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Earthquake! August 24, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Our friend Ben and Silence Dogood have long felt complacent about the location of our cottage home Hawk’s Haven, in the midst of beautiful Pennsylvania farm country. True, a tornado apparently swept through nearby Macungie shortly before we moved to scenic PA, knocking down trees to the right and left. But we’ve never heard of another tornado in the area in all the years we’ve lived here. We do occasionally get a hailstorm, maybe once in five or more years. And of course we get snow and ice every winter. But we’re accustomed to thinking of our greatest danger as coming from a possible malfunction of the nuclear power plants at Limerick or Three Mile Island, and neither is especially close to us.

We’ve always thought our little piece of paradise was pretty much perfect: temperate, with plenty of water and vegetation, not too many people, not too cold or too hot. No danger from hurricanes, forest fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or the other great natural disasters that seem to strike the rest of the planet with such terrible frequency.

So you can imagine Silence Dogood’s astonishment as she sat on our sofa yesterday afternoon watching “The Red Violin” and the sofa began bouncing up and down like one of those 25-cent vibrating beds they used to have in cheap motels. At first she thought that our black German shepherd, Shiloh, had decided to start crashing into the sofa for some obscure reason of her own. But then she realized that Shiloh wasn’t even in the room.

In fact, Shiloh was sleeping peacefully in the kitchen. So much for the theory that dogs can sense an earthquake long before it hits and warn their people of impending disaster. For an earthquake was, indeed, what Silence was experiencing, our first-ever earthquake. It had struck in Mineral, Virginia, registering 5.8 on the Richter scale and sending shock waves as far as New York and into Ontario.

Yikes! Fortunately, Silence, the house, and our property were none the worse for wear. We’re still checking in with friends and family in D.C. and Virginia to make sure they’re all right. And we still feel lucky to be living here in the precise middle of nowhere in beautiful PA.

Here’s hoping that all our East Coast readers escaped any ill effects, like us, shaken but not stirred!



1. Barbee' - August 24, 2011

Good to know you are okay.

Thanks, Barbee’! It was more startling than scary, thank goodness! We were all very lucky here on the East Coast. Did you all feel it at all?

Barbee' - August 27, 2011

Didn’t feel a thing. Now Irene is on a rampage, but we have that mountain range between us and her temper fits. Love the Appalachians! We will need to watch out for tornadoes, though.

Good deal, Barbee’! Let’s hope Irene leaves you equally untouched.

2. pixilated2 - August 24, 2011

Coming from the land of earthquakes, California, we were used them. The threat of the “Big One” was always somewhere in the back of our minds, but has yet to show itself. Thank Heaven for that! But then we moved to Alabama three years ago because we fell in love with the farm country here… What were we thinking? We knew about tornadoes, Dorothy, the Wizard of Oz, Kansas… Right? Living through this spring’s tornado storm was a force to be reckoned with, a nightmare! I’ll take the earthquakes any day, thank you!

That said, my heart goes out to any who suffered loss in yesterday’s events because what you don’t know can hurt you.

Yikes, Lynda, Alabama really got whacked this spring! I’m so glad you all came through it. My sister and cousins live in Alabama, too (Montgomery and Birmingham), and I’d never heard of there being tornadoes there before.

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