All Shook Up

Photo from Pixabay (Far more serious than our earthquake.)

Wherever a person chooses to live, there is some force of nature, luck, or fate that we all must deal with. Hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, wildfires, droughts, blizzards, floods—everyone is at the mercy of nature.

We live in what I think is one of the most beautiful spots in the world on the northern California coast next to the Pacific Ocean in the heart of the redwood country. For those who may live in other parts of the world, this is not the California that you may first think of when listening to the music of the Beach Boys. As someone not a fan of extreme heat or cold, it doesn’t get much better than living in Humboldt County.

Yet, life here is far from perfect. Crime and homelessness are at an all-time high. We moved to Arcata in 1973 when I was starting high school, and I’ve resided in Humboldt ever since, except for one year when I moved to experience life on my own in the San Francisco Bay area.

Redwood trees in Humboldt County

While we’re happy where we live, near many of our closest friends, we got a wake-up call the other night that reminded us not to take anything for granted.

There is no ideal time for an earthquake. Yet, waking up at 2:30 in the morning to violent shaking and wondering for a moment if this was the way life was about to end is the least perfect scenario. It’s not an unfamiliar scene. We’re used to quakes, yet few have gotten our attention the way this one did. Living near a fault will always be part of living here.

For someone who’s never experienced the feeling of being in a powerful earthquake, it’s hard to describe. It’s like taking a soda can and shaking it as hard as possible. The notion that you’re going to walk down the hall and get under some heavy piece of furniture to protect yourself from falling objects is unrealistic. You ride out the wave and pray that it will be over soon.

The power instantly shut off as it was happening, and our phones went off in alarm to let us know that an earthquake was happening. It’s odd to receive a warning when you’re in the middle of one. The duration lasted not more than 30 seconds, but we were no match for this powerful force. After it was over, my wife immediately grabbed a flashlight and went out to the garage to get our dog. Lulu is super sensitive to loud noises, and it was natural to think she would be upset. She did much better with this event than with fireworks.

After a few deep breaths where we attempted to reduce the adrenaline coursing through our bodies, we grabbed a lantern light and began to assess the damage. It was overwhelming since debris and broken items were everywhere. My first thought was for our immediate safety. I didn’t smell any gas, so that was a good sign. There wasn’t any drop in water pressure which told me we probably didn’t have a busted line. It wasn’t long before we saw broken glass from glassware that had flown out of our cabinets. I might have gone outside to get a clearer picture of the overall assessment of the house, but it was dark and raining.

After putting footwear on, we walked around the house more and saw scattered items in every room. Our televisions were on the floor, pictures had fallen off the walls or were askew at weird angles, and the house was a jumbled mess. Chaos was the perfect descriptor.

If we had electricity at that moment, we likely would have started cleaning up the mess. Instead, realizing that the immediate danger had passed, we did the unthinkable and went back to bed. I’d describe the feeling as similar to avoiding a car crash at the last second. The adrenaline flowed, and sleep would be hard to come by. Still, what would we accomplish in the middle of the night? It would still be there in the morning.

Were we worried about aftershocks? Yes, somewhat, though my experience has been that those are never as bad as the opening event. They did happen throughout the coming hours and reminded our frayed nerves not to get too comfortable. We lay in bed thinking of everything we’d need to do in the morning, yet still unaware of our actual damage. Amazingly, sleep did eventually come.

Since the winter solstice was nearly upon us and we were without power, we awoke at dawn. It was only then that we saw the enormity of the mess. We walked into the kitchen and saw that the refrigerator had moved a couple of feet. Cabinets had opened, and broken dishes and glassware were everywhere. It looked like a bomb had gone off.

I walked around the house to assess structural damage when it got brighter. Fortunately, at first glance, there was none. Our cell phones were the one thing still working. One of the bridges in the area sustained damage, and we heard reports of some minor problems with roads.

We built a fire and began cleaning up throughout the house. Whenever we opened a door or cabinet, it seemed there was more to clean up. All kinds of things had come down in the garage and leaned against our vehicles. It was still too early to determine if any damage had occurred to our cars.

