Retirement is a week filled with Saturdays and Sundays interrupted only occasionally by a holiday.

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Thursday, August 9, 2007

A Whole Lot of Shakin’

Sorry if this post sounds a bit fuzzy but I haven’t had a whole lot of sleep. Early this morning at 12:58AM, Rick and I were rudely awakened by an earthquake. Yep…no doubt about it, we live in earthquake country. The temblor started out with a wee bit of rolling, followed by a pretty good sized jolt, followed by a little more rolling. It only lasted seconds but those seconds can feel like forever while the ground is moving. For me, the worst part of an earthquake is the noise associated with all that movement…mostly from the house as it creaks and groans and rumbles through the event.

Once the shaking stopped, we held our breaths for a few moments trying to determine if it was all over…you never know whether the shaking is the actual earthquake or just a foreshock of a stronger one. Once we decided it was done, I turned on my bedside radio to confirm the earthquake (duh) and then to hear the determined magnitude. In this case, it was pegged at 4.5 which is considered “moderate.” Having lived through the 1994 Northridge earthquake which was reported as a 6.7 magnitude, we already knew this one was much weaker and certainly not a serious “damage maker.” And what always surprises me is, even at the smaller magnitudes, how far away from the epicenter the earthquake motion can travel.

As we were thinking about going back to sleep (or at least trying to), the phone rang. It turned out to be our next door neighbor who was calling more for comfort, I think, than for anything else. She is a single woman and I can only imagine what it must have been like for her to be suddenly awakened in the middle of the night, alone in the dark, waiting for the shaking to stop.

Rick, of course, managed to get back to sleep almost immediately (being a 4th generation Californian, he is not genetically predisposed to being bothered by these events). For me, it’s never that easy to sleep…especially after I’ve been so rudely awakened. I must have finally managed to shut my eyes and make it into slumberland because it took the alarm clock this morning to finally wake me up. Yawn…

22 comments:

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

oh i sure sympathize with you! i have been through three. two on okinawa in the 60's and one a few years back in podunk of all places! yup. a real earthquake in podunk, georgia. i even have earthquake insurance here.

smiles, bee

Midlife Mom said...

Yikes! I would be scared silly! We have only had minor tremors once every few years. Not enough to do any damage just sounds like a big truck going by and making the house groan a little. I don't think I would have been able to go back to sleep either! I hope that's the end of it!!!!

Susie said...

I think that's almost exactly the same magnitude as the one we had here about 2 wks ago.
Glad it was a minor one this time..
xo

Pam said...

Glad you guys are ok. I've never been in an earthquake. When we moved from Hawaii to Oregon when I was 11 or 12, we stayed in California for a few days and I had bad dreams every night about them. I will have to be brave when we go to CA this fall!

patches said...

Here it's tornadoes and hurricanes. The Mister has been awakened a few times over the years during the course of his travels by earthquakes, but like you, he was lucky, they were all mild.

I'm glad there wasn't any significant damage.

Patti said...

glad the quake wasn't too bad - I would be scared big time!

Linda said...

I can't remember exactly how many earthquakes I've been through during my years spent living in California but I believe it was more than a handful. It's one of the strangest feelings in the world, I do remember that much at least!

Glad to hear that there was no major damage and that you were eventually able to get back to sleep.

Patti said...

P.S. tell Rick I'm awaiting Chapter 8 of your Ireland trip

Joan said...

Empress bee: Earthquakes in Georgia...what a surprise!!! And I'm wondering...is earthquake insurance back East as expensive as it is here in Earthquake Country?

Midlife mom: Hubby likened this morning's quake to hitting a road speed bump going far too fast. Hopefully, it will our last "bump" for a while.

Susie: Aren't quakes so much fun...sure, right. ;~)

Pam: Don't give earthquakes a thought while you're here. They truly are few and far apart and the big ones are even fewer and farther apart.

Patches: I can't even imagine what it must be like to live in tornado country. They are far more frequent and damaging than earthquakes.

Patti: I'm not nearly as frightened by them now as I was when we first moved to California. Oh...and Rick just mentioned this morning that he needs to get moving on Chapter 8.

Linda: It truly is strange to feel the earth move under your feet and know that you have no power to do anything about it.

Ralph said...

Rare to have earthquakes back east, although there was a massive temblor that struck Cape Ann, just north of Boston in 1755. And Charleston, SC in 1886. I don't know how I would react if it happened here...

PEA said...

I know they say that Californians get used to these earthquakes but I think it would unerve me a lot!! Believe it or not, but here in Northern Ontario we've also had some minor earthquakes...just enough to rattle everything in the house. There's actually a fault line near the Quebec/Ontario border and they've had a few major earthquakes where we've felt the tremors all the way here! xox

the moose buyer said...

Pea, where in Ontario do you live? I am Joan's cousin (Moose buyer) and I grew up in Quebec. I don't remember earthquakes but I sure do remember those horrid ice storms. I will take an earthquake ever 20 years here in California any day.

I will be visiting your blog pretty soon.

Joan said...

Ralph: Consider yourself lucky. Earthquakes are never fun.

Pea: While California is known for its earthquakes, I've heard of them in all parts of North America...although most of those tend to be on the small size.

The moose buyer: I'd take earthquakes over ice storms any ol' day too.

Renee said...

I've only ever felt a tiny one when we were in TX. We were at Church and it felt to me as if the lady behind me was kicking my pew...and I thought "my that must hurt. Why is she doing that?" and then after the service DH says "Did you feel that earthquake?"

DH used to live near LA and has been through a few quakes. I don't know if I could deal with that...but I've been through tornadoes, hurricanes, Blizzards, Hail & Sleet storms. Is there anything else? Oh yeah, floods. I've done a few but they never flooded my house.

sari said...

As a Californian myself, I grew up with earthquakes and they never really bugged me too much. But I've seen the damage they can do - I'm glad everything was ok where you are.

rosemary said...

I hate earthquakes, absolutely hate them. I never got used to them, I am a freaked out earthquakian and don't miss them a bit....of course I traded for -20 winters, huge wind and rain storms and thunder that can make you deaf!

Mom said...

Oh how I miss California. it is so exciting there.

Joan said...

Renee: On the grand scale of natural disasters, you have me beat hands down!!!

Sari: Earthquakes began to really bother me only after I became a homeowner and realized what a temblor could do to my investment.

Rosemary: I've always said I'd love to live in an area which had "real" weather although I'm not sure -20 degrees is what I had in mind.

Mom: Yeh...exciting it is!!!

Lynn said...

It was certainly a 'wake-up' call, 5 hours too early!

Michele said...

wow, earthquake, huh? Lived through one so far and that was nauseating trying to walk to safety during it. Don't want to go thru another one. Glad all is well.

Joan said...

Lynn: If I'd known you were up, we could have had a lovely conversation!!!

Michele: It used to be the experts would say to get to a doorway during an earthquake. Now they say that you should remain in bed and ride it out. No more wobbling wile you walk.

Patti said...

No wobbling while you walk, but can there be whistling while you work?

I'm glad Rick is thinking about Chapter 8...I'm about to go check his blog.