All shook up.

Our family went through the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, for the most part, with flying colors.

Both kids were at soccer practice at different fields (I know my daughter is going to correct me on much of this), and my husband was driving home on the Nimitz Fwy (aka now as the 880), and I was showing a house to some prospects from Florida, relatives of one of my clients.

The kids were safe but were trying to figure out why the balls and ground were moving without any help from them.  Carl thought that he had a simultaneous 4 tire blowout as he was driving.  And I knew what was happening but my buyers did not.  I calmly said we were having an earthquake and rounded them up like a hen does her chicks. The Floridians did not buy anything in Alameda, much less CA.  I'm sure they had big stories to tell.

I recall some of my earlier earthquakes.  We lived in the San Francisco North Bay when I was 11 years old.  We heard about the earthquake in Alaska and my dad took us down to see the tidal wave action.

Oooh!  That ought to be neat..seeing the waves so huge!  We had moved there from San Diego and before that Newport Beach.  My folks would take us down to watch The Wedge (in Newport) where southern storms would rack up the surf along the jetty, and big waves broke close to shore (and broke some body-surfing boys), when it was breaking bad and big.

Um...not so much.  When he said tidal, my dad meant lateral tides, not bunched up waves.  And the tides were rushing in and out about every 30 minutes.  What I couldn't see then I understood later in life.  This action was able to break boats from docks, sink large yachts at the docks and stop all traffic on the SF Bay.  This was the Alaskan tsunami.  This event wreaked havoc.

My next quake was in Newport Beach, when I was in high school.  I slept in the lower level bedroom. When my alarm went off that morning I heard the am DJ yell, I'm gettinoutta here!  And then I heard the noise.  I thought we were being bombed.  The sound roared down the coast and it was so loud I had to hold my ears.  It shook like we were close to the bombs.  And I didn't even get a chance to say goodbye to my parents and brothers!  And then it was quiet.  That was the Sylmar / San Fernando quake, 1971, my senior year at Corona del Mar High.

Back to 1989.  Besides everybody being in various places, we all reached home safely.  We had stories to tell and relive.  And Carl and I looked at each other and knew that we were all protected. We thanked God.  We were able to come back to our home with a new concrete foundation, which did exactly what the engineer and contractor wanted it to do...the multi-story 1898 house stayed upright and proud, and only two vases slid off the dining room built-in sideboard.  One of our tenants (who is still with us) had the rack holding her stuff over her toilet, fall down.  That was all.

The Giants were playing in the World Series at Candlestick Park against the Oakland A's. Part of the Bay Bridge collapsed.  Cameras were recording, and TV's were on everywhere, including filming some of my friends at the game, holding concrete chunks near where they sat.  People were hurt and killed during the quake. It took my friends hours and hours to get home.

Elvis has nothing on us.  We're all shook up, too.

Live richly.  Be safe.  marilyn


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