“Oh wow, the whole house is rocking, Dad.”
I was on the phone with daughter, Robyn. She lives out west in the Mojave Desert. Her house was moving, the grandkids were yelling.
“It’s an earthquake,” I said. Robyn lives in California. So if the house is shaking then it must be an earthquake.
“I’ll call you back,” she said and she was gone.
I pondered whether she and the kids would be all right.
I pondered earthquakes. We don’t get too many of those around eastern New Mexico, but I have to tell you, I’ve always wanted to see one. Some years ago some dude told me what the land does in a quake.
“I was working on a farm in California when one struck,” said the storyteller. “And as far as I could see the land suddenly looked like a choppy lake in the wind.”
I would like to see that.
I’ve been in earthquakes and didn’t know it.
In 1992 I was working at a radio station in Roswell. I was driving up to the station building when a 3.2 quake hit. I didn’t know it, it was the same old bumpy road to me. When I got inside the building the phones were lit up.
“What was that?” said practically every caller.
“What was what?” I’d say.
Dang, I was there, and didn’t even know it.
Seven years ago I was driving an 18-wheeler and was parked for the night in southern California. I was in a deep sleep when a quake hit. Dang, missed it again.
The phone rang and pulled me out of my thoughts.
“Hi dad,” it was Robyn. “Yeah, that was an earthquake. The epicenter was in Mexico.”
“Everybody all right?” I asked.
“We’re fine,” she said.
Earthquakes may be interesting, they may be awe-inspiring, but people — loved ones especially — are much more important.
Grant McGee is a long-time broadcaster and former truck driver who rides bicycles and likes to talk about his many adventures on the road of life. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.