Tuesday, March 16, 2010

i feel the earth. move. under my feet.

so today . . . we had an earthquake. i think.

it happened around 4:00 a.m. i was sound asleep, and probably would have remained that way, except rollie woke me up with these words: "WE'RE HAVING AN EARTHQUAKE!!" at least, that is how it sounded to me . . .

rollie, along with many others, is expecting that "the big one" is going to hit LA any day now, and so, being the boy scout that he is, he is always on alert.

i am not. on alert, that is. i woke up just long enough to hear the windows rattling and think, " i'm glad the curtains are closed, so that when the windows break the glass won't fall on me." and then i went back to sleep.

rollie did not. i'm sure as soon as he felt the shaking begin, survival plans started forming in his mind. and it was probably a little bit hard to go back to sleep after that . . .

i wish i had awakened a bit more or that the earthquake had lasted a little longer, because i don't really remember how it felt. i do remember thinking, "i need to wake up! i am finally here for an earthquake and i need to experience it!" don't misunderstand--i am not a fan of earthquakes, because i have seen the damage they can do. but i admit i am a little bit fascinated by solid ground MOVING!

when we moved to california nine years ago, i was not thrilled. i loved the pacific northwest--all the green, the mountains, the ocean, the wide open spaces, the clean air . . . and i pictured southern california as clogged, congested, cramped, and brown, with air that was barely breathable. i expected traffic, concrete, sales tax, and earthquakes. i did not expect to like it. at all.

but i do. i love the sunshine and moderate temperatures. i love the palm trees and exotic flowers. i love the energy that comes from the people, and yes, even the traffic. (ok, that's a lie. i don't love the traffic, but i have learned to deal with it.) although we have lived in different parts of the country, we have always found something to love about wherever we were. and there are many things to love about southern california. although, earthquakes may not be one of them.

i think i remember being in an earthquake as a little girl. we lived in vancouver, washington at the time, and i was walking home from school. and the earth moved. it only lasted a few seconds, but i still remember that feeling of the earth shifting under my feet. i think. or maybe i just dreamed it, because it was a very loooong time ago, and vancouver, washington is not the earthquake capitol of the country.

california is--at least it seems that way to me. but they never occur when i am here to feel them. there have been a few small quakes here in the last nine years, but always when i am out of town! i joke about my presence being the only thing keeping southern california safe from earthquake disaster. but apparently my earthquake repellant tendancies are only effective when i am awake. which i clearly was not at 4 a.m.

before rollie went to work this morning, he came in to talk to me for a few minutes. i knew we were going to talk about the earthquake. this is the conversation that i envisioned.

"do you remember that we had an earthquake last night?"
"of course i do! you woke me up to tell me about it!!"
"well, you weren't moving! do you even know what to do if there is an earthquake?!"
"yes, i know. but it is a little hard to move to safety if one is asleep!"

i'm kind of cranky in the morning, so the conversations in my head tend to be a little snarky. of course, in real life we never talk to each other like that. the actual conversation went something like this.

"did you feel the earthquake last night?"
"no, but i heard the windows rattling. i just thought it was the wind."
"nope--it was an earthquake."
"you know, if 'the big one' hits at night when i am asleep, you may have to just push me off the bed and onto the floor. because i might not wake up."

we are much nicer in real life than in my head . . .

later i asked him about diandra, because i didn't know if she had been awakened by the shaking or not. i would have expected her to come flying out of her room. but of course since i was asleep . . . he said she did wake up, but when she came out into the hallway and saw that mia wasn't going berserk, she figured that everything was ok. considering that rain reduces mia to a shivering mass of white fur, diandra said, "i guess mia thinks that rain is more dangerous than an earthquake." yes, mia is a california dog.

of course, it was only a 4.4 quake. rollie emailed his mom to let her know that we were all ok, and she hadn't even heard about it! i guess a 4.4 quake in socal is not all that newsworthy.

there are predictions that last night's quake was an indicator of more to come. my prediction is that my weekend is now going to be different than before the earthquake. i predict that rollie is going to spend saturday securing the tvs to the walls, stashing bottled water all over the house, and maybe even installing latches on all the cabinets. because he is a boy scout and must always be prepared!

at lunch time i was teasing him about the look on his face when it happened. "you couldn't even see my face! it was dark! and you were asleep!" he said. "i know," i replied, "but i know what your face looked like--it had that 'on alert' look that you have." "you are mocking me!" he said. "yeah, i am. i just think it is so funny how we react to a crisis. you immediately react and start making a plan, and i just sleep through it." "you can sleep through it," he said, "because you know i will take care of you."

which is true. i have absolute confidence that if "the big one" hits in the middle of the night, rollie will push me off the bed . . . to safety, of course :)


Carroll said...

I'm just thinking that because the earthquake was 4.4 and because I am such a worrier, the Lord protected me from the TV and if it was on TV, He protected me from hearing it. I just was running around and didn't have a clue. I'm glad all is well but maybe you should have some "wake up pills" handy just in case there is a big one!
Love you!

mom said...

I have been through 5 small quakes. We did have one in Vancouver when you were young. It made things sway. We have had 4 small ones in Portland. We have a cracked tile in the entryway where the corner of the door frame sits on it and during one quake our house swayed to the left and then right causing the door frame to crack the tile. We are sitting on a concrete slab and are bolted to it and the ground. However, if a big one comes along, it will be every man for himself..... At our house, I'm the one who notices and Dad is the one who says, What?" I did see on the news where that California quake buckled some of I-5.....