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Thursday, December 30, 2010

...starts out with an earthquake....

“We want a story that starts out with an earthquake and works its way up to a climax.” —Samuel Goldwyn

Who says you can't have it all?

Here in Indiana, just in the past couple months, we've had tornadoes, snow storms, freezing rain, gentle, spring-like weather, and...

Wait for it...

Wait for it...


We live about a mile from a gravel quarry. Normally, they blast around midday, and almost always, they give us advance notice. But at 7:55 this morning, my first, momentary thought was, "Something's gone horribly wrong at the quarry!"

Before I had finished with that idea, I realized that whatever was happening it was lasting too long to be a quarry blast. For a split second, my thoughts turned in another direction as I conidered the possibility of a multi-vehicle pile-up on a near-by highway, complete with tanker trucks full of flammable liquids.

This was different, though. Not the harsh, grating sounds of a man-made explosion, this rumbling, shuddering sensation was almost living--as if a giant or an enormous dragon was stirring and awakening. I could begin to understand the ancient mythologies that said the mountains were gigantic men, curled in sleep, or taught that the continents were supported on the backs of dragons.

Earthquake! I knew in my gut that's what it was; I knew exactly what to do. But a sense of denial--"An earthquake this powerful can't happen here!"--kept me from dashing for the nearest door frame. Well, that, and insane daredevil streak that was enjoying it, and wanted to ride the beast out to the end--until one of us gave up.

And then it was over. I called the sheriff's dispatcher to report...something. I got put on hold, but not before I heard other phones ringing in the background. In a few moments she was back asking if I had any property damage--if not, there was no emergency. And thank you.

Turns out, I had been just 6 miles from the epicenter of what the USGS has officially classified as a 3.8 earthquake.

And so, 2010 goes out, not with a bang, but with more of a...rumble....

...an earthquake....

Proving once again--there is more than corn in Indiana.

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