Friday, April 18, 2008

Oh, My God! It's the Big One!

Holy crap, y'all. We had an earthquake this morning.

We were many miles from the epicenter in Illinois, but the greater Cincinnati area was one of several distant cities that felt the rumble and the shake.

I am actually relieved to know that what I heard at 5:37am was a quake. I was getting ready to hop in the shower when I heard what sounded like someone walking around in the house. I had the dishwasher running, and had thrown some clothes in the dryer, but above the din of those modern machines I thought I heard the garage door raise and footsteps in the stairwell. Jason had already left for the gym, and I thought he had forgotten something and was coming back in.

"Hello?" I called, after opening the bathroom door. "Jason, is that you?"

When no one answered I freaked a little. I remembered that both of our cordless phones were still out in the kitchen, and for a second I was convinced a madman burglar had broken in and I was trapped with no way to call 911. I listened for a moment, but all I heard were the early morning birds chirping (and now that I think of it, the birdsong was much louder than usual this morning; the birdies must have been alarmed by the shaking, too.) I resumed my shower, and more or less forgot about it since I didn't get attacked Norman-Bates-style by my imaginary burglar. When I heard the news on the radio, I realized that the noises I had heard were just my slightly shaken house. I was quite relieved (after learning that no one was hurt, of course.)

It wasn't quite the shake rattle and roll I felt as a kid back in 1980. I was playing back in mom's bedroom when all of a sudden, all of her perfume and makeup bottles began jumping on her dresser; they all came towards me and started falling off the top. I was only six, and thought an unseen entity was animating those objects and attacking me. I ran and screamed to my mom that a ghost was in her room. She looked up in alarm just as a gallon of milk fell off the kitchen counter and onto the floor, creating a spectacular mess. Dad was in the living room watching a Reds game, and in the sudden quiet created by all of us wondering just what the hell was going on we heard the announcer say, "Whoa. We just felt a little tremor here at Riverfront Stadium."
It had been a rare 5.1 centered right here in my home state.

The quake this morning was much further away, so it wasn't quite as dramatic as the 1980 shakeup (for us, anyway.) But just like that earlier quake, I mistook the rattling for something more sinister.

If you felt the big one this morning, chime in. Did you sleep through it? Did it rock your world? Is this the beginning of the New Madrid fault's big move?


Heather said...

I felt the rumble in Lexington. It woke me up....I thought my furnace was exploding!

I enjoy reading your blog when I can steal a minute away from work. Matt introduced me to it. Hope you don't mind me stopping by every now and then.


Shan said...

I didn't feel a thing...I was up and walking around my house. So, either I am completely oblivious to the world around me or I have a damn sturdy house...