Pancaked!

We’ve been working on a 1940s barn in Luray this week.  Like a typical barn that wasn’t maintained throughout it’s life, it’s held up by imagination and a prayer.  Now it’s also supported by concrete footers and reinforced walls.

We were standing in the barn a little before 2:00 this afternoon when I noticed one of the doors swinging.  Strange, since the wind wasn’t blowing.  A generator was grumbling along around the corner, so I felt, more than heard,  the ground rumbling like a train was going by.  Strange, since the nearest railroad tracks were a mile away.

Having been in an earthquake a couple years ago, I figured out pretty quickly what was going on.  It wasn’t until the ground stopped moving, thought, that I realized I was standing in a dilapidated barn that somehow levitated on rotten posts and washed-out footers.  If the imagination and prayer hadn’t held, I would have been blogging from my phone in the midst of the rubble.

Speaking of my phone, the Sprint networks were overloaded within 2 minutes of the quake, and weren’t reliable again for half an hour.  Verizon was worse.  And we were 70 miles away from the epicenter.  Think if it had been a real emergency.  Phones would have been useless.  Not that calling for help in a widespread emergency would do much good, since the emergency services would be as overwhelmed as the cell towers.

Maybe a little self sufficiency and disaster preparedness wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all.

After supper tonight I talked to a neighbor about some work she wants done.  When the subject turned to the earthquake, she had a unique perspective.  She lived in Berlin in WWII, and was sometimes buried in rubble for days, waiting for rescuers to dig her out.  A little 5.9 earthquake pales in comparison to 363 air raids over a 5 year period.

Yesterday afternoon when we were driving down the mountain on our way home, we passed a truck loaded with huge roof trusses laboring up the mountain.  This morning, around the first turn after we crested the mountain, we found the trusses on the side of the road with a pile of debris where the truck had rolled.  Had we left work a couple minutes later yesterday, we might have been under the trusses.

That’s twice in two days we were uncomfortably close to being pancaked.  These things come in threes, right?

Completely unrelated, did you know groundhogs can climb brick walls?  Me neither.

Earthquake!

Wow. I’ve never felt an earthquake like I just did. My computer was shaking pretty hard, even. Tank tried to warn me right before, but I figured he was being his normal goofy self. When I felt the first tremors, I thought the train was going by; I could hear a rumbling that sounded a lot like the train.

According to CNN, the epicenter was in Mineral, Va. With a 5.9 magnitude, it matched Virginia’s largest recorded earthquake, which occurred May 31, 1897. Aftershocks from that quake were felt until June 6.

Today’s quake was felt as far away as New York City. I’m glad it wasn’t worse here. Tank isn’t easy to calm, and the kids are taking naps. I can see him trying to be a heroic puppy and bursting through their doors to save them.