The Earth Moved Under the Bed
The earthquake was at 3:58 AM 49 miles west of Haines, just over the mountains from my house, toward Yakutat. I suppose on a clear morning I could almost see it from here. It woke me up with a jolt, and as soon as the rolling quit I checked to see if there were tsunami warnings or if it had been really bad somewhere else and we were feeling the leftovers. Turns out this was pretty much a local disturbance. The geophysical institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks pegged it at 6.02 initially, but it's been adjusted to 5.8 now. (This is a great resource site for all things seismic in Alaska.) At our house there was a sustained shake which woke me up better than a fire alarm, and lasted so long that I started to think maybe I should move before the house falls down, but about when I was thinking that our bed under the eaves would have a long way to fall, and wishing we had at a least bought a better mattress and box spring to cushion the impact, it stopped. I hummed rock-a-bye baby and wondered why anyone would soothe a child with the image of a cradle dropping out of a tree? I modify the ending when I sing it to my granddaughters to " The cradle will fall, and down will come baby, safe through it all,"-- anyway, I was thinking all that and glad we finally made a will, when the bedroom quit shaking and downstairs the cuckoo clock cuckoo-ed four times, just like it always does at 4:00, and Pearl got up and wagged her tail and checked on us and then went back to sleep. I figured we were all clear, since animals know these things, even domesticated Golden Retrievers. I looked out the window and everything was still, and much calmer than it had been in a few days. Funny how the earth-- the very bedrock of our existence-- can jolt and shake, and yet the inlets, rivers, trees, and clouds aren't even ruffled. Here's something else to consider. When I checked the geophysical institute's site again, there had been at least a dozen more quakes in our area alone since the big one that I hadn't even noticed at all.