After three hours, we had put most things back in place, knowing there were still plenty of closets in disarray. The canning room was such a mess it was impossible to enter. We closed the door and left it for later. My wife called our gas and electric company and learned we might have power by 10:00 p.m. that night.

It’s funny what you think of in the aftermath of a crisis. We have a housekeeper come once a month, and wouldn’t you know it, this was supposed to be the day. After a brief conversation, she told us she could come the next day, giving us time to put the house back together. I was supposed to bring a wheelchair-bound friend to her PT appointment that morning, but they called and canceled.

I drove into town to see the extent of the situation. All of the traffic lights were out, and the gas stations were closed. I found one grocery store open, powered by a generator. It was eerie walking around in semi-darkness with a bunch of other people. The word got out, and the store filled quickly.

It’s now three days after the event, and while things are returning to normal, some businesses are still cleaning up and have yet to reopen. Perhaps the strangest feeling of all is learning that some people on the other side of town had only one or two items fall in their house. We must be much closer to the fault line.

Sadly, two people died (the paper described from “a medical event,” so I’m guessing a heart attack), and according to the last count, nineteen people sustained injuries. It easily could have been much worse.

With time comes a better perspective. While my wife lost a few keepsakes that were important to her, 95% of the broken items are easily replaceable. In the end, it’s just stuff. We were reasonably prepared and felt lucky to get our power restored the same day. I know there are some in the county still waiting. Fortunately, though frigid weather is sweeping the nation, it’s 48 degrees here today.

The overall message for me is not to take anything for granted. I know the country is about to undergo what the news describes as a “once in a generation weather event.” Be thankful for all your blessings.

News report of earthquake damage from the nearby town of Rio Dell, California.

Note from Pete: I don’t usually do themed posts, but I decided to follow my blogging friend, Clive’s lead, who is the expert at choosing music to fit his theme. Check him out at https://cliveblogs.wordpress.com/

99 thoughts on “All Shook Up

  1. Wow, Pete. I’m pleased you and your wife are okay and that you didn’t lose too much that was of value to you. It must have been very scary. It seems a lot of damage for a 6.4 quake. Maybe you are closer to the fault line than others I’ve heard about. I’ve never experienced a quake. Flooding seems to be the disaster of choice in my area. I have to been lucky to have escaped the worst of those too.
    I enjoyed the music you added to your post. Definitely in keeping with the theme. I didn’t listen to any, but sang parts of each as I read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 10, 2023 — 7:24 am

      We are reasonably close to the fault, which accounts for the damage. All of our neighbors experienced the same things. Further to the north of us, most folks were unaffected. Between the aftershocks and series of high-wind storms that have battered the west for nearly two weeks straight, our nerves are a bit frayed. Still, the main thing is we’re safe.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can imagine that would would be unsettling, but I’m pleased you are safe.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how you put themed songs throughout your post. Clever and made me smile. Once again I am sorry about what you and your wife experienced but glad it wasn’t worse. I hope you could still enjoy some special moments over the holidays.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 30, 2022 — 5:18 pm

      Thanks, Carolyn. Somehow we got together over the holidays in Portland despite lots of weather-related things. Lately, everything seems to be a challenge. My wife and I have decided that a few boring, non-eventful months sounds pretty good right now. Happy New Year!

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      1. Glad you were able to get together amidst all the chaos. Hope you get some boring, uneventful months. I sooo remember saying that same thing several years ago during a stressful time. Sometimes boring is really good!
        Happy New Year Pete!

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  3. petespringerauthor December 29, 2022 — 6:27 pm

    Like anything that becomes routine, it’s easy not to get too bothered by minor quakes. We have them all the time, but this one reminded us of the force of a strong one. We thought we had it cleaned up, but my wife discovered one more closet filled with broken items today. The aftershocks have finally slowed down.

    We’ve been through our share of drama lately and are ready to go back to our uneventful lives.

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  4. Wow, Pete, I missed hearing about this event! I’m glad you and your wife weren’t injured, though it gives a new meaning to those old plug-a-quarter in beds to get a shake, lol.
    They keep telling us to expect ‘the big one’, as they term the massive quake expected to happen in the next fifty years. I hope the estimation is out by a century or three 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Whoa, glad to know you’re safe and all’s okay. I’ve never experienced an earthquake before, and I always thought that it was possible to still move around as long as you’re on the ground floor. But your account has taught me that wasn’t possible. Is it like airplane turbulence? Or worse (in terms of not being able to find your footing)?

