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A Big One

April 7, 2010

And no I don’t mean, my Big One.  Our Easter was pretty routine except for the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that had us rocking and rolling for what seemed like forever.

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We were at my aunt and uncle’s house just chilling after a fabulous Easter feast when the windows started rattling and the ground started rolling.  There were a few of us in the living room, the Husband, my sister, brother-in-law, cousin’s wife, and Eric, my niece’s boyfriend. {HEY! Look, Eric, you made it in!!}

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Being the Southern California experts that we all are, it took us at least 10 seconds before we all at the same time thought, “EARTHQUAKE!”  The funny thing is once we realized that it was an earthquake, we were all a little slow to move.  Normally by the time anyone realizes there is an earthquake, the shaking is done.

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But this one was different, it kept on rolling.  About 25 seconds into it, I finally realized that I should probably go upstairs and check on the kids.  By the time I got to the top of the stairs, my cousin who had been taking a little nap was also running for my girls (thanks, Joe!).  And my niece who had taken cover in a door jam, realized too that maybe it would be smarter to get the kids and then all get downstairs.

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So the three of us converged on the bedroom where the girls were playing.  They noticed something was happening, but had no idea what it was.  The Big One said she just heard a “big wind.”   The Little One just giggled and said, “WHOA!” as I grabbed her and headed downstairs.  Becca, my niece, had grabbed the Big One.

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By the time we got the kids the shaking had stopped, although the chandelier in the living room was still swaying.

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We knew there would be aftershocks, I just prayed that they didn’t start until we got back downstairs!

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All in all, everything was fine. We were a little more than 100 miles from the epicenter. So there was no damage to where we were. But it made for a fun Easter memory.

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In retrospect, it is funny to note reactions.  Here is what I remember and what others told me happened:

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My sister, headed for the door wanting to get outside of the house.

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I went upstairs for the kids, thinking we’d be better off downstairs.  Probably not the case if the house really collapsed.

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The Husband, my brother-in-law and cousin’s wife just stayed put.

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Eric, dove under the table we had eaten on.

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My niece braced herself in a doorway.

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I think the others, who were in the family room just stayed put.  I don’t know that any of them even moved.

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As soon as the shaking stopped, those of us in the living room all raced into the family room to turn the news on.  Being the only smart one in the room, I Googled it.  Hee hee, just  kidding.  But I did find the info online a lot faster than CNN started reporting on it

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2010 9:02 am

    That’s funny! About 20 or so seconds into it, Tony & I, who were sitting on the couch watching tv, figured we should check the girls. We walked down the hall to where they were playing and called them away from the window… then we all stood there and stared at each other like, “what are we supposed to do?” Elijah slept through it.

  2. April 10, 2010 2:55 pm

    Stopping in from bbc and SITS! I, too, like to look back at reactions during frightening times. I was alone with a friend’s 10 year old plus my dog when a tornado hit nearby. Looking back, I think I did ok, but shouldn’t have tried to move us from the closet to the garage!

  3. Eric permalink
    May 27, 2010 10:39 pm

    I did NOT dive under the table!!! For the record, I will replace the line with one i wrote…

    ” Eric, dove AWAY from the table and ushered everyone outside while at the same time directed the 3 of us to save the children…what a hero!”

    ^^ that’s actually what really happened… It’s a fact

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