone, and I was right. He was calling me. I looked up and saw our 70 inch TV fell and broke, but I couldn’t deal with it at that moment. I got my phone, and made my way outside into our backyard. And that’s when the first aftershock began. Thankfully the rocking was not as fierce, and it only had the sensation of being on a boat. As the day progressed, I had to make sure our house was in order, and make sure our neighbor’s house was intact because they had two dogs who were alone when the quake hit. Thankfully they both survived, and nothing fell on them. I spent most of the day in my car because of the frequent aftershocks. When they finally slowed down, I was able to go inside and start cleaning up the mess the earth made in my house. I experienced a 7.1 magnitude quake. The epicenter was only 10 miles away. I am so incredibly grateful for this earthquake, and thankful for how much my life has changed because of it.
The quake taught me something important. My calling is to help people. I don’t know through what avenue, but I’m trying to figure that out daily. A little bit about myself: I have struggled with anxiety all of my life. When I was about 5 years old, I experienced my first panic attack. All throughout my childhood I had to deal with the constant side affects of my anxiety because I never was taught the tools and breathing techniques to calm myself down. The quake was the breaking point I needed to understand I needed to get this anxiety under control, and find a therapist to help me achieve that goal. I will never understand why everything happened at the age of 30, and why I had my epiphany moment after a natural disaster. But I did.
I have had this blog for a few years now, but you would have not known that because of the lack of posts. I started this blog to write about my adventures in cooking and explore different types of wine. If I go forward with this outline, I feel like this will be limiting the content I will be producing. I don’t want to be limited because I have so much to share about my journey and lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, I will be still trying and drinking wine (and maybe some delicious beer), and cooking amazing scrumptious dishes, but the wine will be in moderation, and the food will be in moderation also. I don’t believe in diets. I believe in treating yourself 20% of the time, and 80% of the time is eating healthy nutrient-rich foods that nourish our minds, bodies, and souls. Because what we put in our bodies is so important. It is also crucial to move our bodies, in some way, every single day. This could mean doing a heavy work-out or going on a relaxing stroll through your neighborhood. Either way is moving your body, and producing serotonin to increase your quality of life. Exercise to me is a way to meditate and relieve the daily anxieties I experience. There is nothing more freeing than seeing the open road in front of me, and knowing the only things that matter at that very second is the concrete, my feet, and my mind. It is such a simple concept, but like all things this takes practice and skill.
Lastly, I want you to know that you are not alone in whatever you are going through. Life is unpredictable, and sometimes harsh to people who don’t deserve it. We, as human beings, deserve joy, peace, and prosperity. Do not take anything less than that. So grab your favorite drink, some snacks, and lets go on this journey together. This journey may be scary at first, but the end is going to be oh so wonderful. Thank you for reading, and being so patient with me throughout these past couple of years. I’m so excited to write about my life, and share with you guys positive uplifting information to improve your quality of life. Please have a fantastic day filled with love, and so much joy!
Renee Morgan aka Winey Chef
Yes! I’m on the socials. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter! Just look for WineyChef! And feel free to ask me any questions or what you would like to see going forward.