The past week has been busy with family birthdays and a grandson's baptism. I even spent a few hours cleaning up some of my flowerbeds. I have lots of crocuses blooming and I want to be able to see them without all of the debris blown into our yard by winter storms. I've read several books too, most of which didn't impress me much, so I won't talk about them. Mostly my mind has been on the devastating earthquake and tsunami and their aftermath that has struck Japan. I can't even fathom such an awful event. Though I've had dear friends and neighbors of Japanese descent all of my life and have friends who live there now, I won't be one of the writers developing a story around this tragedy. I'm sure there will be many who will and I wish them luck, but I can't do it. I've used snippets from news stories before in my novels, especially from events I covered myself as a reporter, but I can't even get my mind around something this huge. I won't write about it, but I will donate to the Church's Humanitarian Aid fund and urge others to do the same or to donate to any of the better charities such as Red Cross or Catholic Charities where the money will be used to aid the victims and not to line someone's pockets. Local television stations have lists of creditable charities.