Trials and Tribulations

Who knows what catastrophe awaits us next?

This past week has been a difficult one for people living on the East Coast. We had an earthquake on Tuesday. The epicenter was in Mineral, Virginia, but the quake was felt as far north as Maine and parts of Canada, south into Georgia, and westward into parts of Michigan and Illinois. That’s a pretty impressive distance.

I’d just come back from running errands and lunch and noticed some tree trimmers working in my neighbor’s backyard, behind my house. They were using a cherry-picker to reach some smaller limbs that they were removing. I went into the house and didn’t think anymore about it. Then, while I was sitting at my desk my chair started to shake. At first I thought that I’d kicked the chair, since I tend to put my feet up. But the chair kept shaking and then my monitor started shaking. There was a lot of rattling and noise that sounded like horses galloping across the roof.

Immediately I thought the tree trimmers had dropped one of the big trees. I’ve had tree limbs fall before that have shaken the house, so it wasn’t too weird at first. But the shaking kept going. And the noise was pretty impressive. I’m not sure how long it lasted. It was probably less than ten seconds but it seemed longer. When the movement stopped I sat for a minute and then decided I had better go outside and look for any damage. I still wasn’t sure what was going on. I did think about earthquakes but I wasn’t ready to call it that.

A quick survey of the porch revealed no downed trees or anything else that might have shaken the house’s foundation. Within a few minutes I was able to find reports online about the earthquake. Like many other people, I tried to use my phone, but all lines were busy. Fortunately no one was hurt, but I had a few items tip over and move closer to the edge of shelves. The basement is sporting a new crack in the foundation.

Just when we thought the weekend would be relaxing, the reports started appearing for Hurricane Irene. I don’t usually watch the news or listen to radio, so when my husband said something about it, my reply was “What hurricane?” Well, our area was hit with a lot of rain and wind, but I don’t think anything set a record. There were a lot of power outages from trees coming down on wires and some flooding. We made it through with a 15-hour power outage but amazingly no wind major damage.

I’m afraid to think about what’s next. Stink bugs apparently like to ride the wind, so it’s likely that Hurricane Irene did its part to scatter them to places that they haven’t yet infested. Wonderful. Do yourself a favor; if you find stink bug, don’t squish it to find out what it smells like. They’re called stink bugs for a reason — ugh. Well, I’m off to prepare for the next emergency.