Tuesday, July 29, 2008
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.