Yesterday was more eventful than most Tuesdays. The highlight of my day was supposed to be installing more bookshelves in the living room and attaching them to the wall with power tools while Abby took a nap.
I brought her upstairs after lunch and lay down next to her with my laptop, settling in for some minor code cleanup while she fell asleep. Then the floor started to shake, and I went through my mental list.
"Is the washing machine unbalanced? Wait, the washing machine isn't running. Is this Quantico burning off munitions? It's still going on, that usually just rattles the windows. Is there a helicopter hovering directly over the house? Why would there be a helicopter over the house? Is D.C. going up in a cloud? That would have one impact, maybe two or three, not continuous concussions."
And finally, "Is this an earthquake? I think it is." So that was the first 15 seconds of the quake.
Abby slept through it. Marcus called up from downstairs, "Mom, is this an earthquake?".
"Er, um, yes?"
Afterwards, while I checked #earthquake on Twitter (utterly useless, it was scrolling by too fast to read) and checked out forums for earthquake threads, Marcus hopped on his bike to look for Hollywood-style there's-been-an-earthquake evidence. Manhole covers blown, sinkholes, cracks in the road, that sort of thing. (He was utterly disappointed in the way that 12-year-old boys are when there's a distinct lack of destruction.)
The Internet provided information. Cell networks along the East Coast were down 30 seconds after it stopped. Good to know what works and what doesn't.
And Hurricane Irene is on the way. Going to be an interesting week.