    Like Jim, I’ll also be waiting for the post on why you’re cutting down on blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 28, 2022 — 10:43 pm

      Worse than plane turbulence, for sure, with a good shaker. It’s more like hanging on and waiting out the ride. When you imagine homes coming off their foundations and bridges collapsing, that’s a pretty powerful image.

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  6. Hi Pete. It’s good to know you came through the earthquake okay. Stuff is just stuff. Did you have to have anyone come out and assess potential structural damage to the house? The greatest take-away is don’t take anything for granted, and count your blessings. The songs you included in the post are absolutely perfect! Best to you and to Debbie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 27, 2022 — 6:59 pm

      I’m pretty sure the house is okay. Some homes in the southern part of the county came off their foundations. Much like other schools practice fire drills, we also have earthquake drills here. In all my years of teaching, we never had more than mild shakers in school. The kids and I would get under our desks and hold on to the legs. They found it rather entertaining to see me climbing under a desk, but I had to remind them this was serious business.

      I remember one Saturday when we had a significant earthquake. The manager of our local bowling alley called the school because some of Pine Hill’s students were attending a birthday party there and knew the right thing to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good news about your house, Pete. I never thought about having earthquake drills. Wow. It sounds like what I did as a kid at school with fallout shelters and nuclear threats. What a great story about the bowling alley manager! BTW, did you make it over the mountains for your family visit?

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      2. petespringerauthor December 28, 2022 — 8:43 am

        Nothing has been easy lately. We played it smart and waited and drove only partway to avoid the worst of the weather. The following day when we completed the second leg up to Portland, we saw vehicles all over the place that had run off the road. The first two hours driving home were white knuckle stuff. The rain, wind, and trucks throwing up sheets of water made visibility difficult. It was a blessing to get everyone together, and we realized other families had circumstances far worse than ours. We’re ready for some calm months without all the drama.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wow! You were very lucky, Pete. What a relief to get back home all in one piece. Enough drama for you! I think you have an angel looking over your shoulder.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow Pete, this post grabbed my attention! I’m so glad everyone is okay, but the description of your own house and the mess inside is eye-opening. I mean, the refrigerator moved! I did hear about this quake, but you tend to see a 20-second story on the news about it and then you go on with your day. But living it (I have never experienced a quake) and dealing with no power and the “what if’s” and a community which is hurting is scary stuff. Thanks for the first-person, descriptive account.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 27, 2022 — 6:53 pm

      When something doesn’t affect us directly, it’s natural that we don’t think much about it. The constant news cycle also makes that impractical. We’ve been through dozens of quakes, but most were so mild they barely got our attention. I’ve never experienced a hurricane or tornado directly, though in the vicinity of one twister. With those events, there is some forewarning.

      We’ve had a steady string of aftershocks, but they’ve been pretty tame in comparison. I read a report that the earthquake was the third most powerful in our area since the data’s been recorded.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I think that’s part of the added fear of quakes for me – no forewarning. Hopefully, the “adjustment” released that pressure and it will be quiet well into 2023. Thanks for sharing Pete.

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      2. petespringerauthor December 28, 2022 — 8:44 am

        My best to you and your family in 2023, Melanie.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks so much, Pete. The very same to you! 🎉

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Holy smokes Pete, I’d heard about that earthquake. I was thinking about you and glad to hear that despite the scariness and loss of some personal items, you guys are fine. Nature is surely busy making itself relevant these past few days.
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 26, 2022 — 9:17 pm

      We’ve been on a roll lately. We’re heading home tomorrow, and there’s supposed to be a big wind event. Enough already! 🤣

      How about a nice calm 2023, Debby.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Travel safe my friend. Yes, enough! I’m definitely in for some peace! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m glad you and your wife came through the earthquake ok, it must have been frightening. I thought of Clive as soon as I saw your inclusion of All Shook Up.

