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After the Earthquake

In California, on occasion, the ground trembles, it shakes, it rattles, it rolls. Earthquakes come with the territory. For someone as neurotic as I am, during an earthquake I remain relatively calm. It’s as if all the shaking around me has to be balanced by stillness within.

I’ve been lucky (excuse me while I go knock on wood), the earthquakes I’ve experienced have not been devastating just disconcerting.

Sometimes you can hear an earthquake before you feel it. Case in point…

I don’t know how old I was, but I was young. Single digits kind of young. I was in our kitchen and I had just put a glass of ice cold milk on the table. It was just me and my glass of milk. I was about to slide onto the bench of our kitchen booth, when I heard a rumble. It was deep and powerful and seemed to be coming from far away, then my glass of milk started trembling and harmonizing with the rumble. Time slowed and I crawled under the table and waited it out. The rumble stopped and soon thereafter my glass of milk was silent as well. I scooted out and looked around.

Everything was fine. No damage had been done. I wasn’t scared or worried, I didn’t feel like I had to go find my mother and talk about it. Because people do that you know, they find other people and say, “Did you feel that? It was an earthquake. Did you feel the earthquake?” Then they tell each other their version of the experience, where they were, what it sounded like, how big it was, they describe it as rolling or jerky, and then they turn on the radio or TV to have someone official tell them about it. Not me, not on that day.

On that day, I stood in the kitchen by myself and when I saw that no damage had been done, I looked at my glass of milk on the table, the milk was still gently undulating in the glass,  I slid onto the bench, reached for my milk and drank it.

That was not the first earthquake I ever experienced nor the first glass of milk I ever enjoyed, but they are the first memories I have of both. I can’t tell you how big that earthquake was, but I can tell you that somehow that glass of milk tasted even better than usual because the earth had moved. It gives a whole new meaning to “shaken, not stirred.”

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored campaign with the California Milk Processor’s Board and Latina Mom Bloggers. Connect with The Master of the glass Half Full on Facebook or follow El Maestro on Twitter for your daily dose of #Positivismo.


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  • http://www.wrestlingwithretirement.com Eva Gallant

    I can’t imagine living with the possibility of an earthquake happening at any time….   At least the blizzards and ice storms in Maine are confined pretty much to 3 or 4 months of the year.

  • Anonymous

    I have only been in one earthquake….I’ll never forget I was sitting on the toilet…scared the crap out of me….seriously! 

    • http://www.unknownmami.com/ unknownmami

      Perfect place to be…considering.

  • Tami Miller

    We experienced my first Earthquake in Pennsylvania over the summer.  The phone lines were down because everyone was calling someone to ask “What was THAT?”  I think I will stick with snow storms vs. earthquakes!

  • Blessedsoandso

    I am 31 I have never felt an earthquake in my life…. the thought of it is kind of scary to me.

  • http://thefirstbookoftesticles.blogspot.com/ Charlie Callahan

    Uh, I hope this isn’t your bookcase, and that you don’t sit beneath the ladder to read.  Bummer, especially if you’ve got a glass of milk in hand whilst reading.

  • Anonymous

    I do know the feeling.  In my 22 years here I have felt several big ones and thankfully all was well for us.  I have heard a few before they were felt and I am often in awe of the rolling ones. Reminds me of someone pushing down on the bumper of a car and your inside feeling the motion. I remember the swinging chandeliers and our pool with big waves splashing out of it.

  • Oscar

    I saw that coming as well…        Hi!

    • http://www.unknownmami.com/ unknownmami


  • Nezzy

    It was just a couple weeks ago Hubs asked…did you kick the loveseat.  I wasn’t even close…it was an earthquake.  We have many shake~ups here in southern Missouri.

    Everybody keeps talkin’ about the BIG one to come.

    God bless and have a most delightful weekend sweetie…..hopefully totally unshakable!

  • http://diet-coke-rocks.blogspot.com ChrisH

    The ‘best’ earthquake I’ve experienced was a few years ago in the middle of the night.  We heard this deep, loud rumble like a freight train was heading right for our house, then it hit like a huge BANG!  It was awesome!  Scary, but awesome.  I like earthquakes, as long as they don’t hurt anyone of course!

  • Joanna Jenkins

    I truly hate earthquakes and have been in far too many to count during my 25 years in California.  Next time there’s a shaker, I’m drinking milk, with chocolate, to see if I handle them any better.
    xoxo jj

  • jenda hardy

    When there was an earthquake here in VA that was my first EVER! Very scary & it opens your eyes. Thanks for this post.

  • My Inner Chick

    –and I thought “Earthquake” was a metaphor for your post in the beginning!

    I cannot imagine one in Minnesota.  Kind of Scary, I think.

    I’m used to BIG GIANTIC snow storms over this way…

    My Inner Chick

  • Doreen

    I visited California when I was 13 and there was an earthquake.  The pictures fell off of the wall.  I was petrified but everyone else just acted like nothing happened.
    We had one here in Philadelphia over the summer…minor…scared me silly I will stick with snow storms as well.

  • otin

    Earthquakes are scary to me.  Fortunately for us east coasters, we haven’t had too many in a while.  I hope that none of us get any soon.

  • http://afcsoac.blogspot.com/ lisleman

    I don’t think cows like it much but I have never asked one.  People do like to share experiences.  I suspect blog posts spread about as fast as the shockwaves.

  • Teresa Dawn

    We get them here too sometimes.  I react similar to you I suppose, except that my reaction isn’t usually to crawl under the table, but to go to the window to see if I can see anything else shaking… Maybe not the brightest idea… gonna have to work on that next one haha.

  • http://www.mommysnest.com MommyLisa

    I was in ONE earthquake in Norway…it was just tea cup rattling, nothing big at all and very brief.

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