four point two

Today began with an earthquake... At just before 5 (so I've read), we were awakened by rattling blinds and a shaking bed. After initial sleepy annoyance (what IS that?!), it took one second to realize it was not only the bed but the entire room/building/block/city that was moving. This was my second earthquake and the first was much kinder and gentler - we were sitting on the floor eating pizza, and the apartment just swaaayed back and forth. It was so mild that for a split second we actually thought the upstairs neighbors were just cranking the bass on their stereo again.

Number two had much more going on. No one that I've spoken to slept through it, and more than one person mentioned getting a little concerned as the shaking kept on as long as it did. Growing up in the midwest, the natural threats we dealt with (tornadoes, blizzards) usually came with at least a little warning: the icons in the bottom corner of the tv screen (white for a watch, red for a warning), enough time to run to the basement or to make a last trip to the grocery store for bottled water and jiffy pop. The Big One (earthquake) that's long been predicted for the west coast isn't going to give the luxury of a 'heads-up.' Its just going to happen...when we're sleeping or at work or walking home from dinner out.

In general, keeping track of the details that different climates/altitudes require reassures me. I like packing sunscreen and having to drink water. Knowing you need to hike early to avoid summer lightning and storms, that your towel will take two hours to dry in Denver, two days to dry (if at all) in Martha's Vineyard, etc. The earthquake thing has me a little off guard. You can look at the maps and know where the faults are. And you can put together an earthquake kit of bottled water and chocolate to help you get through the days after if a major one occurs. But, aside from sleeping under your dining room table, that's about it.

Dude. The control freak in me does not like this one bit.

(PS. Looking forward to WordCamp this weekend)