    I hope you had a Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 26, 2022 — 8:31 am

      It’s been quite a couple of months, Jim. We had planned to get together with family over Christmas in Portland, but all of that looked pretty shaky for a few days because of the winter storms. Driving and flying were both hazardous. Our son and his fiancee experienced -32 in Helena before getting out here. They were able to land in Seattle, but all flights to Portland were canceled. They secured a rental car in time before those were all snatched up. We’re heading home tomorrow. Our housesitter says the aftershocks have been plentiful.

      Best wishes to you and your family in 2023. I’ll send a post out before the end of January as I’m also going to be pulling back from blogging. I won’t disappear completely, but I plan to only blog once a month.

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      1. I’m glad you were able to celebrate with family.

        Best wishes to you and your family as well in 2023.

        Any specific reason for cutting back on blogging?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor December 26, 2022 — 7:47 pm

        You’ll have to wait for the post (not that it’s anything dramatic.)

        Like

  10. Sending thoughts and prayers to all of you – what a frightening event, and also so close to Christmas. Toni x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 26, 2022 — 8:23 am

      It was a bit upsetting. The aftershocks keep happening. We went away for Christmas, but we keep getting notifications on our phones of more activity. Fortunately, none have been up to the level of the original quake.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thinking of you, Pete – never again, I hope.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow, Pete, that’s quite the event and experience. I’m glad all three of you are okay! When the damage is just material, it’s easier to deal with it. I’m glad most of the broken stuff is replaceable.

    When I read about the glassware breaking in your kitchen, I had to think about the times we’ve hit deep potholes unexpectedly or missed an unmarked tope (speed bump) in Mexico, Central America, or South America, where the kitchenware of the camper flies everywhere and if the cabinet is not latched properly, or you’re not able to collect fallen items when opening the cabinet doors, glasses and plates crash and splinter on the floor. Not ideal with a dog walking around.

    Amazing that an item as heavy as a refrigerator moved multiple feet. I hope by now you’ve managed to put your home (mostly) together and there is no structural damage to the house and cars. Scary stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 24, 2022 — 10:48 am

      I was shocked that the refrigerator had moved more than an inch or two. All our neighbors had similar experiences, though cities to the south of us were hit harder.

      Unexpected potholes are part of traveling, but unmarked speed bumps shouldn’t happen. I hope you have lots of terrific experiences in South America during 2023.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. So scary. I’m glad you are okay and feel terrible for those not so lucky. I love all the music you chose. Great memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 10:09 pm

      Yes, my thoughts are with those who died, were injured, or sustained severe damage to their homes.

      It’s surprising how many songs there are that can be tied into this theme.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. If only the roots of those humongous redwoods could stabilize the earth in your neck of the woods!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 6:27 pm

      They are pretty impressive. I forget how amazing until we have guests come who have never seen trees like them. A giant spruce on my neighbor’s property fell during a storm last year. If it had fallen in the wrong direction, it might have crushed our deck or even reached our house.

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  14. I’m so glad you both, and your dog, were okay. That’s the main thing. Hope you two are able to relax a bit at Christmas xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 5:11 pm

      We drove halfway to Portland today, and our son and his fiancee are in the air as I write this. It looks like we’re going to have Christmas together after all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s wonderful ~ Happy holidays to you and your family, Pete!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh my! That would have been a bit scary. Living in Vancouver, BC for 25 years we experienced a few quakes but nothing like this. Glad to hear the dog was OK and that you both were unharmed. Maybe replace things with plastic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 5:09 pm

      We have plenty of earthquakes, but they’re rarely to this extent. It’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security. It didn’t happen to us, but it’s a bit mind-blowing when houses start falling off their foundations.

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  16. Hi Pete, my goodness, what an event you went through. We’ve been away in the bush so I hadn’t heard about any earthquake in California. I have heard about the coming snow inn. We also had weird weather with heavy rain and low temperatures. It is usually unbearably cold at this time of year. I am glad you are both unharmed and hope your house is fine, it sounds like it is structurally fine. Keep well and safe.

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    1. Snow bomb not inn 🤷‍♀️

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      1. Oh my I meant hot not cold, my brain has taken a holiday today.

