Earthquake Weather

This morning for a couple of seconds a giant picked up the house so quickly and then again dropped it down so quickly that it almost went un noticed.

I mean, I noticed it. I’ve been noticing most of the tremors we’ve had since May 23rd–over 300 of them. Only a dozen or so and the big mild one that started it off really shook up and made the dog howl and the cat circle the carpet as if in a trance, but they are there. Earthquakes. I live in earthquake land and this apparently, is earthquake season.

Which is odd because we are in California, ring of fire and all, but as we are in the Sierras we are as dumbfounded by earthquakes as say, someone in New England would be. They just don’t happen here.

‘They don’t happen here’ so much that when the big one on May 23rd happened, my husband and I—Los Angelenos by birth and nature—both stood up and walked underneath the nearest reinforced doorway. Our mountain born kids continued to play a game in the loft! We felt like bad parents; it never occurred to us to teach them earthquake safety tips.  We yelled at them to get under the doorway and , bewildered, they did as they were told.

The bad parenting didn’t stop there though. THey were freaked out. It was their first earthquake and it was a respectable 5.7. But I’d been in the Whittier Narrows and the Northridge quakes as well as others and I lived in Japan. 5.7 was kind of meh. My husband was right behind me with similar experiences and similar attitude. These aren’t the big one kids. Mama and Papa have seen earthquakes that lasted longer where things went flying all around the room!

Perhaps not a great bedtime story for kids. What do you mean this isn’t big? They get bigger?

My son is a Googler. Now he has an earthquake fetish. He reads up on them. And my daughter called us out: “You are bad parents. You shouldn’t have told us about freeways collapsing–now I can’t sleep!”

We didn’t have time to think it through.

So now our little non-earthquake earthquake hamlet is rife with worry and people glued to the US GEO Survey website with updates on Facebook even for those under 2.  There are predictions for another big one soon.

It makes us a bit uneasy. Every tremor in the wee hours of the night is a slight upheaval. This could be it.





About margaretelysiagarcia

Margaret Elysia Garcia primarily writes fiction, essays and poetry from a remote corner of the Sierra Nevada. She's currently working on a non-fiction book about plus-sized modeling. She's also searching for a publisher for her new collection of stories? Mary of the Chance Encounters. Her short story collection Sad Girls & Other Stories out now on Solstice Literary Press. She blogs here and at Throwing Chanclas and Girl Body Pride. Is a contributor to Hip Mama Magazine. She writes the zine The Adventures of Sad Girl with her daughter, Paloma. She’s a three-time director of the national Listen to Your Mother Show in Plumas County ( She has an alternative women’s music show Milkshake & Honey on Plumas Community Radio (
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s