February 28, 2001
All Shook Up



You guys are good.

I'd just barely received the news about today's earthquake in TicTac  --  David called me at work to see if I'd heard  --  when my cyber mailbox immediately began filling up with Have you heard the news? and Are the Tots OK? and Are you OK? messages from a lot of you. I couldn't get through to TicTac on the phone -- "All circuits are busy," said the automated operator ominously -- and staying plugged in to cyber seemed like the next-best-to-the-next-best-thing to being there.

Jaymi was the first to get through on the phone. She sounded rattled and whimpery  ...  it was her three-year-old Those bad clowns almost eat me voice ...  but otherwise she was OK. She was standing outside of her office taking a cigarette break when the earthquake hit, shortly after 11 a.m. Her biggest concern were the telephone wires hanging above her -- "I was afraid they were going to fall on me," she said, shakily -- but she managed to duck into a nearby archway until the worst of the quake was over.

My ex-husband called next. He was cutting firewood when the earthquake hit. There is no visible damage to the house, he said, although his car spontaneously rolled five feet backwards in the driveway.

The two youngest Tots were at school when it hit. Although a lot of local businesses, including the TicTac Airport ten blocks away, were shut down more or less immediately, Kacie and Kyle's high school remained open for the remainder of the day. (Much to their disappointment, I'm sure.)  As of this writing at 6:42 p.m., I still haven't talked to either one of them: the phone lines are down again, apparently. Ray assured me, though, that they're OK.

My mom's e-mail landed while I was still on the phone with my ex. Hers is perhaps the most harrowing tale we've heard so far:

" ... Vince and I were in a meeting room on the lower level of Salty's on Alki - right over the water - when the quake hit. The window walls on two sides of the room came down but we were in the middle of the room, got under our chairs and out of the building as soon as we could (because we didn't know the pier we were on was stable). At home, the only things we found out of place were a few pictures off the walls. We're OK - just shaken up."

I stayed online all afternoon, checking Yahoo News for updates ... answering the occasional "Hey! What are you doing online?" instant messages ... bopping back and forth between my various e-mail addresses. By the end of the day I wasn't even trying to hide the fact that I was online anymore: no more pretending I was "typing business contacts" or surfing the web for "APTA seminar information." I even turned up my PC speakers so I could hear the dorky little AOL guy announce "You've Got Mail," all the way down the hall.

(What are they going to do? Fire me?)

It goes without saying, of course, that sitting here three states away while my children and a lot of other people I love are being tossed around like so much JiffyPop is excruciating. I'm not even much in the mood to use it as fodder for a journal entry tonight ... which ought to tell you exactly how upset I really am. Still, if anything has helped make this day a *molecule* or two easier, it's been the outpouring of concern from you. (You know who you are.)  And I don't mind stepping out of character long enough to tell you so.

Thank you.

Heading back offline now to try the phone lines in TicTac again.

one year ago: kava kava everywhere

before i have to kill somebody ...
help bring back Fast Lane Tea!
[tell 'em SECRA sent you]

throw a rock