Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rockin’ & Rolling

Yup, the House O’Speak was “shaking it up” tonight.

We live relatively close to the epicenter. Lost a mirror off the playroom wall. (Glad the girls weren’t in there; it shattered all over the place.) Close enough that we felt it strongly enough to stop what we were doing. If you’ve lived in “earthquake country” you are probably going, “oh, wow, that was a decent one then.“ For the record, when an earthquake hits in our area most people don’t even stop what they’re doing. You take notice, if it lasts long enough, you may even consider heading for a doorframe, but usually it’s over by then and you’re razzing the newbie from out of state who’s looking a bit green right about now.

People who have never been in an earthquake are usually the ones who are terrified of them. It's typical, you fear what you don‘t know. I am terrified of tornados and hurricanes, so there you go. Don’t get me wrong, earthquakes can be very scary and cause lots of damage. But we are very, very lucky to live in this part of the world. My family likes to say “earthquakes don’t hurt people, buildings hurt people.” My dad is a civil engineer, so designing structures to withstand movement is his job, so I know a little bit about this type of stuff. Because we live in the US where we have building codes and the money to support them; an earthquake that would kill hundreds if not thousands in another country, will break a few dishes here. I’m not trying to be flip about it, that’s the truth. If I really get thinking about it I get really angry. It’s beyond frustrating to me that we have the technology to protect all those people but because of politics and money the structures that are built end up killing people. But off my soapbox for now, that’s material for a different post.
It was the girls’ first real earthquake. We had gotten them to bed about 15 minutes before it hit, so they weren’t completely out. I knew better than to go running to their rooms; nothing freaks out a kid like realizing their parent doesn't have complete control of the world. I think DD#1 was asleep enough that she would’ve thought it was part of dream, but DD#2 is a pretty light sleeper so she woke up & started crying. DD#1 heard me with her and so suddenly I had lots of questions to answer. I had to explain what an earthquake was and how it’s a little scary because we’re never expecting it when it happens. I was quick to praise her, indicating she did exactly the right thing by staying in bed. Then we talked about what to do if you aren’t in bed (stand in a doorway or get under a table). It was actually good timing for the experience. DD#1 wasn’t scared at all, and told me so. Hopefully, when she feels her next one (yes, she will feel others in her lifetime, don’t stress it I’m not) she won’t be totally freaked out by it cause it won’t be new.

Guess we're just setting the mood for Halloween!