Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Shaking Things Up (literally)

I had *almost* come to a place where the thought didn't even effect me in any way. You know, the thought of an earthquake, out here in sunny California.

Upon setting foot here, you may recall, it was one of my primary concerns. Over the last ninety days, however, my concern relaxed into a much more educated stance. After all, I had visited the USGS Earthquake Center online several times, and discovered that many mini quakes had occurred, some just below or even in our immediate vicinity. And I hadn't even felt 'em.


I get it. Yeah, yeah, yeah . . . I know that the earth is technically 'always' moving . . .but, with images of newscasts covering the Northridge quake many years ago, well, one just doesn't let down their guard easily.

That is how I ended up being so . . .well . . .calm yesterday, when my son (my daughter clalims it was her voice I heard . . .l'il family dispute, there) yelled out "EARTHQUAKE!"

At his comment, I turned my head to look at the source of the noise I had just heard - that of venetian blind slats clanking together.

Hm. Unusual. Venetian blind slats don't clink on their own.

As I did so, I also noticed that the roaring sound of an engine of a big truck did not actually have a truck as it's source. And, for that matter ~ WHY ARE MY WALLS FLEXING AND MOVING LIKE THAT?!?!?

Egads. Times 20.

In a state of disbelief, and with the sound of my children now clamouring over the din, I backed out of the kitchen into the open living area with the intention of taking everyone outside. Calmly.

But that's when it hit me: My baby was sleeping . . .way in the back of the apartment . . .the OPPOSITE direction of the DOOR.

The adreneline rush that had already begun in me now took on a superhuman edge as I quickly traversed the hallway to get him. A hundred thoughts were rushing through my being. "Perhaps he's safer there, and I should leave him. Maybe I should stay in the room with him. What about Aubrey and Israel, though? No, we're better off outside . . ." Swooping him up on that last thought, I turned to dash to the door.

Only to discover it was over.

The longest thirty seconds I've experienced in some time.

I wasn't convinced we were in the clear, though. "Come on, kids." I declared. "Outside!"

They protested, but not in concern . . .rather, they were high-fiving each other and shouting with squeals of glee: "OUR VERY FIRST EARTHQUAKE!"

I couldn't comprehend their joy.

Exiting the front porch, the DellDog made a mad dash out the gate - leashless. He made a beeline for the neighbors, who were now gathering outside, curious as to the state-of-affairs-apartment-complex-wide.

Great. I've just experienced a major life event, and my dog is loose. Against the rules. I simply couldn't believe it.

Fortunately for me, Dell cooperated nicely. The native Californians spoke amongst themselves as though this were an everyday occurrance ~ the potential to be shaken to smithereens.

I still couldn't comprehend.

I added my two cents, but returned to the apartment, where an aftershock made itself known in a loud clapping noise, setting off the fire alarms.


Please pass me a lemonade. Stirred. Not shaken. Thankyewverymuch!


Beth said...

We experienced a gentle shake when we lived in Las Vegas, but it was enough to freak me out!

Dawn said...

Gladly, I'll have that lemonade stirred NOT SHAKEN just as soon as you walk in my HOUSE or yours!!! God is soooooo awesome! Hey by the way did anything fall of the walls or shelves?

Annette said...

Oh, Angi. I'm sorry. That is the main reason I moved from CA back to MN. I lived in Manhattan/Redondo Beach at the time of the 1994 Northridge earthquake. It was the most violent earthquake to have hit s. ca (I think in history). My office was in Encino, 2 miles from the epicenter. Prior to the earthquake many friends tried to convince me how "FUN" earthquakes were. That was not there reaction with this one.

At least you can say you experienced one :)

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