Shaking things up

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Historically when it comes to earthquakes, I’m not the calmest person in the room. I’m a native Californian, I’ve been through many, but when the big ones hit, I’m not all that cool and collected. Who is, really. When you are just going about your business sleeping away and one hits, your adrenaline has no place to go but rush around all over the place.

And that’s just what happened at 3:20 Sunday morning. Huge jolts, loud creaks from the house and the noise of everything you own shaking all over. It was a long one, it seemed. Long enough for us to both get out of bed and try our best to walk to the doorway, then down the long hallway to the children’s rooms, which is when it finished. Once we got to our bedroom door, it almost seemed over which is when the whole house did a terrible jolt again and then the rolling started. That’s when I screamed. And that’s when the children woke up. As my son reported, ‘the earthquake didn’t wake us up, your screaming did mom!’ I opened our daughters door and she look wide eyed at me and said, ‘what. was. that!?!’

We lost power immediately of course, which means when you live with well water, that you are out of water too. We’re becoming accustumed to shouting out once we lose power, ‘don’t flush the toilets!’. Scott and I are pretty good about brushing aside small earthquakes, going back to normal life as soon as they finish. This one was so big and violent feeling that we all huddled around the kitchen table with candles and tried to figure out what in the heck just happened! Eventually we learned what you probably already know, a 6.1 earthquake in American Canyon, the epicenter 8 miles from our house.

Everything was fine in our house. The power came on the next morning and we were able to function as normal. As I joked with friends, all of our pictures were hanging askew before the quake, now they are straight! Our friends and family in Napa have big messes to clean up.

I wasn’t able to go back to sleep after the quake though, which made for a very slow foggy brained Sunday. We all moved slowly. Funnily enough the earthquake knocked down a whole bunch of ripe tomatoes from their plants so we took that as a sign to get some tomato sauce made and canned. I made my first loaf of sourdough bread using Wild Grape Sourdough Starter from my favorite The Model Bakery Cookbook(very appropriately a Napa Valley bakery). And truth be told, we got some quality tv watching in done too.

I know I have a number of local readers, how did you guys fare with the ground shaking?



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16 responses to “Shaking things up

  1. Lisa

    Wow Kendra. Glad you came out of that unscathed. I would have been a frantic mess. You have some brave kids there 🙂

  2. Nikki L'Hommedieu

    Thanks for the instant replay. We here in Kansas know tornadoes. Earthquakes are fairly new to us (yes we have started getting them due to fracking in Oklahoma we believe). Glad you all are well.

    Can you share your tomato sauce recipe? I’ve got some tomatoes from my Grandads garden I would love to do something with. Can I freeze it instead of can? I’m not much of a canner.

    Thanks again.

  3. Ukiah and Willits didn’t feel it at all. I did get a call from my daughter in San Francisco who felt it roll thru their apartment. My Napa friend siad it sounded like a freight train going thru his bedroom. he got up and went to check his bee hives to make sure they were still upright, Whew!

  4. We felt it in San Jose but it wasn’t terribly strong. Enough to wake me up but not enough to wake the kids or my husband. Glad we weren’t closer to the epicenter!

  5. Glad you are all ok. Something woke me, but I didn’t realize what it was and went back to sleep. I don’t think any of my neighbors felt it, but the shaking showed up on one of their security cameras – moving light fixtures and cupboard doors. We are down near Oakley/Brentwood. It sounds like it was a lot like the Northridge quake – that was rolling and then a jolt. I hope the aftershocks aren’t bad.

  6. Jody

    When I heard of the earthquake on the news this morning, I thought about you and your family; I am glad to hear you all are OK.

    I’m on the east coast, so not exactly what you’d call earthquake country, but I have experienced 3 in my life. The last one, I thought my husband was walking across the roof of our house when I realized he was sitting at the desk. The epicenter was about 100 miles away and it was relatively small, but it was such a weird feeling, I can’t imagine what a 6.1 5 miles from my house would feel like. I’d probably embarrass myself though…screaming would seem tame. 😉

  7. Betsy Hinson

    We’re here in Sonoma, too. What a rude awakening Saturday night! I’ve lived in San Francisco, and (unless you count Loma Prieta) have been through many smaller quakes. This one certainly got my attention! No damage to speak of, but lots of stuff on the floor, and the power being out jangled my nerves as much as the shaking did. Glad I don’t live in Napa. My hearts go out to everyone dealing with damage and clean up!

  8. Danabee in Petaluma

    Here in Petaluma a little ways from you, on the 2nd floor of our home, we adults woke up and the kids slept on…zzzzzz… I was able to go back to sleep. Call me a fool but I’ve lived in the Bay Area my whole life and been through a lot of quakes and I have the same attitude about them as I do the prospect of a plane I’m flying in crashing. What can I do? Nothing. We had no damage. Like a previous commenter said, my heart goes out to the folks effected badly by the quake. I’m grateful no lives were lost and it wasn’t any worse. Glad you’re ok over there in Sonoma!

  9. I couldn’t get over how my doors were all opening and closing during the shaking, and walking across the floor felt like being on a boat. I remember the Loma Prieta as being much more typically shaky, and after the initial jolt and shaking Sunday (when I thought it had ended but it had not), this felt much more wavy. Luckily, I was damage-free, and power stayed on here.

  10. Thought of you as soon as we heard the news up in Toronto. Glad to hear you’re all well. Good motivation to get tose tomatoes put away for the winter.

  11. Kari

    Hi Kendra,
    I have been enjoying your blog for a couple of months now. I am a fellow gardener here on the east side of Sonoma and boy did we get a scary ride in our two story house. We had lots of broken glass and even some large cabinets tipped over. We were in Sonoma for the Loma Prieta but this was much closer! My son goes to Justin Siena and they were closed yesterday picking up the mess. It’s wonderful that our community always joins together to help each other out!
    On a gardening note some of my outdoor statuary tipped over and my waterlillies shifted to the other side of the pond with all the shaking! Now if only those darned gophers got scared away!

  12. CTY

    We are new to CA and have no earthquake experience. Can I ask what the deal is with earthquake insurance. Is it needed? worth having? Is there a good website to visit for accurate information?

  13. I’m in the hills just east of Santa Rosa about 30 miles from the epicenter. I was rudely awakened at 3:20 am, also, and couldn’t get back to sleep. It felt here like a strong sideways motion, not so much rolling. Which is interesting, since I usually associate the rolling motion with being further away from the epicenter. I’m a CA native, too, and usually brush them off. This one kept me up a few hours. I was actually surprised that there was no effect at all here, not even a picture askew. I was about 15 miles from the epicenter of a 6.0 once many years ago, and it started off with a sound like an explosion and was terrifying. 8 miles from the center I can only imagine.

  14. We were certainty woken up at our house, near downtown Santa Rosa! Nothing broken, just had one rock slab that decorated my mantle tip over. I absolutely hate earthquakes, and they give me serious anxiety. I’m from Santa Cruz, so I’ve had my fair share. I lived about 7 miles from the Loma Prieta quake epicenter, and my house was leveled. Glad to hear you didn’t have any damage!

    • asonomagarden

      Oh my goodness Melissa, your house was leveled? Scott lived down in Santa Cruz for Loma Prieta too and worked in a liquor store of all places. So he was cleaning and cleaning and cleaning afterwards.

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