And I just lay there thinking, "So this is what an earthquake feels like." Well, that was my first thought. My second was, "We don't have earthquakes like this in Oklahoma."
Apparently, we do now.
It turned out it was a 5.6, and while there was some damage near the epicenter -- which was about 60 miles away -- it didn't do much more than rattle people (pardon the pun) around here. There had been a foreshock much earlier in the day, while most of us were asleep. A number of people I know felt some shaking during the night, and I was a little disappointed that I had slept though it. That was before we knew it was a foreshock -- I didn't even realize there was such a thing. (Blogger's spell-check doesn't know there's such a thing either.)
By Monday, as tornado warnings were in effect over parts of Oklahoma which we're accustomed to -- but not so much in November -- the joke was that we still had a few weeks left in hurricane season. Could a hurricane be next?
|Not a normal Oklahoma snow!|
It's been that kind of year. We had snow in February that would rival snowstorms in Chicago. As a matter of fact, the same storm hit Chicago later in the week. It actually paralyzed snow-savvy Chicago, although not nearly as long as it paralyzed us. By the following week, with close to two feet of snow on the ground, we had temperatures that would rival those in International Falls, Minnesota. Thanks to the heat island, Tulsa only got down to about 13 below at its coldest, but outlying areas were 20-30 degrees below zero.
That's not anywhere close to a normal Oklahoma winter, and I knew that did not bode well for the coming summer. Sure enough, July and August brought temperatures that would rival those in Death Valley. My sister pointed out to me long ago that whenever we have extremely hot summers, they are either preceded or followed by extremely cold winters...and vice versa. I pulled my phone out and called her at her home in Minnesota one afternoon in August when I got into my car and the thermometer read 125 degrees. It was a rare summer in that it seemed few people had tans because no one wanted to spend time in the sun, and even a fake tan was too. much. trouble. Area lakes brought no comfort because the heat and the drought (oh, yeah, we're still in the midst of a drought) combined to cause algae to grow on at least 3 of the nearby lakes. Yuck.
While we have the occasional colder-than-normal winter, the occasional hotter-than-usual summer, and even the occasional drought, this year's extremes exceeded anything I've ever experienced in Oklahoma. While we have the occasional record-breaking snowfall, this year's snow totals broke records for the entire season. It was particularly jarring in that most of it came over a 10-day period. And while we're used to tornadoes and the uncertainty they bring to our lives, we were stunned when a large portion of Joplin was destroyed just across the state line on Mothers Day.
But the earthquake was different. While a 5.6 is big for Oklahoma - the biggest ever recorded in the state - it doesn't compare to earthquakes in California, or Japan, or Turkey, or Chili, or any of the other places that have experienced much larger earthquakes. It didn't kill anyone, or cause anything more than minor injuries. It damaged some homes and buildings, but it didn't destroy large portions of cities, or take out entire neighborhoods. It was different largely because it wasn't something we're used to dealing with. There was an aftershock a couple of nights later that was the same magnitude as the foreshock, a 4.7, but it came early enough in the evening that most of us felt it. It wasn't as loud, and it didn't last long, but it sure got our attention.
As the ground stopped shaking and as I realized my second experience with an earthquake was over, I thought about how God sometimes reaches into our lives and shakes things up to get our attention. And while that can be a little scary, it can also be exciting...like an earthquake.
I just hope he doesn't have a 6.0 up his sleeve. ;-)
Until next time,
"I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory," says the Lord Almighty. ~ Haggai 2:7