Saturday, February 27, 2010

If the House is a Rockin...

Sorry for the lack of postings here. I know I've said that before. Work has been impossibly busy of the last six months and has cut into a lot of the "me time" (the "we time" too, but that's another story). Anyway, I have a plan to catch up and I hope to do so soon. We'll see...

I am certain that most of you have heard about the earthquake in Chile last night. 8.8 on the Richter Scale is freaking ginormous. To put things in perspective, the Haitian one was a 7.0. They really don't come much higher than that. Nobody warns you about these things, and I've never noticed an earthquake before (though they happen in Chicago on occasion, I always just sleep right through).

Last night, I did not sleep through. The epicenter was all the way over in Chile, 700 miles from here. But we live on the 36th floor and I awoke because a bunch of stuff in my apartment was making a ton of noise (the chain on the curtain slapping violently against the wall, the sliding doors to the closet rattling, who knows what else). Coming out of a deep sleep, I had no idea what was going on. We get noise during storms, but it was quickly clear that something was different. The building was shaking like crazy, it felt like being on an airplane with bad turbulence. Or, since I was in bed, more like that scene from The Exorcist.

Now, our building will move a bit from time to time. The chain on the curtain is sometimes not still. But this was seriously crazy. For a few brief moments, I thought there was a chance I was going to die. There are enough things that break and fall apart here all the time that I was unsure of the confidence I should have. I wondered for a second if the sensation was all just in my head, but all the noise was clearly real. After what seemed like three or four minutes, it settled down a bit and I decided to get up and look out the window. I nearly fell down from the movement that remained (after the bad part had stopped). To my shock, everything outside was still and silent. I had expected a wild storm and it was suddenly clear what had happened.

I can't imagine what felt like in Chile. and I have no idea how they didn't end up with thousands of casualties. I always thought it would be kind of cool to be in an earthquake, but I no longer have that opinion, at least not while living in a high rise. Of course I'm not complaining; there are people who died and many lost their homes. Belu slept right through it. I wasn't sure if I should wake her and run out of the building together or let her sleep. Had it gone on for two more minutes, I would have done just that. Luckily, it stopped and I could uneasily contemplate what had just happened.

Here's hoping that those suffering can find some peace and recover from this disaster.

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