Hello from DC! As I’m sure you’re aware, it’s been Natural Disaster Week down here. It started on Tuesday, when concerns if Irene would run out weekend plans for dog park visits/marathon training runs/Wags N’ Whiskers festivals would be washed out by Irene were run out by a 5.8 earthquake. Let me just say, if I’m never in another earthquake, it’ll be too soon. Tuesday afternoon was one of the scariest days I’ve ever had. I was at the office in the time, and right as the earthquake hit, there was a fire truck going down our road. I work on an extremely busy DC road, so it’s not uncommon to have them tear down and shake our building a bit (my office building isn’t in the best condition). But the shaking kept on, so my first thought was that the building under construction next to us was collapsing… and then that the Metro got bombed… and then that I was having a seizure… and that MY building was collapsing. It wasn’t until someone that the call I was on shouted “We’re having an earthquake! I’m hanging up!” that I realized what was actually going on. It’s so strange to me that what I THOUGHT was happening was more realistic than what was actually happening. I’m from the Midwest; I’m far more mentally-equipped to handle tornadoes and blizzards than earthquakes.
When we left for work Tuesday morning, Alice seemed like she was sick or depressed. I now wonder if she expected something, like the animals and that National Zoo did. When we got home, she was extremely happy and made lots of new friends from the people—clearly freaked out—that went out in our neighborhood Tuesday night to drink with friends or take their kids out in Disney princess costumes to let them know that all would be well. Such a fascinating (and effective!) coping mechanism.
We’ve fortunately been pretty calm since then; there’s been about seven or so aftershocks since then and only one real one that was felt up here—although we slept through it and didn’t know it happened until the next morning. I guess Ms. “Barks at Dust Settling” can’t be bothered to alert us to 4.5 aftershocks. Alice did wake us up the next night, apparently to bark at… the fact we have a patio? She so quirky.
So now were in the beginning stages of Irene—which fortunately we’re only skirting with a tropical storm warning and not getting a direct hit. We’ve packed up the patio, made a last trip to the dog park, said our prayers, and went to our beloved neighborhood pub Beckett’s for a “beer-and-Pimm’s brunch”. Alice is a little frightened and we’ll very likely get soaked and have some wild winds, but we’ll live. It’s just funny when you’re reminded that the control you have over your life is pretty much a façade; the powers that be can laugh at the plans we make any time they want. I’m appreciating DC’s oppressively humid days so much more now. The alternative kind of sucks.
Sending love out to all of you in Irene’s path, experiencing fore/aftershocks, tornadoes, or just having beautiful days. We’ll get through this.