Tuesday, August 26, 2014
When the ground shakes.....
Suddenly, I was awoken from my slumber by the ground shaking violently beneath my bed as a rumbling roar broke through the early morning stillness. The next thing I knew, I was curled up in a fetal position and my husband was covering my body protectively with his own. We waited anxiously for it to end, but mere seconds turned into what seemed like minutes.
Despite the early hour of the morning, which was more like the middle of the night, neighbors began filing out of their homes. I remember the excited little boy from next door asking eagerly if we felt it? His adrenaline was flowing as he ran about outside in his pajamas. Neighbors called to one another from their yards inquiring if everyone was alright, if they needed anything, and began exchanging stories of the moment. None of us knew the impact the force Mother Nature had just dealt our city or our neighbor to the north.
When the news finally broke, the damage on our city slowly began to roll in. The images portrayed on my blog are pictures I found on Google that depict both Vallejo and Napa, the areas hit hardest by the quake.
Because of my work, my husband and I piled into the car when it finally became light enough to really assess any damages. As we traveled around town looking at the different properties, we were amazed by all the glass storefronts that had been shattered, the police presence keeping looters at bay, and the plywood quickly being installed to cover the gaping holes that left the buildings vulnerable to intruders. It was an extremely surreal feeling. It was the first time I had experienced my town in this type of predicament.
We stopped by our favorite neighborhood restaurant and were greeted with the buzz of excitement from the crowded standing-room-only patrons. We quickly left. It was the same all about town. Everyone was out and the air itself vibrated with nervous chatter.
As we finally went home to tackle the clean-up of our own dwelling, we felt incredibly blessed and lucky. Our home did not suffer any structural damage and our losses were restricted to a few broken dishes and collectibles. We mainly had things tossed around the house and a bit of a mess that needed tidying. Again, we are thankful and grateful because we know there were so many who suffered major damage to their homes and businesses.
I know that in our own town many buildings have been red-tagged until their structural integrity can be confirmed and caution tape is strung to warn pedestrians of these dangers. I urge everyone to heed these warning signs. They are there for a reason: to prevent further injury to the city's citizens.
As you go about your day, do not forget to be thankful. Yes, the devastation has hit our city harder than any other natural disaster I can recall in our past—or at least in mine—but cities can rebuild. A city is built on the determination of its community. Glass can be replaced, masonry re-built, structures retrofitted or replaced, but it is the people that breathe life into a city.
Be thankful. Be supportive. Be determined. Tomorrow is another day and we will enter it with a smile and a purposeful step.
Wishing you all the best,