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Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Um, we're shaking.


Yes, yesterday we had an earthquake in SoCA. I had a kitchen full of union officers for an Exec meeting. I was standing at the sink and didn't feel the first roll. One of the women said, "Um, we're shaking." Then it picked up and really shook for several seconds.

We get all this training at our schools (duck under tables and so on) but really around here we just pretty much stand and watch and enjoy the ride while we figure out how bad it's really going to be. Considering that my house looks pretty much like a gift shop with all my "stuff," this wasn't bad at all. In fact, I've noticed that the last three quakes we've had seem to roll north/south. Since most of my "treasures" are on shelves on the east wall of my room, they haven't tumbled (yet - knock on wood).

It was kind of funny when I checked on things later that afternoon. I have these three little toys from Disneyland on top of my old monitor

and the only thing in the house that toppled in the quake was the middle alien.

I called my parents right away to make sure they were doing OK. They live in Simi Valley and suffered a fair amount of damage from the Northridge quake in 1994 . The worst (to me) was that Mom had a half dozen old Fenton glass vases that had belonged to her mother (who had died when I was 3). I had loved those vases my whole life. They were "pink" (actually more a mauve), and "bumpy" and had "ruffles" on the tops. They were kept in one of three lawyer's bookcases that mom has for her collections in her dining room. Only one of the cases toppled.

Can you guess which one?

Yep, the vases were pulverized. Disintegrated. Reduced to dust.

What was weird was that Mom had just had one returned to her after over forty years. When I was born, someone had brought a bouquet of flowers to Mom in one of those vases. The family showed up to help Mom gather her stuff to bring me home from the hospital and when Mom had a chance to settle she realized that she didn't have that pretty vase. For 40 years she was mad because she assumed one of the hospital staff had stolen it. Years later her cousin came down from Sacramento for a family reunion and presented Mom with the vase. Her mother (my mom's aunt, Grandma's sister) had taken the vase home with her and never got around to giving it back to my mom. Mom got it back in August, the earthquake hit in January.

Anyway, yesterday after my meeting the mechanic called to say that my car was ready (major tune-up, new brakes, new windshield wipers - boy, does it run nice). I was talking to one of the guys at the shop about the quake and we agreed that these little ones are kind of fun (although he had a moment of concern watching the car that was up on the lift rock back and forth) and - geologically speaking - we like having the pressure released a little at a time rather than building for a major quake.

It's weird how different parts of the country are about our natural phenomena. Nobody likes having to plan for "The Big One" whether it's a quake, tornado, hurricane - whatever. But most of us 1) don't take our own as seriously as folks in other areas and 2) would rather keep ours than have theirs. I remember (and think I've written here about it before so won't double bore with the details) being in the "This is the town we're concerned about" town as a tornado was building in Kansas. Mom was in a panic to get into the basement but my cousin (whom we were visiting) was standing in the backyard watching the storm come. Frankly, I wanted to watch, too, but Mom was too worried to I went down to - literally - hold her hand.

I've decided to take my Mom to Utah with me for my vacation. Part of the appeal of the trip was to be totally alone for a few days, but I can tell she needs to get away for a while (and visit some quilt shops and mostly just be away). We'll have a good time. She's easy to travel with. The only issue we have right now is that she has fallen three times this year because of her bad knee and lack of vision in one eye. I've told her to bring her walker (she hates it) and I'm going to insist she use it. I don't understand why she balks. She understands how much easier it is to walk pushing a shopping cart and I've told her that "walking" Disneyland is actually easier on my pushing her in the wheelchair than walking it on my own because the chair takes some of my weight and helps with my balance issues. I hope if I can nag encourage her during this trip that she will get over her reluctance and use the walker more around town.

We'll be stopping at quilt shops on the two-day trip up. Not as many as we used to, but a few. She likes Nancy's in Las Vegas, so we'll hit that on Monday. We'll spend the night in Mesquite, NV, then on Tuesday we'll stop for a break at the Lazy Daisy Cottage in St. George, then later at Corn Wagon Quilts in Springville. Sometime during the week we'll go into Ogden to Shepherd's Bush (although Mom's not as much of a cross stitcher as she used to be) and to Gardiner's. If she's up to it, we may try Quilt Quilt Quilt, Etc. in Sandy (three buildings, quite an experience) and Gardner Village in West Jordan.

Gardner Village is just a terrific place to spend a morning (and afternoon). Archibald Gardner moved to West Jordan in 1853 where he built his mill (and his family). He built each of his eleven wives her own little house along a stream. Today the houses and mill have been restored and others added to create an adorable collection of shops. The mill also houses a restaurant chock full of old-fashioned food and atmosphere. My favorite shop there is Pine Needles which jams a delightful collection of stitchery and quilting supplies into a fairly small space. The village also has a terrific Christmas shop and, last time I was there, a great scrapbooking store, too. Unfortunately, though, I wore Mom out last time we were there so that she couldn't enjoy the Sandy quilt stores. This year if we get into that area we'll just go to the quilt store, then if she's up to it, to Pine Needles and stop at that.

My sister is trying to pull together some time off to bring her son and my dad up for the annual Ogden Valley Balloon Festival. On the one hand, it's a hard time for her to get time off. The construction company she works for is pulling together a big project right now. On the other hand, I think she would enjoy the trip up and I think her son would enjoy the drive up and some of the stuff he could do up there. We'll see. If she can work it out, that will be great. If not, maybe with some lead time we can work it out for next year.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

In 25 years of living in California, I've only had one scary earthquake moment (6.1 in a bridge of shops in a mall next to a lot of mirrors and glass. Nothing broke, but it SOUNDED serious.) The only thing we lost was a decorative plate that smashed during Loma Prieta. It was sitting on the top of a huge four drawer file cabinet that fell over. The cabinet was a little bent, but not too bad. I did think that it was funny interviewing a new hire from Boston. There was an earthquake during her interview AND an earthquake on her first day of work. Welcome to California. I'll still take an earthquake ANY DAY over tornadoes and hurricanes.

My local Vegas quilting shop is Quiltique. It's where I took the class on art quilts. Nope, it's still not finished.


Nancy's is on the other side of town. I'll be on the road starting Monday. From Henderson to Grand Junction, CO, then on to Denver on Tuesday. I probably won't stop at any quilt shops as I have more fabric than I could ever use, but if I might hunt down some cross stitch in Denver. I bet Aspen has a needlepoint store.

Sorry about your mother and the walker. My father-in-law was the same way. What was worse was that his house was a JUNGLE of furniture. I always thought that they should have rearranged the whole thing and put in handrails, but nothing moved no matter how inconvenient it was for him.

Drive safe and have a good time.