little earthquakes

August 24, 2011 at 10:12 pm (for the record)

“Oh these little earthquakes…
Doesn’t take much to rip us into pieces.”

– Tori Amos
My world is never quiet or still. I live under a constant barrage of thumps and bangs, squabbling children, dogs barking, and the pitter-patter stumbling stomps of ten tiny feet (plus two MUCH bigger ones) that seem to shake the very foundation of the house where I live. It’s city life; sirens and car alarms randomly blare, thundering trucks drive by from time to time, trains whistle in the distance, airplanes and helicopters soar past in the clouds. Any number of people can be found mowing their lawns on sunny days, and the next-door neighbor has been attacking unsuspecting trees with chain saws all week. . . at one point in my life, I even lived near a military facility where the daily weapon testing was known occasionally to rattle windows. All of this movement and hubbub is a part of the day to day, it fades into the background and is hardly noticed.
So when I heard a low rumbling noise yesterday afternoon, I thought nothing of it – at first. As the noise grew, I felt a slight vibration beneath my feet, and turned to remind Abby (again) to walk with her ‘ballerina feet’ in the house. But she wasn’t moving, and the noise was steadily growing louder. . . then the entire HOUSE started to shake and sway, and it finally dawned on me that this was NOT one of the normal disturbances in my world.

It was an EARTHQUAKE.

It measured 5.8 on the scale and lasted only about 30 seconds, small stuff to those who are used to such things, but here? Never! It was SCARY! Especially with so many little ones to worry about. . . I was glad to have had 4 out of 6 children in my direct line of sight – the littlest three among them. Baby A and Ro were safely tucked in their beds napping (I could see Ro via her video monitor – LOVE that thing). A got a rude awakening, but didn’t fully wake up until all was still again, and so was not in the slightest bit upset by it. T was on the front porch, and just assumed that a trash truck had passed (really?!) She was totally unphased by the event. The twins froze for a moment and looked at me as if to ask why I was shaking the house before continuing on their way to join T outside. Abby and I were the most unsettled by it, presumably because we’re the only ones old enough to understand that the earth shaking beneath our feet is NOT normal.
And as for Rowan? The little girl who flat-out refused to sleep in her crib for pretty much the entire first half of her life?
Yeah. . .
She slept right through the whole thing, and continued snoozing for another hour after! I have now dubbed her ‘The Girl Who Sleeps Through Earthquakes.’
After the ground stopped shaking and the noise died away the neighborhood came to life. Everyone was outside chattering. The old man across the street grumpily came out of his house shouting ‘WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON OUT HERE?!’ Cell phone lines were jammed for over an hour as people called family and friends to be sure they were okay – and they were! There was remarkably little by way of damage and injuries state-wide. Our house also came through perfectly. A few of things fell from shelves, but only one small figurine suffered any damage, and it should be easily repaired by my super-glue wielding husband. Otherwise, things went right back to normal. I’m told that there was an after-shock or three, but nothing we felt here (and believe me, I was waiting for it) I’m thanking God that everyone came through okay, and praying that it never happens here again!
. . .now hurricane Irene is heading right for us . . .
*sigh*
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