Wednesday, February 10, 2010

All Right! All Right! You Don't Have To Send An Earthquake!

Yes, I know I've missed two days of blog posting.  I have been an absolute slackard.  I'd like to say it was because I'd been powering through boxes of photos and making extraordinary headway on the project, but alas, that is not the truth.

The truth is that I got distracted and let my energy dissipate all over the place on scattered little jobs.

As a matter of fact, just as I tapped in the period at the end of that last sentence,  a distracting little "ding" alerted me to the fact that I had received an email which reminded me of another email which reminded me of some e-cards I wanted to send, which led me to visit the ecard site and choose ecards (and to look at all the charming new ones for all occasions not related to the Valentine ones I needed this week) and now here I am back again...25 minutes later.

It's an illness, OK?

So, last night around 4AM I awoke to the roar of the snowplows outside my window.  First, the street plows, clearing away that last quarter of an inch of snow that fell after the last pass-through around midnight, and then the pick-up truck plow which we have hired to take care of our long driveway whenever Scott is out of town, so that I am not stranded.

Our bedroom window is on the ground floor about 18 inches from the edge of the driveway and I sleep on that side.  Some mornings, the roar of that plow going by so close to me is quite startling.  It has crossed my mind once or twice that those stories on slow news nights about cars going through the sides of houses are true,  if sort of unlikely.  On winter nights when that plow crashes past my window, the odds of something like that happening (even to sober people) seem suddenly so much greater.

Last night, the cacophony from all those plows one after the other was a bit too much for my imagination, so I hopped out of bed and took the opportunity to go to the kitchen for a glass of water.  Hydration is very important in winter, as many people forget, and no less so during the night.  It wasn't that I was nervous about that truck plow exploding through the wall of our house and into my bed,  it was simple good sense.

When the truck pulled out onto the street and appeared to be finished, I went back to bed.  However, no sooner had my head hit the pillow and sleep was claiming me once more  (tangent alert:  yes, like a sailor, I am asleep within seconds, usually--but don't get excited, Skipper, we still have that seasickness issue which is very unsailorly),  when there was a sudden,  jarring jolt, followed by a low rumbling, shuddering of the entire house and a clanging crash.

I leapt out of bed, convinced that the truck had returned and had, in fact, struck the house!  The sensation was that powerful.  I hurried to the front door but there I saw the plow driver on the porch picking up his shovel (I guess he had dropped his shovel, which was the clanging).  I then went to the kitchen where I noticed his truck parked over on the garage side of the house.  I figured he must have had a co-worker, which was unsual, and the co-worker must have struck the house on the garage side.

Standing there in my PJs, I couldn't decide whether to go outside to inspect the damage or wait till morning.  On the one hand, I could not believe that a truck could hit our house at one end and I would feel it with such violence at the extreme opposite end of the house (not to mention that it appeared to have caused the foundation itself to shudder, as the rumbling came distinctly from below me in the basement).  Yet, on the other hand,  the driver had not knocked on the door!  I went to the closet to get some clothes, just in case, when I noticed the guy on the porch had returned to the truck and was now driving away.  I hurried out, but could discover no signs of any accident at all!  The piles of snow near the foundation of the house at all points were high and undisturbed.  Nothing had hit the house.

Deciding that my imagination had run away with me and, with such thoughts at the forefront of my mind, I had imagined an accident in that twilight between waking and sleeping.  I went back to bed and was asleep in seconds.

This morning, just to be absolutely certain, though, I checked the walls all around the driveway and the garage, thoroughly.  As before, there was no evidence whatsoever of any accident and what is more, there were neat piles of undisturbed plowed snow all around the house indicating clearly the closest points that the truck came to the building itself.  So, chuckling to myself over my wild imagination and murmuring a brief "PHEW!" that I hadn't gone charging outside last night in my PJs to ask the plowman what the hell he was thinking crashing into our house (Ha!),  I got into the car to warm it up for the morning drive to school with the boys.

You know, I really should cultivate more of an interest in morning radio or catching the daily news on TV or something before heading out for the day.  It really is a serious gap in my morning habits, because good gods, anything could have happened overnight and I could be waking up and walking outside,  yawning and blinking,  right into the middle of WW111 or something!

So, I got into the car and put the radio on and the first words I heard were: "The national Geological (blabbalah)  has updated its report on last night's earthquake..."  WOWZA!  Earthquake?

Thinking back, it makes sense that I would have confused the two events:  after all,  truck crashing through building on top of sleeping homeowner is totally something we often hear about, while "Earthquake in Illinois" does not generally top the news lineup on a regular basis.

But, an earthquake it was, and what is more, it was an earthquake whose epicentre was very near to our little corner of Illinois.  About 30 miles from here, actually.

They said it was a 3.8 on the richter scale.  Small potatoes by natural event standards--consider that the Haitian earthquake is reported to have been 30,000 times more powerful, or that even the quake we had in southern Illinois a few years ago was a 5.7,  I believe.  We felt that one only slightly.   But let me tell you, when you are close to a quake, even a 3.8 piddly no-big-deal quake, you really do feel it.  Wow.

OK, so progress:  well, I did scan two packages of photos yesterday evening after basically goofing off for nearly two days.  Pretty pathetic showing, really.

But Kiki has given me a great idea.  Apparently, I may be able to scan photos into the blog.  If so, I may pick a favorite each scanning cycle and post them for inspiration!

Can you wait?   Bet you can't!

Good day to all!


  1. You felt a 3.8 from 30 miles away? Seems like it would be more of a rolling sensation at that distance, but I guess it depends on the type of quake. You know, if you're going to have to live through earthquakes, you might as well move to California! ;-)

  2. Yes...and maybe it was closer. It was truly a jolt and there was a roaring sound under the house like a truck rumbling underneath.