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    2. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 5:07 pm

      I think my wife described it just right. Since the pandemic began, we have kept jumping from one crisis to another. We’re ready for some nice boring months.

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      1. Yes, all these extreme weather conditions are making life difficult and more expensive.

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  17. It’s terrifying to wake up at 2:30 am to this! Glad all is well and that Lulu wasn’t too scared!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 10:41 am

      Not a great way to wake up. Lulu totally freaks in storms or during fireworks. She was unusually calm. We’re getting ready to leave for the holidays, and she’s tracking our every move. She’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, but even she looks at us with sad eyes when the suitcases come out.😊

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  18. When I heard about this earthquake on the news – I wondered if it had hit your area. I knew if it had, you would probably do a blog post about the earthquake. So sorry for the mess you witnessed in your home, but so glad you are both ok. Hope everything is getting back to normal. So sorry for the deaths.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 10:16 am

      I blog about whatever I have on my mind, and I suspect this experience will stay with us. Writing is like therapy and helps us process significant life events.

      Liked by 2 people

  19. I heard that was in Humboldt, forgot that’s your backyard. Yikes! 6.5 I think? With 40+ aftershocks? I’m glad you are basically good, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 10:13 am

      It’s always there in the back of your mind, but it’s not something you fixate on. We had a few smaller ones while I was teaching. We crawled under our desks (a bit more challenging for a bigger guy like me) and hung on.

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    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 10:11 am

      Yes, we know of a couple local businesses that just spent tons of money on remodeling only to have sustained some damage to the interior of their shops.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. That is such a gorgeous place! We’ve visited the area many times on our way down the coast through the Redwoods and loved it. I didn’t think of it as earthquake country like I do the Bay Area or S. Cal. but I guess no place in California is immune. I’ve been through a couple major earthquakes in Seattle (and one while visiting Anaheim a couple years ago) but none where I suffered as much damage as you did. I’m glad you are safe and didn’t lose too many treasured possessions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 10:35 am

      It seems no place is immune from some natural disaster. We have earthquakes regularly, but they don’t typically get our attention as this one did. I think southern California and the Bay Area understandably get more attention due to how many people live there and the close proximity of tall buildings. Thanks for checking in, Susanne.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So true. We’re always being warned about the big one to come in our area and are also subject to wind, rain, and landslides. Still, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

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  21. I thought of you when I heard the news. Glad to hear you are okay. When I lived in Humboldt (early nineties) we had an earthquake—do you remember that one? I was working at the old library and what a mess it made of the shelving. I think we had to close for a week. I wonder if the new library fared better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 10:09 am

      That was 1992, Pam. My first memory of that quake was that the bridge near College of the Redwoods came down. You pose an interesting question, as I haven’t spoken with anyone at the library since the quake. While many stores have reopened, others are still cleaning up the mess.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t remember much damage at our house in 1992. I do remember my kids eyes were pretty wide when they felt the house jiggle.

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      2. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 5:03 pm

        One of the Humboldt people corrected me. The quake I was referring to happened before 1992, so perhaps you weren’t living here then.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I was definitely here for a quake. That’s something one remembers! Maybe a couple of years prior to 1992 sounds about right. The hubs and I are trying to figure that out.

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  22. What a terrifying experience for you and everyone, Pete. I’m so glad to hear that you are alright and have managed to regain some semblance of normality. As you say, it’s only ‘stuff’ for the most part though keepsakes can’t be replaced. A tragedy for the two who lost their lives, and for their families. I hope the community is pulling together to support them and everyone affected. As I read through the post I admired your stoicism in accompanying it with themed music, which was all great – you picked many I would have chosen too! Thank you for the mention, much appreciated.

    I have to add that, having watched the news broadcast, I loved the kind of nominative determinism of the guy talking about his trailer moving back and forth 😊

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    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 10:06 am

      Communities often come through in a crisis, and that is happening here. Looking out for our neighbors should be the general feeling year-round.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good to know that is happening, Pete. As you say, it shouldn’t need a disaster to bring about that spirit but, sadly, that is often the case.

