Journal Entry 10 - Earthquake!

Thursday, October 1, 1987


I won't have time to write much today...

Okay, I have a few minutes to say that, this morning, while I was in the shower with shampoo well lathered in my hair, there was a pretty powerful earthquake. The kids are totally freaked, because things fell off shelves and, worst of all, the pipe from the hot water heater broke and shot water all over the garage.

I went outside, wet and shampoo-slick, in a robe, and I tried to shut off my water—and I couldn't get the darned valve to turn. A man from down the street saw me and ran over to help. He was able to shut off the water.

Thank you, neighbor-I've-never-noticed-before!

(By the way, I'm probably stuck with drying shampoo in my hair all day. Oh, well...)

The girls and I have talked about what causes an earthquake, what happens during an earthquake, and about earthquake safety. They've been able to practice getting under a sturdy table far from windows, glassware, and other breakable items, over and over, every time there is an aftershock.

I'm really worried. The shake seemed so big-time—where was the epicenter? If it felt that big here, what was it like wherever the epicenter was?

I will not be confiding my worries to Camille, Mindy and Lindsey! They are already so worried, they cannot play two feet away from me. We are acting like a little mob of people attached at the hip. We practically have to scuttle sideways, it's so important to them to be right at my side at all times.

Even when I need to go to the bathroom

There shall be no privacy today. Sigh.

We color in dinosaur coloring books, we sew dinosaur puppets (from a kit), we read books, we watch Dumbo. Finally, when the aftershocks get very few-and-far-between, the kids can stand to be a little bit farther from me. (I'm talking maybe four or five feet away, NOT in the next room!) So now they can run around and be active. They do gymnastics.

And after doing not a whole heck of a lot, the day is over.

P.S. Just wanted to say that it turns out that the epicenter was pretty close, in Rosemead. They're calling this the Whittier Narrows earthquake, and they've assigned it a magnitude of 5.9.

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