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Wednesday, August 24, 2011


How convenient that this picture I took to show the knocked over picture frames shows the TV screen that it does!  

At 1:50pm yesterday afternoon, Jackson and I experienced our first earthquake! (Josh had felt one in Oakland while he was traveling a few years ago.)  I was sitting on the porch during naptime enjoying the BEAUTIFUL weather when I felt this rumbling and heard a loud noise.  All of a sudden our house was shaking!  I must admit my first instinct was to try to hold up our house...  I immediately thought, "Earthquake!" but then thought surely that wasn't it.  Paxton and I both freaked out at the same time.  He didn't give me any warning signs like a lot of people said their pets were, but he definitely knew something weird was going on!  We raced inside and I immediately heard Jackson screaming, so I ran upstairs and grabbed him--he looked so scared as his curtains flapped open with the breeze and the shaking and his pictures a little askew on the walls :(  We ran outside where two of our neighbors were already outside.  The shaking had just stopped, and we all looked at each other like, "Did you feel that???"  There wasn't anything to do really, so I went back inside and laid Jackson down--thankfully he went back to sleep!  Then I turned on the news and saw we had registered a 5.8 earthquake (it was upgraded soon after to a 5.9).  One person who called in to explain their experience said (in DC) it felt like they were in a cardboard box while someone just moved the corner back and forth.  My neighbor, Rachel, and I agreed it was more like we were in the box while someone picked it up and shook it back and forth!  It was a very disturbing sensation to be sitting on the porch with all the windows open inside (we have two windows right in front that open on to the porch, so I could hear everything inside) and to feel the house shaking like it was made of toothpicks and to hear everything rattling around inside!

I had a text from Josh right away asking if I felt that.  I then couldn't send out any texts or calls, so that sent me into a different sort of panic since I couldn't get in touch with Josh or check on anyone else!  I wasn't really worried that Josh was hurt, but I heard that lots of building in DC were being evacuated, and I just wanted to make sure he was ok.  It turns out he was already outside when the earthquake hit since he had decided just before 1pm that the meeting he was running should be held outside!  Crystal City, where Josh's office is, didn't feel as big of a shake as we did since our house is much closer to the epicenter of Richmond.  Josh thought it was pretty cool and was really upbeat and chipper when he finally got through to me.  He was very understanding, however, when I informed him my experience was very different since I was in our brand new house while it shook all over with our hysterical dog and son...

The rest of the afternoon was fine.  Jackson took a nice nap, but definitely remembered the experience!  When I tucked him in for bed, he asked, "All done shaking?  All done noise?"  That broke my heart!  He won't remember this at all, so that's good.  Apparently there was one aftershock around 3pm and another at 8:04pm, but we didn't feel either one here.

It was interesting hearing people different responses to the earthquake, and what people thought it was right away.  I thought it was something going on at Quantico since we hear all sorts of noise from there on a regular basement.  One of my neighbors is having her basement finished, and she thought the workmen were there using a jackhammer.  Josh said he and his co-workers thought it was a bus driving by since they hear a similar sound daily.  It definitely depended where you were!  I don't know if I will ever understand the people who thought it was really cool, however...  That's still a mystery to me.  I do think I would be having an easier time forgetting it/getting over it if I hadn't been IN our house to feel/hear it shake and rattle.  That is a sound and feeling I will NEVER forget :/

Nothing too terrible happened inside our house, but what is a blog without pictures?  
In the front room, the Chicago puzzle hanging over our desk was crooked (more so in real life than in this picture), the computer monitor shifted, papers slid, and two picture frames that usually sit on the top right of the desk fell down.
Thing on the baker's rack fell over, and my pretty glass candleholder fell on the floor and broke :(
Needless to say that basket is not always thrown on the floor with its contents spilling out...
The picture hanging in our stairway were the typical movie image of an earthquake's effects: crooked and possibly knocked off the wall.
These two guys fell off of our bookshelf in our bedroom.
My basket of stuff fell off of my nightstand.
All of the stuff that sits on the seat in our shower fell on to the floor.
Of course I had JUST cleaned off Josh's trophies from our basement mold incident and decided to put them in the extra room only to have them fall over a few days later from an earthquake!  None of them broke, however.

In general, lots of stuff shifted around in all of our cabinets and drawers.  The TV in our bedroom shifted a few inches to the left.  Josh found two cracks in walls as he walked around, but they look pretty superficial--phew!

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