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

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Whole Lotta Shakin'

I knew it had been too quiet lately...quiet on the earthquake front. When you live in Southern California, you come to expect a little temblor once in a while. And today was that "while."

Mom and I were sitting in my car at a red light this morning when suddenly the car began to rock and roll. At first, I thought maybe my engine had decided to sputter badly but then I looked at the car in front of us (which was doing the same "dance") and realized we were having an earthquake.

I immediately turned on the radio to a local news station and, sure enough, they reported that we indeed had just had a 5.4 quake centered nearly 70 miles from where we were. I was pretty amazed at the intensity of the rolling considering the distance from the epicenter but I guess I shouldn't be surprised. We've had other quakes some distance away and have felt them too.

I don't think you ever become totally blaise about earthquakes but I think I've learned to take them in stride. The first earthquake I ever experience was the 1971 Sylmar quake (2 years after arriving in L.A.) which was pretty intense (particularly since we were living on the 3rd floor of an apartment building only 10-15 miles from the epicenter). I still, to this day, remember the rattling sound of the bathroom door which was right next to my bed.

Then there was the 1994 Northridge quake which was "just around the corner" from my house. Although our house itself was not damaged, many of our possessions (including Rick's running trophies) were smashed on the floor and our exterior block walls came a 'tumbling down.

Thankfully, today's quake caused very little damage (even near the epicenter) and that's a good thing. I think all the shaking did was rattle a few nerves and remind us, once again, how important it is to be prepared for when the "Big One" comes.

6 comments:

Lynne said...

I thought of you when I heard about the earthquake. Glad to hear that there was no major damage and that you're OK.

meno said...

It's a scary moment when you realize what is happening. Glad all is well.

Renee said...

I'm glad you're okay too...I haven't heard any updates, was there any major damage? I sure hope not.

I've only felt one earthquake. We were in TX and at Church. It felt as if the lady behind me was kicking the pew. DH said afterward that it had been an earthquake. I was shocked. I didn't see anything else moving. I think it was very small, less than a 3.

Ralph said...

What can you say when an earthquake prone area is built to such a degree. But it's not just SoCal that isn't prepared. There wwer big quakes in Cape Ann MA (1755), Charleston, DC (1886) ans the huge Ned w Madrid Fault between Memphis and St Louis that will wreak havoc over the 250 miles between the cities.

You are prepared for the 'big one' to come, surely in attitude!

Patti said...

I thought of you and your sister and cousin when I heard about the quake.

Glad you're OK.

Linda said...

The last earthquake I experienced in Southern California was in June of 1992 when Amanda was only home from the hospital about a week after being born. That was quite the jolt that day and scared the beegeebers out of my cousin who was visiting from Connecticut. I think she thought that 'the big one' had definitely hit then!

It's my understanding that you have to have the smaller quakes every once in awhile to relieve pressure on the plates so that the big one doesn't happen but even so ... you just never know with these things.

Glad to hear you and your mom were safe during the shakin'!