Shake, Rattle and Roll

It really seemed an ordinary Wednesday evening. Blue, Bettina and I had all had our dinner. Blue had retired to his crate, snuggled up with his favorite body pillow. Bettina was in her usual place, curled up next to Mumma on the couch. The hour had just passed 7pm and we were watching Entertainment Tonight to find out who had slept with whom and who had eaten dinner out at the latest hot spot in Hollywood. If you tell anyone we watch this show, we’ll deny it.

It started out as a low rumble. We have large dump trucks and logging trucks that regularly create a similar noise so no one thought anything of it at first. But the rumble grew in intensity. It could still be a log truck if the truck were in our front yard on its way through our living room. Blue’s ears were on high alert in his crate and Bettina was sitting bolt upright on the couch.

The rumbling increased in volume and intensity. At this point I sprang off the
Bettina and Blue Greyhound Recreate the Earthquake
Dramatic Recreation
couch and stood in the middle of the living room. It pierced my consciousness that the glassware in my cupboards was rattling and the house seemed to be shivering slightly. Bettina had followed me off the couch and Blue jumped up in his crate hitting his head in the process. He joined us in the middle of the living room.

Rumbling, rattling and shivering continued and I noticed the ceiling fan swaying a bit. Blue, Bettina and Mumma were looking around rather wildly. I admit at this point I suspected earthquake as the reason for our adventure but I had still not ruled out 747 jet liner landing on our roof.

Concern began tugging on my mind, not knowing how long the shaking would last or if it would get worse. We do not live in the famed ring of fire around the Pacific Rim so earthquakes are a very rare occurrence. I ran from the living room towards the back door. I remembered that I shared the house with two greyhounds whom I considered my furry children and turned back to save them as well. Being greyhounds, they were already millimeters from my heel. I had not taken that factor into account and promptly tripped over them.

Regaining my feet, I determined that I would run down the hall to the office. I’m not sure why exactly. I started a few steps down the hall and realized this was a stupid idea. I turned towards the back door again. I reached the arch between the living room and the kitchen and opted to just stay there, surrounded by Blue and Bettina looking all around like they were at a tennis match.

I’d like to say it was because I reasoned this through and determined that a structurally sound place to position ourselves in the event of total collapse would be right there under a support beam. In reality my head was in vapor lock and the kids were also in vapor lock. Honestly I wasn’t even sure whether the archway between the kitchen and living room was even a supporting beam.

Blue and Bettina Greyhound after the earthquake
No hounds were shaken in the making of these images
After what seemed two hours (20 seconds), the rumbling, rattling and shaking stopped. Blue, Bettina and I looked at each other a bit crazy eyed. Well, they looked at me crazy eyed and I’m pretty sure they were reflecting my state of mind. I started running around the house checking rooms, ceilings and windows. Other than some artwork hanging askew, nothing else looked particularly different.

I stepped outside to see if by chance a neighbor’s house had imploded or a volcano had popped up and erupted down the street. The neighbor’s kids were outside playing across the street but no one was screaming in terror and there were no cries for help from underneath piles of rubble. The kids were at the storm door peering into the night.

We settled ourselves back in and waited for our hearts to go back to beating normally. About 15 minutes later our local news station broke into the programming to let us know that yes, we indeed had an earthquake. It was 4.6 magnitude and the epicenter had been about 50 miles from our house.

I’m sure our West coast friends are laughing hysterically at what would not be worth rolling over in bed for in their neighborhood. In our defense, however, this had been one of the biggest quakes in Maine history. It even rated a medium sized red dot on the USGS real-time earthquake map!


  1. Greyt story - Crazy nite!! Love the pics of Blue and Bettina!!

  2. we don't get earthquakes here at all, I think Bender would lose his mind!

  3. hey, it'd be too easy for us on the left coast to laugh at your reaction, but there are a lot of us here that still react the same way you did despite all the practice we've had.

  4. I was waiting for the part when the alien spaceship tried to abduct you! We have earthquakes here on rare occasion, and it is unsettling. I'm glad that all was okay and you didn't have any damage.

    And my favorite part of this story might end up being the "dramatic recreation" photo! That cracked me completely up! I sincerely hope I get to meet Blue and Bettina one day.

  5. Glad your kids weren't too traumatized to pose for a dramatic recreation of that night :) My kids were not happy about the 5.8 only 20 miles from us. They did manage to sleep through all the aftershocks though.

  6. So glad you all are okay! Blue look so cute in jammies!

  7. Wow! That's crazy! Not long after we adopted Truly we were out on our regular Sunday morning walk - which he loves, by the way. All of a sudden, Truly started crouching on the ground, looking around with wild eyes, panting and he refused to walk another step. I had no idea why he was acting like that. I turned him around and we went slowly back home. Later that afternoon, I read that there was a very light earthquake!


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