An earthquake of years

IMG_6576by cheri sabraw

In my walk around a little beach community where we have a tiny house, I am amused by all of those old folks feeding birds.

Some of those old folks, in their retirement, have taken up bird-house building. Three-story English cottages, Berkeley bungalows, and modern metal Deco homes–sure to entice the most discriminating of birds–dangle from eaves in front of breakfast nooks.

Oh those poor souls, I muse. Souls without active lives anymore. Souls who can’t wait to awake at 5:00 am to retrieve their morning Tribune, pour their cup of Folgers, and watch the birds chittering and tittering, from cottage to bungalow to Deco.

In that same beach town, on my usual walk with my dog tugging at her leash, her keen peripheral vision scanning from left to right for a pretzel or chip crumb, I crinkle my eyes, hidden under enormous sunglasses, and secretly smile at the collection of windmills, tchotchkys, and feel-good signs in these old folks’ gardens.

Welcome to Gramma’s Garden, Life’s a Beach, Relax!

Good God, I thought. Is this what it is like to get old? 

Last night, the San Francisco Bay Area experienced a serious 6.0 earthquake. Although not  on my fault line–the one that our home sits directly upon–the Hayward Fault line of the mighty San Andreas Fault, the temblor rattled every dish and glass in the house, awaking me from a deep sleep at 3:20 am. The dog barked.

I jumped out of bed with a start since my husband was not home.

I ran down the stairs and outside to our patio to make sure that my decorative glass hummingbird feeders had not fallen off their hooks.

Luckily the fresh bird-seed I had just purchased to fill my little nuthatch, junco, and finch feeder had not tipped off the counter, sending 20 pounds of cracked sunflower seeds onto the floor of my kitchen.

As I trundled back up the stairs in the dead of night, I glanced out our front door to see that the Welcome sign was still vertical.

All is well, dear.




About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in Life, Writing and Teaching and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to An earthquake of years

  1. Yess! This is what it’s like to get old! My hummingbird feeder remained steady, and the Folgers was intact on the kitchen shelf ready for pre-breakfast sipping.

  2. potsoc says:

    O.K. my Email to you did not get through, you must have changed address over the years. I now know that you rocked a bit but are safe. I also Emailed Kayti and that went through, she must be less shifty than you are.
    At any rate take care.

  3. says:

    Lovely! Sent from Xfinity Connect Mobile App

  4. T E Stazyk says:

    Glad to hear all’s well!

  5. shoreacres says:

    I thought about you and Kayti — was greatly relieved to see your posts. Serendipitously, one of my blog friends, who lives in Santiago, also experienced a 6.0 yesterday, or perhaps the day before. In any event, he and his family are fine.

    My first earthquake experience was in Iowa. It was 1966 or so — perhaps as late as 1968 — and the quake was on the New Madrid fault in Illinois. It was enough to “walk” some glassware down a shelf and onto a floor. I happened to be at home, and I just sat there and watched it happen.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go put out some sunflower seed for the doves, peanuts for the blue jays, and raisins soaked in water for the sparrows and starlings. Then, I’ll amuse myself by watching all of them try to fend off the pigeons.

    • Ladybugg says:

      Oh, starlings! They scare away bluebirds and finches here. I am having their nests in each corner of the roof plugged up before next spring.

      My most dramatic vision of pigeons was in San Marcos Square in Venice. New York City, a close second.

  6. Christopher says:

    I’m glad to hear you weren’t harmed by the earthquake. Here, in the greater Vancouver mainland, we are always being warned that it’s not a question of if the Big One will happen, but when.

    Your mention of starlings was a reminder to me that I haven’t seen any here in the last few years. They used to be everywhere. What happened, I wonder.

    • Ladybugg says:

      Thank you, Christopher. All of us on the West Coast from B.C. to Baja,Mexico should be ready for earthquakes, right? When the Loma Prieta quake happened, my daughter and I were in the car, having just been shopping at a thrift store for “hippie” clothes. It was Homecoming and the Junior Theme was the 70’s. I taught at the school and she was a junior. When the quake hit, we were driving our Suburban on a local street. I thought I had had a flat tire. The car dipped down on the right, then came up on the right, then dipped down.

      When I realized what was happening, I yelled, “IT’s the Big One, Sara!!”

      She has never let me forget that.

      We have plenty of starlings at the Rancho; I’d like to get rid of them because I favor finches and bluebirds.

      I’ll let you know how it goes next spring.

  7. Brighid says:

    Thrilled to hear you were not in harms way.
    Have switched all the bird feeders to black oil sunflower seeds, put cheapo gold fish in the little pond to keep the skeeters down, and threw out the instant Folgers dad had. Got him hooked on Peets Major Dickenson in the french press. Age is not going to define me!

    • Ladybugg says:

      Oh yes, Peet’s Major Dickenson’s is oooohhh–lal-laaaaa.
      Thought of you again yesterday as we drove through Redding on our way to Fall River Mills. Took a wrong turn on 44, headed up and realized it would take too long at 45mph. Turned back to Highway 5 and then got on 299…and ran into awful road work.

      Beautiful country where you live, Brighid.

  8. wkkortas says:

    Living on old sedimentary soil that is indeed as old as dirt, earthquakes are out of isght and out of mind, although during my sojourn in New York’s North Country, where there is the odd bit of seismic activity, I once experienced an earthquake at about the same time in the morning that you experienced yours, and it involves an amusing bit revovling about the earth moving and all that, and I’ll let you imagine from there. Anyway, good to know that you and several bits and bobs remained unbroken and you can speed onward to the time of making bird houses, which I suspect may be some sort of genetic imperative.

  9. bogard says:

    Glad to hear all is well. Heading out that way in a five weeks so hope it is “out of the system.”

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