Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Yesterday was kind of a crazy day!!! At 1:51pm, I was sitting at my desk at work trying to decide how to respond to an e-mail when I felt the ground start shaking. My first thought was that some of the maintenance staff were driving some big pallet movers down the corridor outside my office. When the walls of my cubicle started to shake violently, though, I quickly dismissed the pallet mover idea, had a moment of blind shock, and then decided that we were actually having an earthquake. In Maryland?! Seriously - what in the world!!! Then I wondered if I should get under my desk or run for a doorway (I'm kind of disturbed that I was weighing my options at a time like this!), decided on getting under my desk, and was just crawling under there when it stopped. All in all about 45 seconds of 5.8 magnitude utter craziness. My first earthquake (and I hope my last!). After it stopped shaking, I ran to see if my co-workers were OK (everyone was - thank goodness!) and then ran out in the hallway to see what was going on and to try to call Peter on my cell phone. Couldn't get Peter on the phone and the hallway was full of people who (like me) didn't know what exactly we should do. We have every other kind of drill at work to prepare us for every other kind of disaster except for an earthquake (probably because there hasn't been a sizeable earthquake here for at least 50 years!). Finally it was announced over the loudspeaker to evacuate the building, and after standing outside for about an hour while inspectors checked the building, they told us to go home for the day because they couldn't tell yet if the building was structurally damaged or not. They also were not sure if the parking garage was structurally damaged or not so they only let about 10 people at a time enter and drive away. I was really very proud of my co-workers yesterday because there wasn't any panic or disorderliness; everyone was kind and trying to have a sense of humor about the whole experience. I was really worried about Peter, though, because I couldn't reach him by cell, but when I arrived at his workplace, I was finally able to get through on the phone and he was totally fine. We didn't have any delays on the roads driving home, and our apartment was totally fine. Nothing had even fallen from the walls. Others were not so fortunate.

Some had to wait in line for hours to take trains or buses home or were stuck in traffic on major highways. And some had more to clean up at home. But I'm very thankful and praise God that there were no deaths and no serious injuries reported in the DC area. It could have been a lot worse (a lot!). There's some damage to buildings, but I don't think that anything seriously collapsed and, again, no one was seriously hurt so we have much to be grateful for. We just have a little to clean up!

(all images from The Daily Mail)
In addition to the scare of yesterday's earthquake, Peter and I also received some worrisome news about Peter's 13-year-old cousin, Joshua, last night. Joshua was diagnosed with leukemia in February of this year and has been undergoing chemo and radiation treatments for the past few months. He was getting better, but just last week, he took a turn for the worse and doctors found cancer in his spine and brain. Now he's undergoing more aggressive treatments, but he also has fluid on his brain and is at risk of seizure so it's really touch and go right now. Yesterday was an especially scary day for him so he's very much on our hearts and minds right now. If you would pray for him, I would greatly appreciate it!!!