Saturday, September 3, 2016

Not On My Bucket List

Not that I really have a bucket list, because I don't, but if I did have one experiencing an earthquake would not be on it - especially after the devastation in Italy ten days ago.
Shortly after 7 a.m. this morning our house began rattling and shaking. My first thought was "train" because once in awhile when a train goes through it does shake our house more than usual. But I looked out the window and there was no train going by.
My second thought was "could we be having an earthquake?" For years I have heard that someday the Midwest is going to have a really huge earthquake again on what is known as the New Madrid Fault Line. Was this it? And what should we do?
Third thought was "another earthquake in Oklahoma", which was confirmed by my niece via Facebook a few minutes later. They have experienced many quakes since moving to the Tulsa area a few years ago.
So once it was confirmed, I wondered "where in OK" and "how strong"? It wasn't long before Tina posted: "5.6 magnitude near Pawnee in the north central part of the state". Apparently this ties as the strongest recorded earthquake in Oklahoma. I know many people there attribute the rise in number of earthquakes to the fracking in the region.
So, though I have been in a flood once and close to tornadoes many times and while a hurricane rages along the eastern coast, I now have actually felt my first earthquake. I didn't like it. At least there is some warning for floods, tornadoes and hurricanes - there is no warning whatsoever for an earthquake.
I remember the days of not knowing the status of friends during the 6.9 Loma Prieta quake in San Francisco in 1989, how hard it was wait for news. And the horrible toll of life and property from tsunamis after earthquakes.
It is hard to describe how I felt this morning. I used the word unnerving on Facebook. There really wasn't enough time to get too scared - but it is true what they say about how it seems like longer than a minute or two. I think the only experience I can relate it to was when we were in the Flood of '93 and I saw the water begin pouring up our street - there is no fighting Mother Nature when she lets loose.

There are no photos to share because there was no damage here, so because today is her birthday and because she did live in SF during the '89 earthquake, here is a picture of my friend Kristina and me on a fall day many years ago.

Apparently there was an aftershock just before 8 a.m. this morning, but that was not felt here. You know, now that I think about it, now that it's little more than a story to tell, I'm kind of glad I did get to experience an earthquake - one strong enough to know for certain that's what it was, but still not cause damage - because now I have some idea what it feels like. And once is enough!

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