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  23. So glad you both are okay and the damage was only to a few items. Praying for those who lost their lives.
    Earthquakes are extremely triggering for me. The first time I experienced one was in 2001. I was a kid and Delhi wasn’t near the epicenter so I enjoyed the first time experience of just everything shaking. But later when we got to know the real impact it had at the epicenter in Bhuj in a village in India – I was terrified. Ever since, every time there are tremors, I rush my family out of our building even if it is at 2-3AM!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 10:03 am

      Because you experienced first-hand such a dramatic quake, it’s understandable why they’re so triggering for you. It is amazing how two buildings across the street from one another can fare so differently, not to mention neighboring communities.

      In recent years, there have been a lot of efforts around here to retrofit bridges and make them more secure in earthquakes.

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  24. Oh, my! When I heard about the earthquake, it didn’t occur to me you lived in the area. I’m glad you are safe and sound. Sorry about all the mess. We rarely have earthquakes in Texas, although I once felt a tremor. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be in the middle of one. Tornadoes are our biggest natural disaster threat.

    I enjoyed the theme post, as I love music.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 9:58 am

      I lived nine years in the Dakotas, so I know something about tornadoes. Though I never had one sweep through our city, I’ve certainly seen the funnel clouds. That’s one time you Texans don’t want to have everything bigger.

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      1. That’s for sure! 🙂

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  25. It’s sort of hard to ‘like’ sad news but I’m glad you survived with minimal damage. We lived through two major quakes in southern CA when we lived there. The after shakes were very disconcerting, since you felt like there was no stability to the earth.

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    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 9:55 am

      I think the unpredictable nature and the feeling that we can’t control this leaves us feeling discombobulated. We were indeed on edge. The first aftershock happened only a few minutes later.

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  26. Pete, glad you are both okay. I missed this earthquake and the one in 1981 that took down the 101 over pass to College of the Redwoods access road. I have experienced two large earthquakes. One in Northern Germany in 1992 that threw me out of bed and I found myself on the floor. Of note, the bed had a one-inch wood lip around it that the mattress sat down in. Hence, I was ejected out the bed and over the lip of the bed. The second one was in Afghanistan in 2010. I was working late at night when the computer monitors started rocking to and fro. They did not tip over but were rocking like they were on a sailboat driving across choppy Humboldt bay in 30 knot winds. Yesterday in Xenia Ohio, the sky was blue, I could see the grass and the temperature was +42 F. Today, it is -10 F, I cannot see the grass, and the sky is gray. We are pretty happy to have natural gas for heat and the lights work. Please have a Merry Christmas. Bob C.

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    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 10:31 am

      I’m getting my earthquakes mixed up, as I thought it was the one in 1992 that brought down the bridge. Ryan and his fiancee had -32 yesterday in Helena, MT. They’re supposed to be flying today, and we just got wind that the second leg of their flight was canceled. We’re driving halfway up to Portland today, but we’re waiting until tomorrow to get to our Airbnb when the weather starts to turn for the better. Happy holidays to you and the family.

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  27. Glad to hear that it was only stuff that was damaged in your home. Like you said, it’s just stuff. Sounds like it was larger than usual for your area based on your description of the damage. At 2:30 I the morning with no electricity, I would have gone back to bed as well. You are right about nature. She always puts things back into perspective no matter where you live.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 9:53 am

      It was one of our more significant quakes. We don’t typically feel anxious about them because we have smaller ones all the time, but this one was unsettling. Earthquakes are different from most natural disasters in that there is no warning.

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  28. We lived in Sonoma and had an Earthquake, so I know that undulating feeling. Glad you weren’t hurt and am sorry about the damage. Best wishes in cleaning up too. Thanks for the update

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    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 9:49 am

      My brother-in-law was at the World Series in 1989 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. He came home with a chunk of cement from the stadium. That situation was far worse than ours. A double-decker bridge collapsed and fell onto the lower level, crushing many below.

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      1. Wow. I do remember that one too.

        Liked by 1 person

  29. What a terrifying experience! I’m glad you and your wife are okay. We’re experiencing very high wind right now, and our power is out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 9:45 am

      I read somewhere in the neighborhood of forty states will be affected by this latest series of storms. Those who still don’t believe in climate change are getting a wake-up call with the extreme weather in the past few years.

