Friday, April 18, 2008

Shake, Rattle, and Roll....

So this fine day began in a rather unusual manner. At about 5:40 this morning, I woke up to my bed shaking quite vigorously. My first thought (having been deeply asleep) was that someone had broken into my apartment and was standing at the foot of my bed shaking the mattress. Needless to say, this thought got my fully awake faster than just about anything else could have (except when I accidentally set my alarm to the buzzer instead of the radio and I think it is the fire alarm). I jumped up and reached for the baseball bat that I keep next to my bed in order to fight off this bandit who needed to wake me up before robbing me. Yes, I know it doesn't make much sense, but in my defense, I was asleep and dreaming about 10 seconds before that.

Once I figured out that no one was standing at the end of my bed (but the bed was still shaking) I next thought that maybe it was the neighbors which I share my bedroom wall with (the wall that my bed is on) playing music or banging or something really loudly and shaking my bed. To test this, I put my hand on the wall, but the wall wasn't moving (or rather, was moving with me). The thought crossed my mind that maybe this was an earthquake, but really, how many quakes do we get in Kentucky? About that time the shaking stopped so I lay back down and went back to sleep (it was early after all).

When my alarm went off later, I thought for a minute that maybe I had dreamed the whole thing. I do have a tendency to have very vivid dreams that scare me awake like my recurring dream that there are spiders in my bed and I have to turn on the light so I can kill them. (I usually wake up when I flip the light switch.) I thought that maybe I just dreamt my bed was shaking, and scared myself awake. It turns out, however, that I wasn't dreaming and there really was an earthquake at 5:37 this morning.

The quake was centered in Illinois, not too far from Evansville, Indiana, but was felt as far away as Atlanta and Chicago. I think it measured something like a 5.6 on the Richter scale, which isn't bad at all. Still, as scary as the whole thing was (invisible home intruders non-withstanding) I can't imagine what it would be like to be in a large quake that shakes things off the walls and moves furniture. I hope I never have to live through one like that. This morning was enough shaking for my lifetime.

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