Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This Doesn't Happen Here

I was sitting at my desk, in my usual spot.
My eyes, gazed towards the computer.
My son, Sam, who was taking a break from mowing ( and wishing the lawn away),  
     was sitting in a chair next to me.
He was chatting to me about this, and that,
     and everything that came to his twelve-year old mind.

I tried to make a conscious attempt to listen to everything that he was telling me,
     but was admittedly distracted by my work.

As usual, Charlie, the dog, was nearby.
He began to bark, and at the same time, I felt the house begin to rattle.

Just a large truck driving by, I thought.  

Only . . . . .  with each second, the rattle began to feel stronger.

 As Sam's eyes met mine, I thought, maybe NOT a truck.  
     "What IS that?" asked Sam.    

In this area, I have experienced a few small earthquakes,
     and I was expecting the rattling to subside at any moment.

But, it didn't.  

The rattling turned to shaking.
 The floor, the walls, the furniture - everything shaking,
     like the spin cycle on a washing machine.   

This doesn't happen . . . . . . HERE, I thought.  

     "An earthquake," I said.

I picked up my trembling, barking dog,
     and the three of us headed towards the bathroom.
 The bathroom, because . . . . . .  that's what my brain knew to do.
 My brain knows where to go for a tornado.

     "Is this the best place for us to be?" asked my son.

We could hear the sound of glass breaking in the other room.

My brain quickly switched gears.

     "Outside," I said.

But, the shaking began to slow to a rattle, and the rattling began to feel like we were on a train ride,
     slowly pulling up to the station, and rolling to a stop.

We slowly exited the bathroom.

I put Charlie down, but he was still uneasy, and wanting me to pick him up.

We walked back to the room where we had stood, and saw the broken glass.  

Framed kids' artwork that had been sitting on the top of the bookshelves,
     had fallen and shattered to the floor.

I was suddenly aware of my rapidly beating pulse.   

On the one hand ( as I looked at the mess ), I thought, nothing worse than a clumsy "me" day.  

On the other hand, I thought, WOW.

This doesn't happen . . . . . . HERE.  



  1. Good post. We escaped with no damage. My three year old ran and hid under the kitchen table. How did he know to do that?

  2. Kids and dogs. They just seem to know, don't they.