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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Felt the Earth Move under my feet...

Okay - I cant help hearing that song. LOL  Actually it was a very weird experience.  My office is a couple blocks from the White House and when the first (small) termor hit, it was like a wave.  my firs tthought - was that an explosion?  A Bomb?  Natural I guess.  Everyone is talking today about the anniversary of 9/11 and all, but that never crossed my mind.  It was just proximity.  But when the second wave hit (The 5.8 one) it was long and sustained and I knew it was an earthquake.  that actually was a tiny relief really.  After it stopped went out of my office and checking on others.  All were asking was that an earthquake.  But people were pretty cool.  We are on the 3rd floor.  The ones on the 12th floor were a lot more freaked out.

Of course we evacuated and now we hear that was the wrong thing to do.  Live and learn.  The weird thing is my coworker and I had been talking about natural disasters just Monday.  not going to do THAT again...  Why tempt fate?

Of course then there was the trip out of DC.  Ugh.  Subways were only going 15mph (and yes that is a good thing until they can inspect the damage) but with thousands waiting, I decided to walk out of the city.  Pulled out the trusty sneakers, went to CVS and bought a quart of water and off I set.  Hundreds were waiting at various bus stops, settling in for a long wait.  most people seemed pretty calm and resigned to a slow commute.  But people were talking to each other, sharing experiences and stories. It does bring us closer.

There really wasnt a lot of obvious damage.  Bricks down, that sort of thing.  A very good and lucky thing.  I know there is damage but nothing catastrophic and I think we are all grateful for that.

Cells didnt work much - I had better luck with emails, keeping people informed and then they would reach out to other friends and family to let them know that they had heard from me. etc.  By the time I started getting calls it was hours later.

So I walked.  It was nice out.  Mid 80s low humidity.  All that helped.  Others were also walking out the same way.  By the time I got to the 14th street bridge out of the city, I ran into a pedicab who had just taken a group to National airport.  I jumped in.  My first pedicab experience.  Bumpy but nice to get to rest.  He had a very good point, when things like this happen, people come out to help.  And by feet, by bike (I bet Capital Bikeshare memberships increased a lot now), by car and bus and cab through the gridlock, they inched out.  And the subways, slow but steady.  The guy took me to the park before the airport.  I walked from there to the airport (another mile?  two?) Not sure the distance really but I figured I could rest.  I had my water, my kindle if I wanted to relax under a tree.  The path is along th eGW parkway and I have to say it was calm and peaceful, you never would have know what had happened just a couple hours earlier. 

And so, at the airport I got on the subway.  Only about a 5 minute wait and then a very slow ride to the end of the line where I park.  Slow but calm.  I was impressed.

And once I got home, checked the house and the cat.  some books had fallen, knick knacks. Nothing bad.  A GLORIOUS shower and then I turned on the news to see how sensational it all was being reported.  Nancy Grace (who I love) was over-the-top.  And it all seemed so bizarre since everything I had seen was pretty calm.  Felt an aftershock watching the tv and said a prayer that we were all safe.

And today I hum to Carole King!  hugs to all my friends!



  1. I enjoyed reading your blog, Terri. Good for you and glad to hear everyone kept their cool on such an out of the ordinary day!

  2. What an experience Terri. Wow. I've never been in an earthquake. Was there any noise? Rumbling or anything? I'm very glad you and everyone else were safe. I doubt if they build out where you are with earthquakes in mind.
    I've been wondering about you so I'm glad you blogged. Take good care!

  3. It's just good to have you and everyone safe and sound. Take it easy tonight and we are thankful the earthquake wasn't any worse than it was. I am thankful that you are doing well
    enough to blog.

  4. Glenda -

    Well they do build for hurricane force winds since we do get them sometimes (and MAYBE this weekend). I think we are lucky it didnt cause more damage than it did. And FYI - I slept right through the 4.5 one last night.