Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Week For History Books!

Oh, what an exciting week it has been!!

Tuesday afternoon I put Susannah down for her nap, then went into the laundry room to start a load of laundry. I pulled the knob to start the washer, and was pouring the soap in when it felt like the washing machine was spinning out, out of control! Amid loud rumbling, I immediately realized it COULDN'T be the washing machine... the dishwasher was running, but it doesn't spin out!... had the pressure tank under the house exploded? That all went through my head in a split second. I hit the knob to turn the washing machine off, and when the shaking was continuing and the loud rumbling kept rumbling, I realized we were having an earthquake!

I could hear jars rattling, and my first thought was that all my newly canned jars on the pantry shelves were going to crash to the floor and burst and all that hard work was going to be wasted. Then I realized there was nothing I could do about that and dashed into Susannah's room to be with her. She looked a little puzzled, but that was about it.

The quaking lasted about 20-30 seconds, but my heart didn't stop pounding for about an hour. A quick phone call to my mother-in-law confirmed that it had indeed been an earthquake (I had cut the TV on, but it was too soon for any breaking news to be going up). Then the phone service went dead for a while.

I was finally able to get through to Daniel, who was about 30 minutes east of here, and he was like "yeah, I felt it too". I still didn't know where the epicenter was, but when I found out and told Daniel he said "no wonder you were so freaked out!" - because it was about 20-25 miles from us as the crow flies (actually 400 yards behind the house of family in our church!) and about 45 miles from where he was at the time. If you watch the news at all, you probably know it was a 5.8 (or 5.9, depending on who you talk to) earthquake.

There was no damage here immediately around us, other than me feeling like I needed some heart pills :) We heard a few aftershocks and felt one that was a 4.8 in the middle of the night that night. Of course, now every time I hear low-toned rumbling I immediately wonder "earthquake?" Log trucks rumble by here frequently, so rumbling isn't a completely unusual sound to hear.

That was very exciting. But, then we had Hurricane Irene coming our way!!

We are far enough in-land that we were out of any big danger, but our county was under a "Hurricane Watch". Friday evening the first bands of rain reached us, and it started drizzling steadily Saturday morning. About 3pm in the afternoon the power went out for good after blinking and "browning out" several times, and it did get pretty windy at times. Again, no damage immediately around us, praise the Lord! We have a lot of trees on our property and I was hoping they all had nice deep roots and strong trunks!

We had leftover pizza for supper Saturday, but when I was ravenously hungry about 9, we broke out our gas camp stove and made fried taters (what I was in the mood for). We did have windows and a door open for ventilation, since these are not to be used in a closed area. This morning I made pancakes, bacon and eggs on the stove, we had sandwiches for lunch, and for dinner I cooked up an Italian one-pot meal of Risotto with Chicken (Rice with Chicken, and I threw in green beans for a vegetable). While the camp stove has it's inconveniences, I quickly realized how much more I like cooking on gas instead of electric.

As we were driving home from church tonight, coming down the last couple miles we kept pointing out "they have lights!"... "they have lights!"... "they have lights!". Then we turned onto our road and I was getting more excited, seeing lights on in people's houses. When we pulled in our driveway I cheered quite loudly, seeing a light on in our house :)

Our power was out for roughly 27 hours. We do have a generator that we were able to run the refrigerator and 2 chest freezers on, and we could also charge our phones and run the toaster as needed. But using candles and oil lamps for light, and jugs of water for toilet flushing... well, it's just not as convenient :)

I am happy to be able to flip the light-switch and the light actually come ON :) And be able to get a drink of cold water from the frige. And be able to run water and wash my hands when I want to.

I am looking forward (sorta) to tomorrow when I can run the dishwasher and do laundry again :)

This has been a week I'll not forget for a long time. The hurricane wasn't a huge deal, but the earthquake - being the first I've experienced - certainly was!!

Now I am looking through my post labels and wondering which one is "earthquake" and "hurricane" relevant! I think I need a new one, but what to call it?


Sally said... [Reply to comment]

I believe you lived through a week that will go down in history! I did not know the earthquake epicenter was that close to your house! Wow! I'm still disappointed that I didn't feel a single thing (or hear anything, for that matter).

Our power was out on Thurs for about an hour because a tree limb in the yard next to us fell on a power line. But, we didn't experience much inconvenience (well, it was pretty huge for Andrew, because he couldn't work). I'm glad you all are back into modern times and conveniences! Pioneering is only fun for so long.

Gina said... [Reply to comment]

I am SO GLAD to hear all is well in your neck of the woods. I don't personally "know" you but feel like I do ;). Thanks for the update! I would have been scared senseless when that shaking started! And then the hurricae! What a summer, huh? Take care!

Leighann said... [Reply to comment]

I live abut the same distance from the epicenter, but in the other direction. I felt it all too well! Our whole house shook for what seemed like forever. We were fortunate not to have any damage and amazingly, didn't lose power from the hurricane. We had a tree come down, but it was in the wooded area of our property. Like you, I won't ever forget this week!

Candi said... [Reply to comment]

It was scary! My family live in Mineral, VA. I was really worried about them, but thankfully we were able to contact everyone through facebook, believe it or not! So nuts. Glad you guys were okay.