Earthquake Life

“They” say LA’s had an earthquake drought, as it were. They’re right! I remember when living in San Diego I felt at least three, one of which was preceded by the trees full of birds suddenly all taking flight at the same time waking me up. Then I moved to LA and it was such a frequent occurrence it was no biggie. I mean, they were small, but it was common place to feel an earthquake. I worked in an older building with a bigger boss and you never knew if he was coming or there was an earthquake. I had a co-worker who freaked out a couple of times only to discover it was our boss coming. The last earthquake I remember was Easter, April 4, 2010. We were hosting Easter in our tiny condo for 16 people (I don’t know how we did it!) and the ground was moving and moving and moving and moving. We all felt it. It was a 7.1 earthquake in Baja in Mexico.

On March 17, 2014 I was woken up by what felt like a doozy. The biggest I think I’ve ever felt. At least it was the closest I’ve ever been to an epicenter! It was terrifying. Everyone I talked to in our complex said it felt much bigger than a 4.4! I tore out of bed like a mad fool, thinking only of my mini-me, and grabbed onto the door jamb to wait it out. The problem is is that you have NO idea if it’s going to get worse or how long it’s going to last when it’s happening! A decorative plate on a bookshelf fell off and shattered on the floor right outside our bedroom door. I leapt over it, realized it was dark, wondered where Eric was, looked at the clock and ran as fast as I could to mini-me’s room where I jumped on her bed with her and laid there long enough to make sure she was ok. It woke her up and she thought someone was breaking into our condo! I ran to get the phone and called Eric who was in the midst of calling me and then called my mom to tell her we were ok. I’m not gonna lie, I was shaking so bad I could hardly lift my arms up to hold the phone!

It’s funny how earthquakes work, if you’ve never experienced one. The closer you are to the epicenter, the more violent they are. The farther away, the more it feels like the ground is “rolling”. Earthquakes are noisy too! I heard people thought a bomb had gone off outside their homes. Plus the structure you are in moans and groans and then if it’s big enough things are crashing around.

On March 28, I was in bed when I felt another earthquake. I again, tore out of bed and headed for the door. However, it wasn’t that bad where we live and my husband yelled to see if I was ok. I opened the bedroom door to see him headed toward mini-me’s bedroom. She felt it and thought someone was breaking in again! That earthquake was a 5.1, which is pretty significant and it red tagged some buildings and emptied shelves near the epicenter, but it was 45 miles away from us.

Then on March 29, I was sitting on the couch and felt another one! It really does get the adrenaline pumping! Mini-me said she didn’t feel it, but Eric said he did. That one was 4.1 and it was about 48 miles away. It’s enough to rattle one’s nerves, that’s for sure! If we have another, I’m hopping in the car and driving us to my parents!

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