Thursday, 30 August 2012
By Marcy Belson
When we lived in the desert, there were times when everything got very quiet; the birds stopped singing, there was no wind, it was silent. We called that earthquake weather. I know an earthquake didn't follow that scenario, not often, but it did seem to be an indicator.
We had a Dalmatian dog named Penny. She was a good indicator. She would come to me and get just as close as she could. Within a minute or so, the shake would be there. I'd be in a doorway and Penny would be leaning against me.
The big earthquake in Imperial Valley was centered near my hometown, Brawley. The residents don't panic - for the natives, it's just another day. They sweep up what is broken, repair the cracks and move on. Only the tourists get up from their beds in a motel and drive away.
I remember, at age four, coming home from the mountains to find my goldfish dead in the kitchen sink with the bowl in pieces. That's the only thing I remember but I've seen photos of the downtown business area with all the plate glass windows boarded up after the glass shattered.
I also recall being at a drive-in movie theater and thinking someone was shaking the back bumper of the car. No, it was another earthquake.
The last shake before we moved away was a big shake. I looked out the window of our home to see the backyard undulating like waves in the ocean.
My husband was at work and the plastic paneled ceiling began to fall. In his socks, he led his employees down a staircase. Then he realized he had left his shoes under his desk!
I have heard stories about people sleeping outside, afraid they would be trapped in a house. We never did that. But the natural instinct to run is hard to ignore. I usually would go outside and sit on the curb.
I guess the up side to all this is that you get rid of a lot of bric-a-brac.
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