Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Having lived a good many of my years in earthquake country, both southern California and the Seattle area, I've felt a few. I understand the concern about the one today, the first to strike in a populated area in a good many years. It will happen again. Count on it.

The first that I remember was in Simi Valley. I was in the back yard picking up stuff when the Eucalyptus trees began swaying and so did I. Wow, I thought, was happy hour yesterday that bad?? I struggled to hold my balance then everything was fine. Until I went into the house and found the results of what was not a monumental hangover all over the floor. Aha! Earthquake! They became rather common place after awhile. Anything from a 3 to a 5 were strong enough to be felt but not to the extent that damage was done. We learned a lot, quickly, about securing book cases to the walls and using museum wax to secure valuables on display to their shelving.

Seattle was much the same. Our home sat perched on a hillside not far from the fault that runs along I-90 through Bellevue and across the bridge, Mercer Island and on into the city proper. The house above us had a pool cantilevered from its foundation and I always worried that a strong enough jolt would find us flooded from above. Fortunately, during our tenure, that never happened.

As the career path would have it we left Bellevue just before the Northridge quake which devastated much of the area in which we had lived. Whew! We were on the phone as quickly as possibly checking on friends who were still there. It was amazing to hear stories of how one house would be totally destroyed while the one next door suffered only minor damage. Not unlike what tornado's are known to do, or flooding, or wildfires.

I'm not one to believe that natural disasters occur as a way for the almighty to punish us for misdeeds, as some would preach, but I do know we've always been fortunate enough to escape the most angry of events. And I do know, that such events will continue to occur, with little or no notice, because such is the way of Mother Nature.

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