Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Holy Crap! Was that an earthquake?

Those were the words screaming very loudly in my head as I descended the stairs after checking on my, just put down for a nap, daughter.

It started off just like any other day. Sophie waking up way too soon, but since she just stays in her room till someone comes to get her (and that might be 20 minutes later), I tend to stay in bed and get a few more minutes of rest till Mason comes charging in the room. After breakfast and a much needed cup, or two, of coffee, I join Fred and the kids outside for a morning bike ride. What a morning it was too. A nice breeze, probably in the upper 70's or lower 80's, much cooler than it has been. Mason rides around and around on his two wheels, while Sophie tries to keep up on her tricycle and at times just giving up and running after him. We wave good-bye to daddy as he drives off for his meeting in Maryland.

A few hours later, we are having lunch. Sophie is looking tired so I put her down for a nap. Then Mason and I settle down into the family room to work on a Transformers puzzle we picked up earlier in the day. It was a hard puzzle, later I realized it was because I had the edge pieces in the wrong spot. The point is that we were concentrating hard on this puzzle, sitting on the floor, when all of a sudden we heard a loud rumble and the windows rattle.

My first thought was that it was a big truck coming through the neighborhood, that was until everything started to shake. Mason looked at me, almost horrified. I kind of froze trying to settle myself as I looked up and saw the house moving. I felt dizzy and nauseous and knew this was not just a low flying plane or a tremor from the local quarry blasting. I went to grab Mason and heard picture frames falling in the other room. That was when my mind went to Sophie, alone upstairs. I jumped up, running up the stairs as fast as I could, Mason close on my heels. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do, I just knew I needed to grab both kids and have them with me. I was also afraid that stuff would be falling off the shelves and walls of Sophie's room and onto her laying helpless in bed. About the time I reached the top it was all over.

I opened the door to Sophie's room. She sat up in bed, looking so innocent and confused as to why I was there and looking scared. Are you o.k.? I asked. Uh, huh, she mutters through her pacifier. Everything looked normal, only her butterfly mobile slightly swaying above her bed. I doubt she knew what happened or that it was potentially dangerous. I told her to go back to bed and quietly closed the door.

My hands trembling, my legs feeling of jello, my head reeling. Mason is practically in tears, the house is going to break. Is the house going to break, Mama? Was that an earthquake? I thought you said earthquakes don't happen here. I said we'd check on the computer, see if the news sites were reporting anything. Nothing, yet. But Facebook and Twitter were on fire. Wow, that was really an earthquake. Then CNN confirmed it, 5.8 earthquake hits the Washington D.C. area. That's when the phone rang. I rushed to get it. Fred was calling to ask if we just had an earthquake. I choke back some tears, the need to be brave for my kids starting to wear off, yes. Did you feel it too?

I spent the rest of the conversation walking around the house, picking up picture frames, checking on everything else to see if anything was broken. It wasn't. I called my dad in D.C. to see if he was o.k. We talked for a bit. Mason and I finished the puzzle. He begged for another bike ride. He rode his bike, I caught up on some reading. I talked with my sister, turned on the news. Talked with a friend, updated Facebook and Twitter.

All in all, everyone is o.k. and everything seems to be in good shape. Though, we will be making a few walks around the foundation, checking the gas lines and such just for good measure.
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