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Thursday, 30 August 2012

Earthquake Weather

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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Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post



I have never been in an earthquake but if I ever were in one, I would love to have a great dog like Penny to warn me that an earthquake was coming.

A great story. I can't imagine ever getting blase about the earth moving! Only experienced one small one while visiting California--my hosts never felt it, they were so used to it.

Small earthquakes are fairly common where we live, but several years ago a whopper hit on Halloween, followed by an aftershock in the middle of the night that felt like a subway roaring ten feet below our bed.

Marcy - During my first 75 years, I have never experienced an earthquake - at least one that I was aware of.

There are far better ways for reducing one's hoard of bric-a-brac - like perhaps a yard sale! - Sandy

Marcy, Living in Seattle much of my life, I've been through several sizable earthquakes.

And to my great surprise--while living in Maryland last year, I experienced a very small earthquake. Most of the people who felt it in the Washington, DC-Virginia-Maryland area had never been in an earthquake before and were completely panicked.

We so rarely get them here in MN, but when we lived in AK or CA, they always made me nervous. But the big one that lurched in 2004 while we were up in AK for our Christmas break didn't seem like much to us. But 250,000 people died from the tsunami. I always think there's something about the flutter of a butterfly someplace that starts a typhoon. Same thing with a remark that changes a person's life. Never know how thing affects life.

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