Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Semi in the House??

Earthquakes are not a common occurrence in the Pacific Northwest, but they do happen.. In nineteen-forty-eight we had a big one.

My mother was gone for the day and I was taking care of my 2-year-old brother. I was 17 at the time. We were in the kitchen having lunch when it started. Our old house began to creak and shudder, then the floor seemed to shift slightly. For a moment I was frozen to my chair, then I looked at my little brother and realized I had to get him out of the rickety building.

Grabbing the baby, highchair and all, I ran for the back door. Down the stairs I dashed, doing my best to handle the cumbersome chair. The Earth was moving like a sluggish sea. Trees were waving crazily and the telephone poles were leaning, first one way, then another. I was terrified, but managed to get the little guy out of the chair.

Flopping to the ground, I made an arch of my body over my brother in case something fell on us. There was a cacophony of sound around us; horns honking, people yelling, and finally the ground beneath us stopped that awful undulation. It was over.

During all of this commotion my brother hadn't made a sound. I carried him back into the house and sat down on the couch, rocking him back and forth. After a few minutes I stopped rocking and looked down at him, concerned because he was so quiet. His eyes were opened wide with uncertainty, as he said, rather tremulously, "Dat was a big twuck."


  1. What a cute thing for him to say!

  2. We had our first earthquake (for our family)last year in April here in the Midwest. Unfortunately, I was in North Carolina and missed the whole thing. It wasn't a big, dangerous one, but it would have been interesting to experience it. Maybe next time.

  3. How funny! Wonder what kind of truck his little mind conjured up that would cause his big sister to react so?

  4. Audrey, remember the earthquake we had out here in 2001? I remember because I was pregnant with KN and CT was 1 year old in his crib. I awoke thinking the fort was shooting off some mighty big ammo that morning then realized we were having a quake. I grabbed CT and stood in the doorway until it stopped but the thing I remember most is that shortly after it was over you called me on the phone to check on us! Then we chatted and you told me this story you just told on your blog here. I so appreciated your call that day! Thank you!

  5. Audrey! You made me laugh out loud this early morning!!! C

  6. Immigrant daughter said
    I could relate to some of your blog and I too had a good laugh because it made me think of past things in my gowing up years, I am now 79 and going on and on.