Shake, Rattle, and Run

Let me paint a picture for you.  It’s been a busy day and you’ve had dinner, done your chores, and are lying on the couch while a TV show about the manufacturing facilities of John Deere combines drones on in the background (really).  It’s warm, the couch is soft, and soon you are drifting off, despite the riveting program.  Then your house is moving.  Sideways.

See that big blue square?

I don’t remember waking up and thinking, “Oh my dear stars, there’s an earthquake.”  One minute I was inspecting the inside of my eyelids and the next I was running to Toddler Harbat’s room hoping the shaking didn’t get so bad I couldn’t stay upright.  By the time I got to her bedside, the shaking had slowed and she was sleeping like an angel.  Here’s the data, found on the coldly scientific USGS website:  5.7 magnitude, depth of 3.4 miles.  Compared to the Easter earthquake, which was a 7.2 magnitude at 6.2 miles, that’s a ratio of…um…let me carry the one and convert…then divide…never mind.  On Easter I was having fun riding the biggest earthquake of my life, ambling outside when one of the nervous Nellie moms decided it was getting too “real”.  This time I didn’t have any time for observation or reflection.  My instincts, it appears, are spot on.  I went straight for Toddler Harbat, though I’m not sure what I would’ve done with her if the shaking had been worse.  Side-by-side, I think the Easter earthquake was longer and had more of a rolling sea motion to it.  This one felt like a giant had our house in its hands and was trying to rattle the glass from the frames.

There’s nothing like an earthquake to activate your limbic system and push the hand-wringing decision-making part of your brain into the passenger’s seat saying, “Shut up, you, this is a rescue operation.”  Needless to say, it was challenging to let the adrenaline disperse so I could go to sleep.  But I managed.

Writer, architect, father, husband.

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One comment on “Shake, Rattle, and Run
  1. Babs says:

    From experience..grab child, exit house immediately and go outside away from buildings and falling trees etc….then spend the next hour trying to get the adrenaline back into the organ it shot out from.

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