Morning Fog

More than the stone rolled away

on April 6, 2010

It was supposed to be a cool, chilly day, unlike most Easters past. But there we were, standing outside after going to Mass and having brunch, playing croquet on the lawn, enjoying what turned out to be a beautiful afternoon.

I think I was getting ready to swing my mallet when SurferGirl froze and said, very calmly and almost inaudibly, “there’s an earthquake.” I looked over at her, standing very still, and thought to myself that if I stand very still, maybe I would feel it too before I missed it. Because, of course, you just don’t feel most of them, and it is kind of fun when you do. Even the ones you DO feel, leave you wondering, was that an earthquake? The stronger ones are a little bit like you drank some wine and then bumped into the sofa – a little disorienting for a second, but nothing in the long run. (They are almost never like the one that hit when I was 10, and I woke up to the sound of everything in the house crashing and banging, and I realized that I was hanging on to the windowsill above me as my bed was skittering across the floor.) So I froze also, and smiled when I realized that Yes! I did feel something! And then it got stronger. And a little stronger. It felt a little bit like standing on a boat…solid underneath but slightly undulating. My husband joked about seeing how well built the new house was. I joked about how we couldn’t have picked a better place to ride out a quake…outside on the lawn, not close to anything that could fall. And still it rolled on. And I kept looking at the house, half expecting to see a wall fall, a crack to open up, a tile to fly off the roof, something. And I was just struck by how quiet it all was. Silent. We were all silent, listening and sensing and absorbing the stillness. And still it rolled on. Neighbors started to make noise, garage doors opened, people appeared in their yards. And then it was over.

I scampered into the house, concerned about the dog and the china cabinet, and not really in that order. The dog was fine and so was everything else, so we went on with our game after a too-long chat with a neighbor. And then we played another. I commented to SurferGirl at one point that I should go inside and check online…I said it had to be a big one because we aren’t by a fault here. When we feel them they are out in the ocean or in Mexico or out in the desert. Or in Los Angeles. I was praying it wasn’t in Los Angeles, and I was thinking about my family there, gathered for Easter. For us to feel it that strongly and for that long…well it just had to be formidable and I didn’t want anyone hurt, and (selfishly) I didn’t want to have to drive up there that day.

So when Oldest and SurferGirl were ready to leave, I ran in to check and wow! sure enough! quite a big earthquake indeed! Lucky thing it was where it was since it isn’t too populated out there where the epicenter was. I do know a couple of people who grew up in Calexico though, so I hope their families came through unscathed.

But as for us, it was pretty much a non-event and I am sorry to report that I haven’t felt even one of the hundreds of aftershocks. The little girl in me is a bit bummed, but the homeowner in me says it’s cool. I don’t really need to feel any more earthquakes in my life.

In another surprising, earth-moving turn-of-events, I actually picked the winner of the NCAA basketball championship when I filled out one of those bracket things a month ago or so at school. It was just for fun, but Huh. Go figure. Go DUKE! I hope I win something because pure, raw, unadulterated blind luck like that cannot go unrewarded!


2 responses to “More than the stone rolled away

  1. Christina says:

    I knew it was a quiet quake! At least up here it was. I think because we never got a big JOLT to strain the buildings too much.

    That one when you were clinging to the window sill? I think that’s the one I felt when it was like my bed was picked up and thrown against the wall. I didn’t fall out, but I sure remember that wake up call!!

    I’ve felt quite a few aftershocks. There was a pretty strong one last night around 9:25 – strong and shallow which is why many people in the county felt it.

    I had the same fears as you in terms of where it came from – so relieved when I saw it was in the sparsely populated areas down south.

  2. bluesleepy says:

    So glad you and yours (plus your house) are all fine! I’ve never felt an earthquake. That seems rather… scary. Yikes.

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