Wednesday, July 30, 2008


We had an earthquake yesterday. If you live on the other side of the country from me, it might not have made your evening news broadcast. Or perhaps it did, because I got emails from all of my horse friends on the other side of the Mississippi, wondering if my stalls were still standing.

Everything's fine. And in case you have a map handy, the epicenter was in Chino Hills, which is maybe 10 miles from my house.

One thing you get used to if you're a native Californian is earthquakes. They're just a fact of life, no different than hurricanes in the South or tornadoes in the Midwest. We just deal with them. Unless holes open up in the streets, freeway overpasses collapse or water mains break, we just grab the nearest solid object and hold on until the shaking stops. In fact, I have a saying that I don't get out of bed for anything less than a 5.0. This one ended up being rated as a 5.4. But I wasn't in bed when it came.

So, where was I? I was outside, just starting to longe Wally. I happened to be facing in the direction of Chino Hills, and as I let out the longe line I heard what I thought was the wind.

"Huh," I thought. "It's awfully early in the day for the wind to pick up."

Then I heard a growing groan. Though I contemplated, "sonic boom or explosion" I quickly recognized the familiar tidal wave of noise and rattling as the seismic wave caused the earth to heave as it surged toward me.

Only when the wave hit did Wally leap into the air and spook, but that was probably because the iron panels on our block wall made a distinctive metallic rattle as they shook with the temblor. Then, Wally stopped and looked at me. He seemed momentarily perplexed. Then we both looked around us, saw that everything was still standing, and carried on.

I suppose it's a good thing that both Wally and I were born and raised in earthquake country.


Anonymous said...

I was actually wondering about you guys when I heard about the quake today! I was pretty worried since I have a lot of friends who go to the California School for the Deaf and they're there right now for summer school. Hmm, Wally seems like he's just settled in and doesn't really mind the earthquakes. :D How did Lexi handle them?

Christina de Pinet said...

Oh, good boy, Wally! And here I was thinking the saddle on the Mustang was a momentous event! I'm glad everything was okay, Cindy.

Cindy Hale said...

Gina, the California School for the Deaf is in Riverside (as you know) probably about 10 miles east of me, down the 91 Freeway. Since those are older buildings, I wonder how it felt there.

Oh... And I sold Lexi back to the barn she came from a while back; I think in February. She just really enjoyed being an arena show horse more than a trail horse.

Christina, trust me: I'll take a 5.4 earthquake over hopping aboard a green or young mustang. Those days are behind me. But I admire you for your courage and horsemanship skills!

Anonymous said...

Good boy Wally! We live in the middle of Tornado Alley. If you heard about the town of Marmaduke Arkansas being 80% wiped out... well, they are 4 miles from us! The tornado happened in April 2 years ago, and we flew over our home in May, 32 days after the tornado hit... WE WERE SOOO LUCKY... You could see where the tornado came straight at our house, taking our neighbor's house with it, jumped us, and came back down to go to Marmaduke. I can't remember seeing anything as scary as looking out my picture window, and seeing the tornado, with my neighbor's WHOLE ROOF INTACT FLYING IN IT, RIGHT OVER OUR HOUSE! It only took our barn roof.
Our horses were terrified!
I almost think I'd welcome an earthquake rather than tornadoes.
I am SO glad you guys are okay! I thought of you when I watched the news here!

P.s. give Wally a big hug for me! (please)

Roy said...

Grateful for you writing this blog