Tent-ative steps forward
Tuesday August 23rd 2011, 10:47 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Life

(And one last picture of us holding Parker while he was here.)

Just a week ago my husband reminded me that our old family-size tent had given up the ghost a number of years ago, the fabric aged and damaged and the thing unusable. It was bothering him that we weren’t prepared. He was thinking we should replace it in case we might, as we eventually will, have another big earthquake.

We looked at models, prices, talked budget. He knew I’d like an Ipad, which is a total toy (Don you old sweetheart don’t you even THINK about it!) A tent, on the other hand, we would hopefully never need to use (my camping days are over), but if we did need one, it would be so far from a frivolous thing. Got to keep those ravenous squirrels away from my millet-hull pillow.

Tent wins.

One thing that I read today said, “East Coast freaks, West Coast rolls its eyes”; 5.9 didn’t sound like all that much over here.

Different geological structures have different effects, though; ask anyone living in a liquifaction zone in California–we’re close to one but I think we’re okay, knock on rock.

Someone I grew up with, (Mom and Dad, that’s Ky), has a son living in Louisa, Virginia. His house is gone. Reading her note today, I was at first quite surprised–that’s real damage, not just a traffic jam.

But then I remembered that when we had our big earthquake, no news came out of the mountainous epicenter area for days because reporters couldn’t get in and phones there were down. The only mention of the Loma Prieta area in the news was from the USGS’s reports that gave the quake its name.

My husband’s aunt–who knew Ky as a small child–lived a half mile from that epicenter and her house was heavily damaged; her neighbor pulled into his driveway in time to see his three-story home collapse before his eyes, with, as it turned out, the two inside escaping harm because when the mom had called the teen moments earlier to come help cook dinner, the kid had come–joining her in the only room that turned out to be safe.

Do what your mom tells you.

I wonder what news reports will start trickling out of Louisa now, too.

But we had no way to know back then how the aunt’s family was, and her aged mother in Washington DC, dialing all night, called at 4 am our time to ask if we knew anything: she’d finally gotten through at least to us, but we too had heard nothing yet. (It was quite the experience, but they were okay.)

That did it. He’d been thinking of it for some time. My husband got his ham radio license right after that.  He has ever since volunteered with the city, the county, and the Red Cross doing disaster services and emergency communications drills. He’s done a lot of good with it: because, once upon a time, there was an earthquake and people we loved were unaccounted for and maybe hurt.

And he never again wanted to be unable to know and unable to help.

13 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Talked to Middlest last night. She was at work and barely felt it. Their apartment is on the second floor, and it was a little more pronounced there, but all was well at home, thus far. [Her roommate called her.] They are keeping a weather eye on Irene, which is supposed to strike land just south of them.

Comment by Lynn 08.24.11 @ 4:00 am

I was driving an old car on a much older, bumpy road and missed the whole thing. I didn’t know about it until I reached my destination, the high school, and my daughter told me about it. I haven’t heard any reports out of the epicenter yet. There is a crack in the Washington Monument (but going up that has been a real let-down ever since they completely closed the stairs.) The National Cathedral towers are damaged, and the spires of the Mormon Temple suffered minor damage. It wasn’t a big deal here right outside of DC, but I feel for the people near the epicenter. It doesn’t matter what the number was if it damaged YOUR house, or Heaven Forbid, hurt someone in your family. I’m more worried about Hurricane Irene hitting the area, although not personally, as we are a bit too high to flood.

Comment by LauraN 08.24.11 @ 4:23 am

I found my “missing” friend that lives in the epicenter. She wasn’t missing, she was out have a good time in the Caronlinas. Twit! 🙂

Get the tent. I want an Ipad too, but definitely, definitely the tent first.

Comment by afton 08.24.11 @ 6:18 am

The earthquake happened right during my afternoon get-together with the Chicks. We were knitting away when we all thought we had an attack of vertigo! It was the weirdest feeling and seemed to last forever! Now we’re upstate NY a couple of miles from Albany and it rattled our nerves a bit. I can’t imagine what those poor people in VA were feeling. Hope everyone gets back to normal quickly.

Comment by Jody 08.24.11 @ 7:08 am

“East Coast freaks, West Coast rolls its eyes” – and some of us who have lived there on the West Coast were yelling at the TV “don’t run out into the street” before remembering that not everyone has been taught to duck and cover

just south of us there was also a good sized earthquake yesterday — we didn’t feel it (we’ve joked for years that the DH can sleep through anything, apparently I can too) we’re seeing pictures of a lot of damage to 100 year old brick structures — no big surprise

Comment by Bev 08.24.11 @ 7:14 am

Thank you. I admit to being stung by a few “friends” comments on Twitter and Facebook… Might be commonplace and routine out there, but it isn’t here. Now, to store up more water, extra dog food and some (icky… but…) canned meat just in case Irene does come calling!

Comment by Channon 08.24.11 @ 7:14 am

Didn’t feel a thing, though some people in MA did. Of course if I felt a vibration during the day I’d assume it was just one of the pieces of heavy equipment in the factory and ignore it.

Comment by RobinH 08.24.11 @ 7:57 am

Prepare, and pray you never need the preparations. Years ago, many of us relied on my cb radio, not knowing anyone with a ham radio, during the Teton Flood.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 08.24.11 @ 8:18 am

Afton, I’m glad your missing friend was safe in the Carolinas, but if she was on the Outer Banks, she is probably being evacuated. Evacuating the barrier islands, with only one road in and out, isn’t pretty. My sister has been in one of those lovely events.

Comment by LauraN 08.24.11 @ 8:32 am

Okay, I won’t THINK about it. I won’t do anything about it. I’ll completely ignore it.

Now a 5.8 quake, as has been said, isn’t a big deal out here, but to see one’s house collapse is absolutely no fun!

Comment by Don Meyer 08.24.11 @ 9:24 am

Parker is simply the most beautiful child.

Comment by stephanie 08.24.11 @ 9:56 am

A friend who lives in VA and I tweeted a lot yesterday. We agreed that I can kid her about earthquakes, she can do the same about snow in the the Bay Area.

I need to get a tent too – got a lot of the other equipment – but it’s likely to be 7 days before helps arrives. We’ll be on our own.

Comment by Renee 08.24.11 @ 1:36 pm

Apparently the quake completely missed my area! Although a friend a few hours west felt it, geology is weird…

Comment by Carol 08.24.11 @ 5:16 pm

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>