We’d had a busy but enjoyable Easter all planned out.  In the morning, we’d host a brunch for our friends and the Goddaughter, complete with an egg hunt, stuffed bunny and basket for her and good food, limoncello-champagne cocktails and bloody-maries for the adults.  It was a big success and everyone had a good time.

In the evening, we were set to feast on a grilled butterflied leg of lamb and serve it with a hot tomato relish and chimichurri mix.
The intervening time was supposed to be a little down time – to read the paper, play the piano, maybe work on some music composition pieces – and that seemed to be the way the afternoon was shaping up until about 3:40 in the afternoon when the house began to shake. 
Now we get a number of small earthquakes here throughout the year and they’re typically of the “did you feel that?” variety – ones that if you’re sitting still you can sense the change in vibration but maybe not if you’re moving around.  They usually last a few seconds and then are finished.

And so when I was at the computer and this one started, that’s what it seemed like.  But it didn’t stop after a few seconds.   In fact, there was more shaking and rattling and this really weird rumble that seemed to come from everywhere at the same time.
The Beloved called out from the other room and we decided to get out of the house, which would have been easy except that we had to call and WAKE-UP Penny who apparently can sleep through an earthquake (clearly she missed the day when they were handing out that “animal sixth sense” about earthquakes).  After about 30 seconds or so, the shaking subsided.

I have to say that it was pretty weird and easily the largest earthquake that we’ve felt here.  It was pretty funny to watch Facebook and Twitter explode with updates  (there was a good xkcd on that this morning).

And we weren’t really done – for the next 90 minutes or so, we felt several aftershocks which definitely kept us on our toes (though it didn’t keep us from enjoying the lamb).  And there was a pretty good one this morning around 4 in the morning, but I was channeling Penny and slept through it.

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18 thoughts on “Scrambled

  1. Yikes!! Glad you guys are all okay! :/ As an Alabama native, I declare earthquakes to be weird and scary. Tornadoes: totally normal. But earthquakes? No thank you!That is so funny that Penny was unfazed. :)

  2. Amazing about Penny!!! Earthquakes are odd. I have never really been in one. THe photos of water sloshing out of the pool are odd, but don't really let me know what its like….But I am glad there was no major damage and the lamb continued to be enjoyed.

  3. J – I was thinking that earthquakes and tornadoes are similar in that you never know when one is coming — though at least for most tornadoes you at least know the weather might be ripe for them.

  4. Katie — it's much odder than a hurricane, which you can "see coming" — the earthquake is all around you in a moment and it comes from "underneath", where weather-related things come from "above". Totally bizarre.

  5. Very true. At least now you can usually expect maybe 10-20 minutes warning before a tornado, although there are still all too often times where there is no warning. (I'm not sure how closely my parents were watching weather reports the day their tornado hit their house–or how accurate the reports down there were–but I know that they basically had no warning.) I think that's the scariest thing about earthquakes, that you just don't know it's coming (or when aftershocks will be over). Makes me think of SimCity 2000 and my poor little Sims who had no idea I was about to unleash a space monster on them. ;)

  6. Glad everyone's alright. That Easter menu sounds fantastic! I've been off of cooking for a while – beyond throwing together very basic weeknight dinners — this makes me want to schedule a dinner party!

  7. Yes, this one was different from the others I've felt.My 3 year old was on her little potty and I was at the bathroom sink washing out the latest pee accident (a totally different story that I won't bore you with), and her little eyes got huge. Once I figured out what was going on, I picked her up and walked out to our backyard, while my Mom did the same with the baby.And then my daughter said "Mommy! I don't have any pants!" but didn't want me to go back in the house to get more pants. I did anyway, but we all had to spend the next 30 minutes or so outside before she would agree to go back into the house. And she kept asking "But WHY did the ground shake, Mommy?" I confess that my plate tectonics wasn't up to providing a satisfactory answer to that.

  8. I was in the "destructive zone" of the Newcastle earthquake… we weren't even an earthquake zone, so it didn't occur to me that it might be more than mine subsidence or an industrial explosion or some such until about thirty seconds into it when the ceiling high bookcases started to topple and even then my boyfriend had to pick me up and carry me out of the house… it just pulled some sort of eerie daze right over me. Your description of that rumble brought it back to me very clearly. I hope everything continues to be merely (relatively) small rumbles over that way. Ugh.

  9. Ross — I at least waited until we got back in the house — though now that I think of it, I could have tweeted from the backyard via my iPod Touch. D'oh! Missed opportunity!

  10. I have to think it's a tough thing to explain to a toddler. One of my co-workers tried "the earth had an itch and needed to scratch itself" — but then her daughter began to worry that the earth would have another itch!

  11. We were lucky to be ~100 miles away — I can only imagine if we were closer. The only damage I've heard from folks around here were things falling off shelves.

  12. I'm glad the Easter brunch was a success. I guess it ended in a bang. (*groan*) I'm glad everyone is OK. Penny's lack of reaction is funny!

  13. We had a 6.0 when I was 12 or 13. It happened in summer in the middle of the afternoon. I was sitting near one end of the living room. I heard the roar/rumble before I felt anything. It made me look up just in time to see a foot-high "wave" rolling down the floor toward me. There were big 5'x7' windows directly behind me, but I didn't even think about moving until the "wave" subsided. The house that was next door to me (where I'm sitting now) runs east to west (instead of north to south like the house I was in during the earthquake) and this house "twisted" to the south, then north, then back to normal, rather than "rolled," according to those who were here. We were all very sensitive to the hundreds of aftershocks over the next year or so.I am always curious about the urge to run outside during a quake when those who expound on such things say we are supposed to get under something sturdy like a desk or table, and that going outside puts us at risk of being struck by falling debris or power lines. And sure enough, in every major earthquake there is at least one story of someone rushing outside and being killed by a falling brick, window box, gargoyle or entire wall.

  14. PLL — wow — that's quite an experience. We debated the "should we go outside" strategy. Many of the homes here in San Diego have terra cotta tiles roofs and those tiles are heavy and can become dislodged during a quake — so one of the key things is that if you are going to go outside, you need to get away from the "fall radius" of your tiles!

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