As you may have already heard, there was a Wine Country quake here in California this weekend. In the very early morning hours on Sunday, Bill and I awoke to our two Yorkies, who sleep with us nightly, frantically barking on our bed.
Jolted out of a deep sleep, we both tried to make sense of what was going on. It didn’t take long to realize we were having an earthquake and a big earthquake at that. It rocked our bed back and forth for a good 15 to 20 seconds. I remember clutching his arm in terror while he told me it would be okay, over and over again.
Finally the shaking, jarring and rolling stopped but my heart continued to race. My husband and I leapt out of bed to see what, if anything, had been damaged and to make sure the other dogs were okay.
Lots of kitchen drawers had been jerked open and there were assorted things on the floor of the pantry. Books had collapsed in their cases, framed photos were lying face down and a Scrabble game had emptied its contents onto the floor – all minor messes and the dogs seemed unfazed.
I immediately wondered where the epicenter was located. If it’s was far away, that meant this quake was probably “the big one” Bay Area residents, like me, have been worrying about for decades.
I did what many of my local friends did and went on Facebook. Immediately chatter about the quake began. It was some comfort knowing others had experienced what we had. Soon the media reported the information I and thousands of others wanted to know. The earthquake was centered in American Canyon, near Napa County, about 45 minutes from us. And it measured in at 6.1. That’s big but not “the big one”, thankfully.
After we calmed down and picked up the small messes around the house, we got into bed to go back to sleep. Yeah, right! With my heart and my mind both racing, I knew sleep would be unachievable, even though Bill and the girls seemed to have no problem nodding off.
At 4:00 a.m. his sleep was once again interrupted. Duty called and Bill, who is in the fire service, was dispatched to the city of Napa to help out. Fires erupted at two mobile home parks, destroying four homes. Highways buckled and wineries reported losses ranging from broken bottles to structural damages.
My friends at Montecristi Panama Hats in Yountville also suffered considerable damage.
A tall jewelry cabinet came crashing down creating quite a hazardous mess. They, along with their family and friends, spent the day cleaning up and they hope to reopen on Monday.
Bill was at the scene of some of the worst destruction. He took some photos to show me just how bad some of the damage is.
Older buildings in downtown did not fair well. Thankfully, no one was injured by falling rock. In fact, most who were hurt suffered non-life-threatening injuries and only three are critical.
I spent the day on edge. In the shower, my razor happened to fall off the shelf and I jumped as though an explosion had occurred. I’m not surprised by this reaction. Having been in the terrifying 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, I know that being tense and skittish are normal side-effects and can last for as long as several weeks after the incident. Frequent and dramatic aftershocks certainly don’t help matters, and neither do loud or sudden noises. My plan is just to observe and understand that most people around here are experiencing the same thing. It will pass in time.
Looking to pry myself away from the news and social media, I asked Tori to go with me to our local farmers market. We picked up some beautiful produce then spent the afternoon and early evening in the kitchen, cooking away.
We made a vegetable soup, a cream of mushroom soup and Tori made a wonderfully comforting eggplant parmesan. I opened a bottle of Grgich Hills Chardonnay from Napa Valley, of course, and rejoiced that my Wine Country friends are safe and sound. Even if some did suffer material damage, they weren’t physically harmed.
My husband was released from duty this evening and returned home. I’m looking forward to a peaceful and still night’s sleep tonight…with no aftershocks! My hope is that everyone impacted by the earthquake recovers quickly from this event.
Thank you to friends and readers who reached out to see how we were.
I appreciate your thoughtfulness.
I’d love to hear about your earthquake experiences.
Make it a rich day!