At 3:20 this morning, my husband, Bob and I awoke as our bed rocked; mirrored closet doors shook with a rumble.  Living with earthquakes, we rate them mentally.  To me this one felt like a 6, but who knows where it was centered?   If it was far away, it could have been larger.

A few hours later we learned the truth.  Centered in American Canyon, not far from Napa, California, there have been ninety injuries, with three people in critical condition.  As we pray for the victims and their families, and express thankfulness it wasn’t worse, we in earthquake country receive flashbacks.

In the Northridge Quake  of ’94, we were asleep in a Southern California hotel room.  Nearly thrown from our bed, we checked on our son who slept in the adjoining living area.  Although we were all fine,  our friends, Denise and Mike had  damages.  Their Yorkie, Molly, usually slept at the foot of their bed but Molly bolted out her doggie door. She escaped just before their  television landed where she would have been.  Dresser drawers shot across the room. Their fish tank crashed to the floor, leaving their fish as casualties. $20,000 worth of damage.

Northridge Quake freeway


Twenty-five years ago, the Loma Prieta struck here in Northern California when the San Andreas Fault erupted.  Centered in the Santa Cruz Mountains, with a magnitude of 6.9, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and Oakland experienced the most destruction.

Again, we were most fortunate, my husband just having driven off the Bay Bridge before a section of it broke.  Our son, aged four, played a computer game and stood in front of my file cabinets.  As the ceiling lights swayed, Tofer said, “What’s happening?”

“Earthquake!  RUN!”  I shouted.

He ran up the stairs, with me in pursuit.  Upon reaching the family room, I grabbed my Yorkie and out we zoomed.  silence greeted us.  Even the birds stopped chirping.   Once back inside, one of my file cabinets had toppled over – – right where Tofer had stood.  I tried to upright the heavy drawers, but nothing budged.

Both Molly and Tofer were saved by their actions.  But . . . could they have been helped by unseen guidance?  Then and now, there are many grateful people.   And many who live with tragedy or trauma.  Our prayers go out to them.

Writing Prompts:

1.  Have you ever lived through a traumatic event or natural disaster?  Write this as an essay, poem, or short story.

2.  Experienced a close call?  Narrow miss of death or calamity?  Use this to inspire your creativity.

3.  Write about  one of these themes:  thankfulness, serendipity, spirituality.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.