Friday, April 18, 2008

Eek, Eek, Squeak!

I did have an entire other thing that I was planning for today, but like the every other person who lives in the Midwest with a blog, I’m changing my topic to the earthquake. I can’t imagine that this will be a unique story, but it’s mine.

This morning, I woke up and was really confused. I knew it was before the alarm had gone off. And I was trying to figure out why the washing machine was on at that hour. At that point, I realized that the doors to our bedroom were rattling.

I started to put things together. The washing machine only shakes if you’re standing right next to it, and our bedroom is on the opposite side of the house. And the spin cycle isn’t totally consistent, but this shaking was perfectly constant. And seriously, who’d be doing laundry at that hour? Nope, not the washing machine.

Then my thoughts turned to the doors. Only the bedroom door was rattling. The closet door was quiet. The doors we have in the bedroom are double wide, so one door fastens at the ceiling, and the other door fastens to the first door (umm yeah, they’re French doors). The reason they were rattling is because they aren’t secure, which meant the whole house was shaking.

Huh. We’re having an earthquake.

By that point, my husband was also awake. He immediately got out of bed (I never moved, knowing that once I’m out of bed any chance I had of getting back to sleep is shot) and opened the bedroom door. Then he stood near the wall and looked up. Then he smacked the wall. Yep, that’s gonna stop the shaking. I started snickering; you would have, too.

Then he walked over to the closet, opened that door and turned the light on. By that point, I realized sleep was out of the question, as light is another sleep stopper for me. I looked at the clock (a third sleep stopper) and saw that it was 4:38am. Ugh.

I finally told my husband that it was an earthquake. He didn’t believe me at first, but once I explained that the bed was still shaking, he finally gave in. I reminded him that there was a fault running along the Mississippi. Oh, yeah….

By that point, my brain was functioning well enough to start worrying about other people. If we could feel the earthquake here, how bad would it be at the epicenter, which had to be pretty far from us. By the time I expressed my concern, however, he was already sound asleep. I detest that ability in other people. Mostly because I completely lack it.

I did finally fall back asleep, but I know it was over an hour later (I checked). My SIL who lives in St. Louis called at 7am to find out if we’d felt it and to give her story. I also got to hear about how my FIL was in the bathroom during the earthquake. That was a phone call I could probably have done without. Actually, had she not called and had I not heard about it on the radio as I was getting ready this morning, I probably would have chalked it up to an odd dream.

Tonight, I asked my husband why he thought banging the wall would help. Apparently, he thought maybe we had some sort of super-mouse in the attic that was shaking our bed and rattling the doors. And of course, smacking the wall would frighten away such a monstrous beast. I totally get his logic now. Really.

In all my travels to the west coast – and they were many, as I managed a relationship for a retailer based in CA with stores throughout that part of the country – I always thought it would be sort of neat to be in a (very small) earthquake, just to find out what it was like. It never happened, and I never imagined that my first earthquake would be in Chicago. The good news is that it wasn’t the “Big One” along the Mississippi that they’ve feared, so it all worked out.

A mouse. That still cracks me up!

7 comments:

Manic Mom April 18, 2008 at 8:04 PM  

Wow, so you totally felt it too! I do think it was kind of neat!

Karen April 18, 2008 at 9:41 PM  

So glad it wasn't big enough to do damage, and on that note - how fun! We had a slight one in Alaska once. The monstrous mouse would have freaked me out more.

Shelley April 18, 2008 at 10:16 PM  

Okay, so we could give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he was still mostly asleep, right? ;) I used to be like you...not able to get back to sleep or take naps. I think it was after the 4th child that I developed the ability to fall asleep any time my head hit the pillow. I'm glad you survived your first quake. I slept right through mine.

Jules April 19, 2008 at 12:00 AM  

Wow! It's all quiet here in Ca. and there you go in the east coast, rumbling away. Glad to hear all is well. What did the kids say? Or did they sleep through the lot?

Michelle April 19, 2008 at 3:39 PM  

Manic -- it was kind of neat, but a totally surreal feeling now, almost like it didn't happen. Except for the constant commentary from people and the news articles, of course!

Karen -- I'm right with you on the mouse being more freaky. If I had a mouse that was large enough to shake my house, I think I'd be moving!

Shelley -- I will admit that he does claim to have been half asleep. I unfortunately don't generally get the luxury of that stage. I'm either asleep or awake. Maybe that's why I can't nap!

Jules -- I'll admit that I'm just as shocked that my first quake was here, but definitely also glad that there was no major damage anywhere from it. And yes, both kids slept through it. As did my parents and their crazy dog (they live about 15 minutes away), which was actually the far more shocking part.

Bina April 21, 2008 at 7:46 AM  

I didn't feel it, but I "heard" it. I woke up to what sounded like someone trying to get in my bedroom. I thought it was daughter and I said, "Ariana? Ariana are you there?" I got up, opened the door, she wasn't there. I went upstairs and she was sound asleep. My husband told me I must have been dreaming, and of course I believed him, why wouldn't I? Until we heard it was an earthquake! I thought it was so cool1

Michelle April 21, 2008 at 10:28 PM  

Bina -- it sounds like you're like me: you think something's happened but it was a dream or vice versa. I'm glad I wasn't the only one who heard the door rattling. And drat those husbands who can sleep through anything!

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