      I hope you and your family fare well throughout this series of challenges.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We just had our power restored. Others in the state are as fortunate. This is crazy weather for us, not at all normal.

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Whatever else happens in Beetley, we don’t have to cope with earthquakes. I lack that ‘get on with it’ spirit that serves you so well, Pete. I think I would move away from a fault line, so well done to you for sticking it out.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 9:41 am

      It seems there aren’t many places that are truly safe to live anymore between all the forces of nature. I’m sure those in hurricane, tornado, or wildfire areas share those concerns.

      I hope you’re starting to feel better, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. glad you are both okay, and for the most part, most local residents are as well. for the two that died, I’m sorry their time came so soon. it sounds like you rode it out, and assessed the damage in a logical way, and checked on the important things. as you said, most of the rest were just things – broken, misplaced or otherwise changed, but the two you are still standing and that’s what matters. I can appreciate that you still had gratitude after all this. excellent song selections to go with your story, by the way. I hope things are restored soon, in a return to normal. have a very safe and wonderful Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 9:39 am

      I think we’re feeling more settled with each passing day. I heard the school in tiny Rio Dell was condemned. I suppose that means more ZOOM unless those students attend neighboring schools.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ah, that will be especially hard for them, after going through all of the covid challenges

        Liked by 1 person

  32. ❤ for you both, Pete, and all affected by this quake. xXx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 9:36 am

      Yes, several people are still without power and water today. The best of luck and patience to them as they wait for their lives to get back in order. We’re traveling later today and grateful that our housesitter didn’t have to deal with this.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. This sounds like quite the ordeal. I am just happy to know that you and your wife are safe and sound. Your post about being safe on FB calmed my fears. I love the themed music chosen for your post. I hope things get back to normal for everyone affected soon. Have the happiest of holidays, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 9:33 am

      Not taking life for granted seems to be a common theme for the last few years. Mother Nature and any other forces out there have a way of reminding us that we’re merely along for the ride.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. I had my very first earthquake during the initial part of the COVID shutdown. I can’t tell you how much I felt like the world was truly ending!! Yours sounds much stronger than ours was, but they keep warning we’re due for a BIG ONE any time now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 9:27 am

      Living in this area, we’ve become accustomed to small ones. Like anything, it can seem pretty scary when you have little experience with something. For example, we don’t get thunderstorms around here often, so my students would freak out when we did. It’s been 30 years since we had a large quake. It was a reminder of how prepared one needs to be.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. What was the strength of the earthquake, Pete? It sounds like more than a minor one. Thanks for the info about damage to items on shelves and in cupboards. I’ll have to look around and deal with things that might be hazards if they fall. Here we’re always aware of the possibility of a “megathrust” magnitude 9 quake because of the Cascadia subduction zone, but we occasionally get smaller ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 9:23 am

      It registered 6.4 on the Richter Scale. (7.0 is considered very strong, so the thought of a 9.0 quake is hard to wrap one’s brain around.) Coincidentally, we had a 6.2 quake precisely one year before, though that one had little effect (different type of movement, perhaps?) In 1992, we had a 7.2 earthquake that brought down one of our local bridges, followed by some 6.5 and 6.6 aftershocks. In my mind, that’s the only one comparable. This last one was reasonably powerful because it wasn’t deep.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, depth does make a big difference. The scary thing about earthquakes is that unlike weather events, there’s no warning at all. The best advice is to get prepared and then not worry about it, but I admit I haven’t done everything I can.

        Liked by 1 person

  36. Sorry to hear about all the damage. I would advise securing permanent or semi-permanent objects with quake tape or museum putty. I would also suggest using 3M Commander velcro strips to attach paintings and pictures to the walls. Every one we had done this to stayed on the wall. If you remember the advise from the Loma Prieta earthquake we learned at Pine Hill, don’t put heavy objects up high. We had an iron in a top shelf go flying across the room. Needless to say, it won’t be going back up there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 23, 2022 — 9:14 am

      Yes, I need to think about securing the paintings and photos. Debbie’s jewelry box defied the laws of gravity, flew parallel several feet, and struck her in bed.

      How did your home fare? We were glad to hear the news that Michael had walked out of the hospital. What a frightening experience for all of you!

      Like

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