Unless you have been living in a news vacuum (which I have been known to do on occasion), you know that an earthquake was felt in approximately 1/3 of the country. Being an East Coast girl, the idea of earthquakes is terrifying. I'm don't appreciate the ground abruptly shaking without warning!
Thankfully I was still in Texas when the earthquake struck. We heard the news and immediately became concerned about our home. We live in Virginia, approximately an hour from the epicenter, and the news reports were sketchy and the extent of damage was unclear. My mind immediately began to conjure worst case scenarios.
I spent the next two hours frantically making phone calls and posting messages on Facebook and Twitter to ascertain any possible damage. Unfortunately the phones (and apparently the internet) were congested with others who had a similar predicament. Getting through was nearly impossible and was an incredibly frustrating experience.
Finally I reached our neighbor, Mr. Bill, who proudly proclaimed that he checked our property and that the tree house was fine. He then proceeded to explain that he climbed into the tree house and that it didn't even have a loose board. After bragging that he had constructed a sturdy structure, he finally added the information I wanted to hear. "Oh, and your house is fine too."
Surveying the house when we arrived home, I noticed only pictures askew on the walls and a few fallen books. Yesterday morning I discovered one of my spice house containers had been jostled off the rack and had broken. I was heartsick to find my grandmother's woven porcelain bowl had also fallen victim to the quake. After cleaning up the broken spice house and bowl shards, I decided to clean the kitchen. I turned on our faucet to discover brown water.
A quick google search revealed that brown well water following an earth quake is normal. We have been instructed to run the water in short durations (15 minutes at a time) for the next few days. The sediment that has been shaken into the bottom of the wall from the quake should clear within the week. Hopefully the water becomes clear soon. If I tried to bathe Robby right now he would come out of the tub looking like an orange Oompaloompa- sporting a cowboy hat and boots of course!
Despite two broken treasures and dealing with brown water from our well, we consider ourselves to be incredibly lucky. I can't help but think about the earth quake victims in Haiti, New Zealand and Japan. When I think about the devastation to both life and property sustained by survivors in those countries, I am grateful that our damage was superficial.