In retrospect, my defensive position during the biggest earthquake in east coast history, 5.8 on the Richter Scale, was not well executed. First of all, what the heck is an earthquake? I’ve never felt one before. I was sitting at my desk when the house shook violently and I heard a boom. My first reaction was that something had exploded, but the house continued to move. After several seconds, it became apparent that we were having an earthquake. Our farm is situated only about 60 miles from the epicenter of the quake in Mineral, VA, and this earthquake was felt as far north as New York City and as far south as South Carolina, so it really shook the house good and lasted for a full minute before the last rumblings faded away entirely.
I jumped up and went into the kitchen. I had left the kitchen door to the backyard open as it was a perfectly beautiful afternoon. Elder Dog, Bonny, was freaked out and heading for the door. My first impulse was to protect her, so I grabbed her and lay down on top of her. As the seconds ticked by and the house continued to shake, I started to consider my situation. Where we were huddled was right beneath the wine cabinet, a five foot high cupboard filled with bottles of wine and hanging racks of glassware. Definitely not a good place to be if things started jumping off the shelves.
But by that time, the worst of the shaking had subsided, though it seemed like an interminable time that the house continued to rumble. We held our positions. I could hear Younger Dog, Mayzie, barking out in the backyard.
I got up to assess the damage. Thankfully nothing of any consequence was damaged. The big boom that I thought was an explosion turned out to be our antique oak wall phone that had tumbled to the floor. I had a shelf full of hand carved African animals that all fell to the floor. A couple lost their heads, but can be repaired. All the pictures were askew, but none had taken a kamikaze dive.
My husband battled the traffic home from DC and as a victory celebration; he stopped by the store and picked up a pint of oysters for oyster shooters, 2 pounds of spiced, steamed shrimp, and as an extra special treat, 2 large clusters of snowcrab legs. While at the liquor store buying Vodka for the oyster shooters, he picked up a bottle of the daily special, a cinnamon Liqueur called “After Shock”.