"I know for sure that everything in life happens to help us live."
Oprah Winfrey

Monday, June 18

Shake, Rattle and Roll...

I don't know about you, but the one thing I've always been sure of in this uncertain world we live in is the ground beneath my feet. It's always been there, and in my way of thinking, wasn't going anywhere unless I voluntarily opted to leave it by airplane, hot air balloon, whatever. I sure never expected to get shaken out of my bed at 5 o'clock in the am with the ground rolling under me.

About 15 years ago, I flew out to California for the birth of my first grandson. I'd been there for a couple of weeks and my visit was coming to an end. Looking back on it, I think CA wanted to give me a send-off I wouldn't forget.

So, I'm minding my own business, sleeping soundly, like most normal people do at 0'dark thirty. Suddenly, I'm awakened by the insistent rattling of windows and a less-than-gentle shaking of the bed. At about the same time, I saw an explosion in the night sky, which I later found out was a transformer on a pole. It took a few seconds to register in my sleepy brain, but the realization quickly formed that "wait a minute, this isn't right... why are the windows rattling? ... ahh, shit... it's an earthquake!"

Now, I'm an Easterner and don't know nothing 'bout no earthquakes 'cept what I've read or heard about. Didn't really wanna know nothing either. I wasn't really scared, just somewhat shaken (pardon the pun.) Actually, I was more in awe of the whole thing and thought "so that's what an earthquake feels like."

So now we're all up -- son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, new grandson, and me -- checking the news and babbling excitedly about the goings on. Not quite certain about what to do, I didn't venture far, opting instead to stay in the living room. Occasionally I'd see something move that wasn't supposed to move of its own volition -- like the shuddering roses on top of the TV, or the vertical blinds hanging on the windows, moving slightly as if caught by a gentle breeze. Those aftershocks are a little disconcerting, to say the least -- like waiting for the other shoe to drop.

After about 3 hours, I really had to go to the bathroom because in all the excitement, I hadn't peed since I was so rudely shaken from my sleep. And you know how you have to pee when you wake up in the morning! So, again, there I am, minding my own business, sitting on the potty, and emptying my bladder. Don't you know that all of a sudden the toilet starts rocking, the water in the bowl is sloshing all over my butt, and I had to hold onto the side of the sink so I didn't fall off the damn thing!! What the hell?

So I grab some TP, do a quick swipe, get my ass off the thing, and flush it(?? totally out of habit, I guess,) all the while trying to pull up my pants and get the hell out of the bathroom! I mean, who wants to be found trapped on the toilet after an earthquake?? So I say to my daughter-in-law, who's a native Californian and quite used to the shenanigans of Mother Nature in her part of the world, "what the hell was that" and she says "another earthquake!" and I say "you've got to be kidding!" Jeez!

Well, by this time I'm a veteran, (ha!) and a little braver, and I'm wanting to see what's going on outside. So I open the door to look out and the in-ground sprinkler system has obviously ruptured and is running amok, spraying water all over the place. I look to my right and I see the water in the pool rolling and swaying back and forth, back and forth -- like waves on the ocean. Certainly not something you expect to see in an apartment complex swimming pool. It was truly unnerving.

Turns out the first event was a 7.3, point 6, or point 8 quake, depending on which statistics you're reading. The second event was a 6.7 quake (or huuuuge aftershock), again depending on which stats you read -- the June 28, 1992 Landers/Big Bear earthquakes. Well, I'm here to tell you ... a 7 point anything quake will rock your world and you're not going to give a rat's patootie about the the number coming after the decimal! At that point, I was just trying to convince my son and family to get on the plane with me and get out of that place!

My grandson's birth was a majorly exciting event all by its lonesome, made all the more memorable by the occurrence of not one, but two earthquakes 10 days later. The earth rocked and rolled the week after you were born, sweetheart ... it doesn't get any better than that!

Happy Birthday, Christopher!

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At 6/18/2007 5:58 PM, Blogger Debi said...

On the can...just figures, huh?

Happy birthday to your little (well, probably not-so-little at 15) grandkiddo!

At 6/18/2007 9:23 PM, Anonymous Cindy said...

Oh my goodness Christopher is 15!!!!!!

Please tell him Happy Birthday for Dylan and I and tell his that he is catching up to Sissy.

At 6/21/2007 5:19 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Well happy birthday to your grandson. That's some story!! I hope it's nothing I have to experience!

take care,


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