Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Whole Lotta Shaking

At 1:51 p.m. yesterday, I was at my desk. I felt it vibrating, then shaking. Then it sounded like something—a helicopter, maybe?—hit the roof because the roof was definitely rattling.

I posted this on Facebook: "A few minutes ago my desk started to vibrate. The the house shook and the roof rattled. We went outside to see if we could see anything flying overhead but we didn't. What's going on? Earthquake? Demonic possession?" 

Before long responses rolled in—earthquake!—and others posted about feeling buildings shake. The epicenter of the 5.9 (or 5.8, depending on your source) was in Mineral, Virginia—which is 150 miles from here. We went out to check the around the house. No damage. Nothing out of the ordinary.

I'd noticed a few odd things earlier that morning, though: the cats were hesitant to go out (they usually stampede as soon as I open the deck door), Melody hadn't wanted to go into the front pasture (she's usually eager to do so) and Emma the garage dog was missing. Every morning, Emma goes behind the boxwoods in front of the house and spends most of her day there—but not yesterday. I take her breakfast out there every morning, so why wasn't she there waiting for breakfast? In the picture below, Jim-Bob sits in front of the boxwood that Emma is usually behind.

I looked all around the yard, under bushes, etc., and eventually found Emma on the patio on the lower level. As far as I know, it's the first time she's ever slept on the patio. She didn't want to be near the rest of the house, though. She decided that the pin oak was a pretty good place to stay. Occasionally she had to move to stay in the shade, but she stayed in that oak's vicinity all day and way into the night when I finally took her to the garage.

A few minutes after the earthquake, Emma was still under the tree.

Chloe and Jim-Bob walked around the property with me. Below, Chloe inspects the drought-ravaged lawn.

I looked east, toward Smith Mountain, and hoped the dam hadn't been damaged. Since there was no rush of a gazillion gallons of water, I figured it was OK.

 Here's my study window.  I was looking out it when the earthquake occurred.

Melody wanted to stay in the run-in shed.

Finally, Jim-Bob went to his office area.

Chloe kept patrolling for a while.

Their mother Olivia continued her nap in the old gazebo as if nothing had happened.

Another view of Jim-Bob's office:

He checks his log for structural damage. It's OK.

And everything is back to normal, as if an earthquake never happened. But for 15 or 20 seconds there was a whole lotta shaking going on.



Blogger CountryDew said...

I didn't feel it. I am so disappointed.

2:54 PM  

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