Thursday, January 14, 2010


I have never been in a BIG one, but a small on is enough to scare the, well, make you change your diaper.

I went to California to try to get rid of some of the W Va on me. I wanted to be warm all year long and see what the 5th largest economy in the world looked like. I thought in my pea brain that growing wine grapes in W Va might be a way to under utilize 125 acres of mountain hillside.
But I digress.

I lived with my doctor buddies from Maryland, who had gone to the land of milk and honey after med school in search of instant gratification. I sorta' became the step and fetch it, yardman gardener, pool maintenance, mechanic, you get the idea...

I hadn't been there but a week or so when I heard a sleepy voice, at 3:00 AM, from the next room mutter, "earthquake", EARTHQUAKE! I was on my feet and outside in about 10 seconds. I really didn't feel much, but it rattled some things, including me. That was the first earthquake. I remember others.

I got thinking about earthquakes in the back of my mind in California. What do you do? Where do you go? Of course, every Agency of Government in California has a publication of some sort about "Earthquake Preparedness". Believe me, there ain't no way to be prepared for an earthquake! It is a most singular feeling of helplessness.

I began to feel better about my lot when I moved up to the mountains...up at about 4000 feet, just below the snowline and just above the Valley fog. I thought I was earthquake proof. Wrong.

We had been working cattle at Fairlea Ranch and had cattle in the holding pens to "work". Working cows mean they get 4 or 5 shots, are prodded, poked, inseminated, preg checked, deballded, dehornded and otherwise abused...not all at once, but before the year is out.

Most of the other ranches sent cowboys to help, so there were about 10 of us in the corral. We were just getting ready to start the day, lots of noise, horses shuffling, cow bawling, calves looking for mama. Suddenly the cows became very NERVOUS... some ran, some stood stock still...(I know what that means now)

All noise stopped. The gates began to rattle, I mean RATTLE. It began to intensify. My horse, Jasper, became so nervous I got off. Somebody said, "earthquake". It was over in 30 seconds. My only two earthquakes, but enough to scare the pee outa' me.

I can't imagine the destruction, or the feeling, of the Big Un'. The poor people in Haiti can tell you all about it, as can the people of China, and San Jose.

Be generous with your gifts...the people of Haiti need help. careful of who you use to disperse your aid...might be better to wait until they have sorted things out and the adrenalin slows down. Real need will come later...the painful reality of rebuilding and recovering.


  1. I remmeber another one--we woke up 1st thing in the morning, and I looked over and Allison was jumping on her bed in an earthquake. Typical.