Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Me at the great oak tree at Northwood Cemetery, Downingtown, PA
Where were you when the Great Earthquake hit yesterday?  Bill and I were in Pennsylvania.  Bill wanted to visit our old property (again) and I wanted to visit three cemeteries to take more pictures.  I also wanted to visit our cemetery plots at the Northwood Cemetery in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

Where Bill and I will be "planted"
So where were we when the earth shook on the east coast at 1:51.04 pm?  We had just left my brother Isaac's home on Hopewell Road outside of Downingtown and were headed towards Wegmans (my absolute favorite SUPER market in the whole world) for lunch before we head to the Northwood Cemetery on a hill overlooking Downingtown.  We didn't feel a thing.

The only earthquake I ever experienced in my life was a very mild earthquake back in the 70's when we lived in Philadelphia.  That earthquake occurred about 1 o'clock in the morning.  We lived in a three story townhouse in center city Philadelphia.  I remember hearing a ominous rumbling and a slight but dangerous movement of the house where I was sleeping on the third floor bedroom.  I'm usually a heavy sleeper but I woke up right away and I knew exactly what was happening.  I jumped out of bed and onto the floor which was MOVING.  The whole episode only lasted for about six seconds but that six seconds all kinds of thoughts went through my mind.  "Could I make it down the stairs in time?"  No.  "Could I open the window to the bedroom and try and climb down the side of the building and drop to the deck on the second floor?"  No.  Man was I ever focused.  Then as I was still reviewing my options the trembling and rumbling stopped.  It was over.  I went back to bed.

The next morning when I awoke I wasn't sure whether I had dreamed it or not.  However, watching the news on TV that morning confirmed that I had indeed been through an earthquake, however mild.  It was still the scariest thing I had ever experienced in my life.

Ironically, where we were going yesterday after lunch at Wegmans was Northwood Cemetery, where I have two plots (side by side) for me and Bill.  I bought the burial plots after my father died in 2000.  I am now ready to buy my tombstone.

This is where my tombstone will go, right next to the Chinese guy (can you believe it? There goes the neighborhood)


  1. Earthquakes are very scary, even after going through many of them, my heart still races. Here is a good opportunity to have a basket under your bed, with sturdy shoes inside, gloves (so you can remove debris if you have to), a head light (easier to remove debris without holding a light too) a hard hat, if more shaking occurs...
    I hope people on the East coast will never experience earthquakes again. We are not so lucky in Southern California.

  2. But surely, Ron, was not the earthquake, in reality, God demonstrating His displeasure at the policies of the Obama administration? - specifically its 'pro' policies(!) on gays and abortion.
    (Somehow I think that one or two may have beaten me in saying that).

    Btw I hugely admire your thorough preparations for your departure. Not a comfortable consideration, I know, but it's got to be done.
    (I've still done absolute zilch!)

  3. anne marie in philly2:20 PM

    I was at work in the ladies room; the floor vibrated under my feet. but I thought nothing of it.

    15 minutes later, a co-worker received a text that we had just had an earthquake. so THAT'S what that good good good good vibration was!

    nothing damaged, either at work or at my house.

  4. I love hearing all the earthquake stories from the east coast. You know we have 5.8s on this coast like you guys have rainstorms?!?! :) Seriously though, they scare me to death and just hearing about them makes me SO nervous. I'm glad all was ok, and you could visit your, um, cemetery plot.

  5. Ron,

    I was at the computer. The wind was picking up outside, I could see the treetops blowing. Then everything shook. I went out to the living room and asked Lo , "How strong is that wind?" She said, "I don't know, but my chair shook." Maybe Hobo Joe was just jumping off of something.

    A bit later my son came in and said we had a earthquake. Turned on the TV and sure enough, we did. He hadn't felt it because he was driving when it hit.

    Biggest one in a hundred years in Virginia, perhaps biggest there ever. Largest one centered in Delaware was 3 point something back in the 1970s. Maybe that's the one you felt in Philly. Guess where that one was centered? Yep, right here in my little town.

    We had a tornado a week ago, now an earthquake this week and a hurricane visiting for the weekend, not exactly typical Delaware weather.


  6. Nadege,

    I only experienced one earthquake and it was a very mild one but it I knew exactly what it was and it focused me like a laser. I just can't imagine living in an area where that happens all the time.

  7. Anne Marie,

    We were driving so I didn't feel a thing. I sort of wished I experienced it. As long as it was mild.

  8. Kimberly,

    Thank you for your comment and your name :). Now I don't have to call you "Pumpkin" which sort of sounds like an inappropriate term of endearment for me to use to you. Bill and I are going to ride this one out. Am I frightened? Yes. We'll manage.

  9. Lar,

    Bill and I were driving to Wegmans for lunch then to the Northwood Cemetery to take some pictures. I didn't feel a thing. I feel like I missed something. I would have liked to have experienced it, as long as it wasn't too bad.


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