Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shake Shake


We just felt the SoCal 5.4 earthquake and it shook our house longer and harder than any I have felt before. I was sitting on my bed nursing the baby...reading Maggie's blog, incidentally. Cairo was with us too. The house started to shake--nothing new--I have felt two other earthquakes while in that very spot. But this shaking wasn't quick and then over...instead it got more intense as it went. It gave me enough time to go through an entire process and here it is.

My first thought was funny: I was annoyed! Annoyed that I had to worry about an earthquake that was not stopping.

Second thought: Fear. Not stopping? That's not good. How bad would it get?

Third thought: Cayman was attached, and he was not going to be happy about the interruption. Solution? I kept him attached as I cranked into action.

Then I had to make a decision. Was it safe to take my two younger children downstairs to the playroom to join my two older children, or did we need to crouch in a doorway upstairs to keep them from flying objects. Not that there were flying objects, but who knew what could happen?

After pausing in the doorway just long enough to make sure the wrought iron decor above the stairway wouldn't crash down on us as we passed, I grabbed Cairo's hand with my right hand, held nursing Cayman in my left, and dragged everyone downstairs.

I found my daughter scared and in tears. Staten was consoling her by saying: "Don't worry Windsyr, it's just an earthquake. No big deal." Which is the kind of numbed mentality you develop by living here.

The shaking stopped just as I got to Windsyr to comfort her. I still had Cayman attached and Cairo in tow, so we were a lot of human in a small amount of space. I was of course relieved it hadn't gotten any worse, but we still hung out in a doorway for a few minutes to safeguard from aftershocks.

Then to make it an "adventure" for my kids instead of something scary, I headed upstairs to retrieve my computer, thinking I would bring it back down and we could look it up online, learn the magnitude, report the shaking, etc. (our usual earthquake routine.) But instead, three little kids followed my every step, practically attached to my pant legs.

Not too surprising, under the circumstances. So we did the research upstairs, then went back down to watch the breaking news. In all that time I couldn't contact Brian (all circuits busy) but it was anti-climatic when I finally did. He had been driving and didn't even feel it!

These are the days every Californian decides we are insane for living here. But then we chalk it up to business as usual and go about enjoying our perfect weather.

7 comments:

marianne said...

We felt it all the way up here in Santa Barbara. My dog was in the office with me and sprang into action...not sure what was expected of him, but ready to save the day! Then we just sat and watched the chandelier swing for a while. Amazingly, I find earthquakes kind of exciting. Probably because I've never been at the epi-center of a big one.

Janna said...

Wow- how fun but a little scary too. I often wonder how I would react in a real emergency. Would I be able to keep my cool? Keep my kids calm? We didn't feel anything in Bakersfield.
PS- I like the pic

Team Biddle said...

Ok, that is scary...geesh! I'm glad you knew what to do!

We were at McDs yesterday when they posted it on the news my friend from Cali commented "oh, its one of the fun ones!" Apparently some of them are fun? Either that, or she's a little twisted.

Glad you are ok!

Emily said...

Wow you little blogger you! I just got caught up! I have to say... you are so entertaining! I love the post on Brian and I LOVE that you did that to his car! We were in Utah the same time too! I am surprised we didn't run into you on Center Street on the 4th! Ahhh memories! Let's get together next week!

Coontz Clan said...

You are the WOMAN!! Breastfeeding during an earthquake!!!

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