Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Earthquake Weather

We have had a lot of earthquakes here in Southern California. In the nearly thirteen years we have lived here, there have been hundreds of them. Some bigger than others. In Venice they were the rolling kind. You could actually see the earth undulating. The movement would give me a wave of nausea so severe that I would actually get sick, and so would my girl Lummi. I would have to keep my head on the ground until the feeling passed.

There are many preparedness websites, and Maria Shriver likes to tell everyone to get ready; to have a plan. Each child in the LAUSD system has an earthquake pack at school. We have a backpack that I have never once grabbed on the way out during an earthquake. (That reminds me, I need to replace the emergency tampons I took out of there three months ago). Our pack has prescription meds for us and for the pups, tuna fish, xeroxed documents, and water, I can't remember what else.

This past January, I was sitting on the couch one evening with Steven. I heard the telltale rattling coming from the kitchen. I turned to Steven and said loudly, "EARTHQUAKE!" Just then there was a huge Jolt. Steven looked into my eyes, and reached his arm out to grab my hand. We looked at each other, our eyes wide.

I know, I know, we should have been high tailing it out of there with our emergency backpack, and our two pups. (By the way, why don't those miserable curs ever give us any advance warning about the impending quake? Aren't animals supposed to sense those things?) The Jolt was over, and we continued our regularly scheduled programming of enjoying our regularly scheduled programming on our idiot box. There was a loud constant banging that continued to interrupt our viewing. We wondered if the Jolt quake had broken off a tree branch, and if the wind was now causing said branch to bang our roof repeatedly. Steven grabbed a flashlight and went out to investigate. I continued to watch TV. Steven came back in and got a camera. Then he came back again to get a bigger camera, and he motioned for me to follow him. I went outside, looked up to the roof . It was not a branch at all that was making all of that noise. It was two of the largest raccoons I have ever seen going at it, making sweet raccoon love uhm, enjoying each other, LOUDLY! We have pictures. This being a family blog, I feel that I cannot post these racy pictures. Use your imaginations. You know when someone says, "Shit eating grin," or " Grinning from ear to ear"? Well that would best describe the male raccoon who was, er, on top. I know, I know, you want that picture- too racy! I will, however, give you a more G-rated glimpse of what went on...

Not at all what they looked like.

Isn't it interesting that mere seconds after an earth shattering jolt of a quake these raccoons felt so, uhm, amorous?

I think they have the right idea. If that was their last second on earth, they wanted to enjoy it. And enjoy it they did.

I guess it is the same instinct that made Steven reach for me. The same instinct that made me just stare into his big brown eyes instead of getting my emergency prepared self into gear. We just wanted to connect. If we were going out at that moment, we might as well go together.

That is how I feel about my whole life these days; if nothing else works out, I know that I am beyond lucky to be able to sit on a couch and see this face looking at me.

Sure one eye is bigger than the other, and there is some graying at the temples, but I am fully aware of how lucky I am to have love in my life.

I know that when I talk about my husband on this blog it is all pancakes and daisies. Of course it isn't always like that. We fight. We have difficulties. We have arguments. But still, if it is his hand that holds mine at the end of my life, well, I'm good to go.

A week ago Sunday, when Rebekah and Jess were here, we had the biggest earthquake we have ever experienced, a 4.7. Steven calmly said, "Everyone out of the house". We grabbed the pups by their collars and walked out the back door. Our guests from the midwest got a real LA experience.
There were no racy raccoons on the roof this time. There was however this feeling...

Take this in. In case this is it, take this in. Be grateful for the time that you have spent with your love, and with your friends. Look around and be mindful of those pups and the joy they have brought you. Take a deep breath and take it in.

So I did.

And I was scared.

I was and I am now...



  1. Have you had more this week?

    I am so glad to finally MEET Steven, spend time with him, bug him, give his car a door ding, watch juvenile movies with him, and then be so glad when he guided us all out of the house. Bunch of silly ninnies we were!

  2. ah sweet racoon love...

    I love how much you and Steven love each other - thru the good and bad - that is what is all about - knowing in the end all that matters is your love.

  3. wonderful post. and those raccoons do have the right idea - did you know there is always a spike in births nine months after a big earthquake? :-)

  4. Scary stuff, great reflection. I love the picture of you and the pup ... such love!

  5. "Good to Go" from John Corbin??

  6. To have someone there with you at that time - priceless.

    Raccoon love...is that like Muskrat Love?

  7. Oh those earthquakes. 15 years in LA and even the smallest one freaked me out. My mom had the entire house earthquake outfitted and a pantry full of everything under the sun. My sister and I would raid it for cookies in the middle of the night.

    Those randy racoons are almost as cute as Jess and Rebekah sitting side by side with their puters :)


  8. HAH! Laughing!! And smiling! Very sweet post.

    I was jolted awake last year by the baby monitor jumping around on Micah's dresser - an earthquake here in the midwest! I freaked out because I had no idea what to do (it ended quickly). The point to this story is that I now know (from your informative post) that I should go outside. Sweet! Thanks!

  9. Lucky Steven, lucky you!

  10. A few days ago, I was sitting in the hammock reading while Abe slept and got scared that another earthquake was happening because the tree I was hanging from starting shaking. It was 3 squirrels chasing each other/playing. Not the same as raccoons, but I know the feeling.

    Can I just say how much I love that Steven got up to go take pictures...with the good camera?

    And can I say how sad I feel that we may be leaving town Thursday having only seen you guys once--and too briefly? Ugh.

  11. I needed these good words this morning. You write so well. Maybe it's the muse.


  12. John Corbin is the guy that used to be on "Northern Exposure" (R.I.P.) and Sex & the City. He made a "country" album and the one song that made it to radio was "Good to Go". iTunes it- it's ok. Anyway, the message reminded me of your post.

  13. I love your sense of peace right now. It is beautiful. You are in the eye of the storm - peaceful, graceful and present.


  14. If I show up on your doorstep and pay you a dollar...then can I see the real raccoon photos??

    Personally, Steven had me at "bees"... xoxo-k

  15. weeeeeeeee!
    i love every bit of this post :).