August 24, 2011

Willie the Giant Stomps Outside

According to Olivia, our earthquake yesterday was caused by Willie the Giant stomping on the ground outside the house.  It took her less than 5 minutes after I settled myself down in the living room to come up with that explanation! I love her imagination!!

Yes, a 5.9 magnitude hit our house yesterday afternoon, worse quake in over 3 decades.  I was sitting downstairs at the computer while the kids were resting/napping upstairs.  Oh, and it was Olivia's first day of pre-k, so this day will be extra special day!  All of a sudden, I felt the windows shake.  Curious...I didn't know artillery fire was occurring today

Then it didn't stop, it got worse.  My brain is going through all the different possibilities of what this might be, but earthquake didn't even cross my mind until I realized the kids were on the second floor.  Have you ever seen a 7 month pregnant lady bound up 15 steps to collect her kids from a natural disaster? Me neither til yesterday.  As I climb the steps, I trip but caught myself with my hands.  Again, did you know that as you climb the stairs to a second level, the shaking gets worse? My brain knew this but in my state of mind, I completely forgot.  I hit the top floor, round the corner, bracing myself with my hands against the walls as the house continues to shake, and make my way down the hallway.

Olivia is just laying in bed as I burst into her room.  "What is it mommy?" What, you don't feel your bed is shaking like you're on an amusement park ride? I pull her out of bed and plop her in her doorway, "Stay here in the door frame!" At least I remembered the safest place is in the doorway if getting outside isn't an option.  I tear into Justin's room just as the shaking starts to subside.  He was super tired but his eyes were open, telling me he felt the rumble.  I stand in the middle of his room as the shaking dies down, also hoping he'd just put his head back down and close his eyes.  No such luck, he wanted out of his crib.

My heart is racing, and I immediately take the kids downstairs and find my cell phone.  First attempt to call Ryan, fail.  Network busy! Great!! I walk outside expecting to see everyone out of their homes, but there were just a few neighbor's out.  We exchange the "holy cow's" and "was that really...?" and I text Ryan.  "We just had an earthquake. We're ok.  Hurry home!" He was scheduled to come home in about an hour but walked through the door 15 mins later. 

Our eyes met and then everything came pouring out.  Can you believe that?...CRAZY!!... Did you feel that?... Where were you?... How long did it take to realize what was going on?.  Apparently, he was in a large auditorium finishing up a lecture, gathering his papers when the earthquake hit.  All the Captains stare at each other in disbelief.  They thought the same thing I did, was that really an earthquake? Then it started to sink into their brains that if they felt the shaking, their families felt the same thing about 2 miles away.  They were dismissed immediately.

Needless to say, since the quake was felt up in NYC, news central, it was all over the news stations in less than 5 mins.  Local stations reported the epicenter was in Mineral, VA located about 63 miles southwest of our house, 1.5 hrs by car.  It was a 5.9 magnitude quake, buildings start falling at 4.5, and a very shallow quake, making it more dangerous. We were lucky not to feel any aftershocks this far north, but I will always remember yesterday. 

To celebrate yet another historic weather event, we all went up to the commissary and stocked up on non-perishables for Hurricane Irene scheduled to hit us this weekend.  Fun time for our family.  Olivia's first day of school and an earthquake...epic!  We ended the day by going up to DC and enjoying the Sunset Parade at the Marine Memorial.  Despite Olivia not napping and Justin's rude awakening from his nap, they both did awesome and we all enjoyed ourselves. 

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