So true, but I'm going to tell it anyway... mostly because, with one exception (and it was a pretty pitiful exception), I've never actually experienced an earthquake before and now I have a story to compete with all my blasé California friends who, when I talk to them on the phone, casually aside, 

"Hey honey, can you get that?" 

Me: "Huh?" 

Blasé California Friend: "Oh, not you, I was telling my husband to grab that vase off the counter before it fell; we're having an earthquake. So anyway, there was this sale at The Gap this weekend and I...."


Over a decade ago, when I announced to friends and family that I was moving to Washington, D.C. for a job, the most common reply was, "Murder capital of the country?" followed closely by, "What do you want to go there for?" 

Ignoring the fact that nearly every one of my friends and family ended their sentence with a preposition, I usually said, "Because D.C. is AWESOME." 

And then they countered with a list of eighty or ninety reasons why I would not enjoy living in D.C. 

I think I can, with confidence, say that not one of those eighty or ninety reasons was 5.9 magnitude earthquakes

I had just put The Caterpillar down for a nap after lunch and was trying to catch up on a mountain of work after a week off when I heard and/or felt the rumble of a train going by. We live close to a train track so this isn't unusual. Only this time the duration of the train sound lasted way too long. My brain noted that somewhere around here:

I looked around for the cats and they had scattered, so I stood up in the middle of the living room, my bare feet on the floor, and felt a new wave of rumbling come up through my feet as things started to fall off the shelves in the kitchen.

All this information came together in my head around here:

When it suddenly dawned on me: oh, this must be an earthquake.

Well, duh.

It still wasn't subsiding, so I figured some sort of action on my part was required. (Am I good in a crisis or what?)  I know you're supposed to stand in a doorway when experiencing an earthquake and that's mostly to avoid the stuff that's about to rain down upon your head, but outside seemed even better to me, with even less stuff to fall on my head if it so desired, so I yelled for The Caterpillar to wake her up (I think I scared her more by yelling her name than any fear the actual earthquake provided) as I went to her room to swoop her up and we headed outside.

I'm just glad I was dressed. Had the earthquake happened an hour or so earlier, my neighbors, who all decided to do the same thing, might not have been so lucky.

I stood outside with my neighbor, who asked, "Do you think we should call someone?"

"Whom should we call?" I asked. "I'm pretty everyone else knows what happened."

"Mother nature?"

Needless to say, there was no nap today.  That may be the cruelest cut of all.

The whole thing lasted about forty-five seconds and I spent the rest of the afternoon joking about it on the FacePlace and Twitterverse.

Rebuild New York? Why, yes, that was me! After the terrible earthquake of 2011, and the amazing thing is I did it entirely Out. Of. Legoooos!
I may or may not have a problem with using humor to deflect tense situations.

If I'm being honest though, it was a little scary at the point when I felt like the shaking should have stopped by now and it was still going on. Forty-five seconds is a lot longer than you'd expect sometimes. I'm a little less jovial about the whole thing now that I understand there has been damage to some historical places and people's homes closer to the epicenter, which was a couple of hours away near Richmond, Virginia.

We were fortunate, but didn't escape Mother Nature's wrath entirely. Earthquake devastation in my kitchen:

Save the guampas!

The Dormouse was at school and they evacuated the school immediately. Her story goes something like this:

"I was trying to do my math lesson and Manuel kept shaking my desk. So I said, 'Manuel, stop shaking my desk,' and he said, 'I'm not shaking your desk,' and I looked up and My Teacher was looking out the window and then there was an announcement on the loud speaker that we had to have a fire drill only there wasn't a fire and we stayed outside for the rest of the afternoon until the buses came and we talked about the earthquake and it was the Best. Day. Ever!" 

Perspective is everything.