I was so disappointed when I got home from Char's today and read from her on Facebook that they had a sharp earthquake about 30 minutes before. It happened around 5 p.m. and I had left around 3. San Ramon has been experiencing an "earthquake swarm" this week, with over 200 earthquakes recorded. Now that may sound really scary, but very few of them are strong enough to be felt and even those that can be felt are small. I think the largest is 3.6, which is a baby earthquake. We decided that this is Mike (a seismologist), somehow reminding us that we are coming up on the first anniversary of his death at the end of this week. It doesn't seem possible.
Char and I were talking about natural disasters and the fears they cause. People in California, who live with earthquakes and know how to feel about them, fear tornados and hurricanes. People in the midwest and Florida know how to deal with tornados and hurricanes but fear earthquakes. It's the enemy that you know vs. the enemy that you don't know. Yes, there are big, big earthquakes that are very destructive. They occur rarely and when they do, the media goes bonkers. I remember reports following the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Reports of the bay bridge falling into the bay (one section of the top deck tilted onto the deck of the lower deck and one daredevil car tried to jump it and crashed. There was a terrible tragedy of a freeway that collapsed. Yes, that was bad, but reports of San Francisco in ruins were completely wrong. Just two or three buildings were actually destroyed because of bad design on fill land.
So I was disappointed that I missed today's earthquake.
It had been a busy day. I was trying to remember what made yesterday so busy and why I decided not to do an entry last night. Then I remembered I had been doing Christmas in October. to send anything to the Compassion kids for Christmas, you have to get it into the mail before October 30. You can only send things of paper and nothing over 1/2" thick, so it's usually stickers, but for Christmas I wanted to send something else, and I had things like pocket calendars for the older kids and either coloring book pages or books about Christmas for the younger ones. I also tried to find religious Christmas cards, but it's all halloween, as it should be, and without going to Costco (which I swear puts out its Christmas stuff on the 4th of July), I couldn't find anything. Instead. I found a religious poem about Christmas, used Christmas stationery and sent that along with the gifts.
But I have 30 kids and that is very time consuming. I got one big envelope full of little gifts mailed off to Compassion in Colorado this morning and will get another one off tomorrow.
So this morning started at the post office. Good old Davis. There is this lovely post office with places for seven clerks to work. The line was nearly out to the street and there were only two clerks working, one of whom was with the same woman when I got in line as when I finally got waited on and left. But they never called out another clerk.
At the same time, there were people who came in for passports. There is a special desk for passports with a big "Passport" sign hanging over it. And a clerk telling people they don't do passports any more. At the same time a woman was saying she wasn't getting her mail and she wanted to see the postmaster, and was being told that he wasn't around this morning. Your postal dollars in action.
But my plan had been to go to the post office and then drop my mother's laundry, which I had washed the night before, off and then head to Char's but by the time I finally got out of the post office it was too late, so I just went directly to Char's and said I would drop the laundry off on my way home.
We went to the book club and had a nice discussion about "The Art of Racing in the Rain," which almost everyone liked and then Char dropped me off at my car so I could head on home.
The traffic was, of course, awful. Always is at that hour, and it took me significantly longer to get back to Davis than it had taken me to get to San Ramon. My plan had been to stop off at the outlet mall to do some shopping for the trip, but it was too late, so I just went directy to Atria. When I got there, I peeked through the window of the restaurant and could see my mother already at dinner, so I just dropped off her laundry at her apartment and came on home.
So that's my last two days. It's not a great story, just what happened.