Bed was quaking like it was strapped to a motorbike. This woke me up. Must be I had a bad dream, I thought, but I was wide awake and it kept going. Stuff started squeaking and clinking. The clock said 4:40 a.m. "This must be -- an earthquake!"
Checked beneath the bed just to see if anybody was playing with my perceptions. Nothin there but the rifle. Looked out the window to see if other lights in the hills were snapping on. Didn't see any. Then I did what I learned to do when Nature is reminding us who's boss:
1. Put on shoes.
2. Find purse, load it with medicines and checkbook.
3. Sit tight in the room with strongest walls and least windows.
4. Remind myself where are the shutoff valves for water and propane.
5. Switch on TV or radio.
On TV, there was only Cops, so I went online to see if anybody knew anything, but it was too soon, and then at 5:00 a.m. the newscasters came on and said it had been a 5.2 Richter scale earthquake centered 100 miles east of here.
I've felt one other quake, in 1989. That one felt like a truck passing in the street; didn't last 20 seconds. This one was larger and lasted about 40 seconds. Aftershock at 10:15 a.m. Felt disgusted (what, is this quake stuff going to ruin my day??).
Biggest quake since 1968. Exactly on 102nd anniversary of San Francisco quake! Fortunately not big enough to create fatalities. Of course we'd all heard about the New Madrid Fault line that made a horrible quake in 1811, when the Mississippi River flowed backwards and killed about everybody on it. But this wasn't even the New Madrid Fault, it was another, smaller one where Illinois meets Kentucky.
Just a reminder for us all of who is the boss.