I Felt the Earth Shake Under My Feet . . .

Yes I did!  Today started off as a glorious day for me.  I completed two weekly discussion posts for my class, and received an invitation to apply for a part-time position beginning in September.  I packed a few boxes (all of our books) and had just sat down for a break.  I heard a slight rattle and the cat jumped, meowed . . . then froze as stiff as a board.  Within another couple of seconds the entire building began to shake.  Not just any old shake, but really strong moving and rattling shake.  It sounded like someone was taking a sledgehammer to the walls next door.  It took another few seconds to realize that yes, we were having an earthquake right here in the metro-Washington, DC, area.  Those things aren’t supposed to happen here but here it was.  Now I am in a third floor apartment and I didn’t know what I to do.  We prepare for tornadoes or hurricanes in this area, but earthquakes?  Not so much.  At any rate I scooped up the cat and ran to the door.  The earth was still shaking . . . I didn’t know that those things lasted so long.  I stood in the doorway not knowing whether to run down three flights of stairs and out into the open or to just brace myself and wait.  I have no idea how long the quake lasted, but it seemed like an eternity.  Shortly afterwards Richard called to check on me.  He was on his way back to work after lunch and heard breaking news about the quake on the radio. I assured him that I was fine.  At the moment though, I was wishing he was still in DC with me.  Just to let you know how bad it was, I decided to post a few photos showing the damage in our apartment:

The first thing I noticed was that some oil cups in our Shabbos candelabra had fallen over:

I also saw that our Havdalah set was a bit askew, that the wine goblet had fallen over and the candle was a bit tilted . . . but then the candle always tilts so that may have had nothing to do with the earthquake:

As I walked through the apartment, I checked in our large storage closet only to find that some items had fallen over and that a couple of plastic bowls had fallen off the shelves:

And the last thing I discovered is that the earthquake had caused our Chanukah Menorah to scoot off the edge of the shelf so that it fell against the wall:

So there you have it!  This is the damage to our place from today’s earthquake, this and some frayed nerves for both myself and Pele, my beloved blind cat! While there was some damage to a few buildings elsewhere, to my knowledge no one was hurt. Richard, we missed you today.

And a special note for all my west coast family and friends: We did too have an earthquake!

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28 thoughts on “I Felt the Earth Shake Under My Feet . . .

  1. Cecelia, I am so glad you and your cat are OK. Our daughter was working with a patient in a chemotherapy lab at Georgetown University Hospital when your earthquake happened. Her thoughts were: “Big truck passing by? Bomb? No – earthquake.” Her patient said, “Here I am getting chemo for cancer and I’m in an earthquake.” In their home in Arlington, Va., one vase fell to the carpet in their basement and some pictures tipped over upstairs. We wonder what their cat thought. We are glad she, her husband (who got to come home from his office) and their cat are also OK.

    1. I can’t imagine getting chemo during an earthquake! or surgery! or anything like that. It was frightening to experience but fortunately only moderate damage. We are ok here. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I have never heard of an earthquake on the east coast. I am in Miami and Irene is headed right at us. In 2005 Wilma and Katrina were two weeks apart. I am just 2 miles from beach. That was horrible with no power for a week and then no power for another week.

  3. I heard on TV today that it was a 5.6 earthquake. I’m so glad that you and Pele are ok! Congratulations on the invitation to apply for a part-time position beginning in September. Take care. -Theresa

    1. Thanks Theresa. Depending on what news source one listens to, the quake has been rated from 5.6 to 6.0. The only thing I know is that is was frightening. But we are well and on to better things. Thanks for the congrats re the invitation. The job sounds fascinating and is something I can do from home. I’ll fill everyone in if I get it. Take care.

    1. Looking back on it, and especially after hearing from people on the west coast, I feel silly for freaking out. At the time though, it was terrifying not knowing what was happening or how bad it wat going to get! Thanks for stopping by. My cat and I are safe and sound. I hear there’s a hurricane that will be roaring through on the day we are scheduled to load the truck however, so the excitement continues! This will be a move for the books!!!! LOL!

  4. I was at work and didn’t feel a thing, although some folks said they felt the shaking. It wasn’t long, about 15 seconds here. My husband said he didn’t feel a thing. It got to us here in New Jersey around 2:15. I understand it freaked a lot of people in New York City out- who expects an earthquake? Glad you all made it through safely.

    1. Thanks Kathy. We are fine. The epi-center was not far from here so there was no mistaking that we were in a quake. Hope they don’t have these things in OH. We felt a tremor in MD last year, too, but not as strong as this one. They are all scary if you ask me.

  5. I’m glad you are fine… and that the damage was minimal in your home, but I’m amazed at the long list of blog posts on the subject… Loved the photos you added. 🙂

    1. Thanks Elizabeth! I think that so many of us blogged about it because earthquakes of that magnitude are so unusual in this part of the country. There was some real shaking going on and for most of us it took a moment to realize that we were in an actual earthquake. I know it doesn’t compare to what folks get on the west coast, but for us in the east it was a really big deal. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos of our “earthquake damage” . . . I had to laugh at myself.

  6. You sure did have an Earthquake. The biggest movement since World war 2. so they said on TV
    I am so pleased that your first thought was to grab your cat. A really splendid thing to do. I did not know that your cat was blind. It must have been terrifying for him/her.
    at least you came to no harm and apart from a few small things no great damage.

    1. Hi Patrecia!
      Yes, we had an earthquake. My dear cat has been with me for almost 18 years, and she’s blind so she couldn’t see to run for shelter. Boxes are strewn everywhere (the movers will be here to pick up our stuff on Monday) so she was in a panic bumping into things. Later, after the ground settled down and all was once again calm, I was surprised that I did not grab my camera on the way out. It was within easy reach, but at the moment I really didn’t care about any “thing,” only that Pele (she) and I were safe. Quite an experience. I have a deep respect for those who live on our west coast, or any other quake-prone territory. Thanks for stopping by and hopefully we’re finished with the drama for a while.

  7. Glad to hear that you are okay, Ms. F – those things can be scary! Especially if you aren’t ‘used to’ them. I grew up in North Dakota (which has no earthquakes) and then moved to Missouri (which very rarely has earthquakes). So when I experienced one here a few years back it was very unsettling (even though it was relatively small).

    1. Thanks SIG. This was definitely unnerving, but all’s well that ends well. I would think that you get more earthquakes than we do, seeing that there is a fault line that goes through Missouri. Personally I don’t care if the quake is small or large, when the earth moves under me, I freak!

    1. Yes, I’ve been in a few~all very minor but a little unnerving~but none as strong as this one. It was not pleasant but everything turned out ok for us. There was more significant damage closer to the epicenter.

  8. That must have been quite scary. Am glad to hear that you and your cat are doing ok. Heard about the earthquake on the news, but reading your first-hand report made it seem even more real. That must have been quite some shaking to move all those things around like that. Living on the west coast, they are more commonplace and apparently not unexpected yet still unnerving when they occur.

    Thank you also for ‘liking’ my entry for the Weekly Challenge: Flowers. Much appreciated! Do take care & have a wonderful day.

    1. I don’t see how folks can live on the west coast. They live with this kind of stuff on a regular basis. Thankfully our “quake damage” was laughable by most standards. Although there was more significant damage for folks living closer to the epicenter about 35 miles from us. Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully the next post will be less filled with drama! (Although drama does make for a good read. 🙂 )

  9. I’m glad to read that you and your cat made it through such a frightening experience unhurt. Thankfully, there weren’t any lost of lives reported. I felt a very small tremor here in TN few minutes after hearing it on tv. Stay safe.

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