Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Feel the Earth (and Petunias) Move

My favorite thing about the earthquake? People's cell phones were useless.

Sadly, I was not in J-Ward to experience the quake in my 1876 house, which would have also made it through the last big Virginia quake of 1897.

No, instead I was standing in line at the Lowe's garden center in Carver waiting to pay for petunias.

As the "event" started up, the couple in front of me looked at me, their eyes as wide as saucers. I'm sure I looked just as confused.

We stood there with the cashier as the concrete floor underneath us shook violently.

Since the front and one side wall of the garden area are open, we felt like we were experiencing the quake both inside and outside.

None of us dared utter the "e" word because we don't have earthquakes in Virginia. Right?

Leaving with my petunias, I went on to Kroger where I saw plenty of puzzled people rooted in place trying to get their phones to work.

Bemused look on my part.

Back at home, nothing seemed askance. No books had fallen of the wall of bookshelves. Candles and picture frames were still upright.

Only the art on the walls told the true story. Every single picture was askew.

Art righted, I went to the Byrd House Market where everyone had their "where were you?' story at the ready.

In between checking out Amy's Garden pre-made salsa baskets (assorted peppers, onions, tomatoes) and tasting Soul Ice (mango flavor), everyone wanted to talk quakes...or hurricanes.

I stopped by the Triple Stamp Press table to say hi to friends and got their stories. At the Pizza Tonight booth, we didn't bother with quake talk and went straight to pork talk.

While looking at the dried chicken fingers at Dog Town Lounge (knowing how much the beagle would have enjoyed them), the owner told me about her research into the seismograph map of this afternoon's event.

Gee, it had only been two hours, but I guess you have to do something with your time when your phone doesn't work.

I arrived home to a message from a county-dwelling friend saying, "I feel kind of ripped off." He'd been getting gas and never felt so much as a twinge.

"There better be another one soon," he said hopefully.

No, no, silly. Next is the hurricane and then the plague of locusts.

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