Earthquake!

I’ve lived in Southern California for 2 years and 24 days and today I finally felt my first earthquake. It was scary and exciting all at the same time.

We were at home–the boys were playing upstairs, I was downstairs folding towels and watching “The Young and the Restless.” Suddenly I heard this noise. It sounded like the boys were running upstairs…loudly. It was a loud pounding, rumbling noise that was only getting louder and stronger. It took second to realize that my skinny little boys couldn’t be making that kind of noise. Then the house started to move and I quickly realized what was happening.

Now here’s the thing. I grew up in Oklahoma. I’m used to weather/earth related excitement. I grew up taking cover in the bathroom, hunkered down with blankets and a battery powered radio. Give me a tornado siren and I know exactly what to do. But here I was with the ground shaking beneath me and I was clueless.

By the time I started yelling for the boys and making my way upstairs to grab them, they were already half way down to meet me. Their eyes were wide and nervous.

In the time that it took for me to say, “We’re having an earthquake,” it was over. I stood there on the stairs for a moment, waiting to see if anything else was going to happen. Nothing did.

The boys had lots of questions, very few of which I knew how to answer. The only thing that I told them was that if they felt anything like that again that the only thing they needed to do was find Mommy and Daddy. Beyond that, I really didn’t know what to tell them except that we were fine and that everything was okay.

I’ve heard that you should climb under a sturdy table and have watched movies where people run under a door jam. My first instinct was to run outside, but I’ve now learned that that is actually a more dangerous place to be. Supposedly your bed, under the covers, is a good place to be–acting like a padded bumper car around your bedroom. Let’s just say that if there was an earthquake bad enough to make my bed travel around the room hitting the walls, I’m not going to be thinking, “Wow this is fun! Just like a carnival ride!”

But as quickly as this earthquake happened–just a few seconds–I didn’t have time to do any of those things.

I wasn’t nervous until I grabbed the phone to call the Golfer, only to hear no dial tone. That didn’t surprise me too much, but then when I couldn’t get out on my cell phone either I was a little unnerved. The news was saying that the epicenter was close to the Golfer’s office, and even though they weren’t reporting any major damage or injuries I still wanted to hear my husband tell me that he was okay.

After twenty minutes or so, we finally connected on our cell phones. He was fine, having sat there in his office as his building swayed back and forth. Building are supposed to sway–that’s not a normal thing, but apparently that’s what it’s like here in earthquake country. He agreed that it took him a couple of seconds (that felt like several minutes) to figure out what was happening. What can I say? We’re just a couple of dumb Okies–we’re a little slow.

You know when you stand close to a train track and can feel the ground rumbling underneath your feet? That’s kind of what it felt like, except the feeling continued to get stronger and stronger until my house started to make strange noises. It was so bizarre!

So now that I am officially a Californian having felt a pretty good earthquake, I’ve got to read up on the whole earthquake safety thing. It might be wrong to wish for big aftershocks, but I have to admit I’d like to feel it again. I have a feeling that at some point, I’ll get my wish.

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