Saturday, April 19, 2008

More About the Devil I Know

Earthquakes were different for me when I rented. Since buying our house, we haven’t yet had one big enough to test that theory, but I’m pretty sure it’s true.

The Northridge quake was huge. We were jolted awake; sprang out of bed and held on to a door frame until the chaos came to an end. Then we went back to sleep. "You did what!?" was a common reaction. We went back to sleep because the power was out; there were no lights, no television. What were we supposed to do? Sit in the car and listen to the news? Might as well put my Olympic-sized talent for sleep to good use.

In the morning, we went out for breakfast to the only restaurant in West Hollywood that remained open.

We lost some glassware and I think some crystal that had been left out from the previous night’s entertaining. No biggie. We were renters. Our apartment wasn’t one of those on the block to be condemned. We were grateful for that and moved on with our lives.

That was 14 years ago. Today, I’m not sure I’ll be so sanguine about the next one. Even if we came through ok, I’m sure I would worry about something in the house, the foundation, the framework, the tile. "Please, don’t make us have to re-do the bathroom tile!"

It’s different when you own. Now, every little shimmy gives me pause.

At least our chimney’s already down. A lot of chimneys were felled by the Northridge quake. We had a recent fireplace/chimney-ectomy. More about that another day. Briefly, they both had to be euthanized.

Now the old fireplace and chimney are just a big pile of bricks on the side of the house.

I might miss them more if somebody hadn’t painted the fireplace bricks bright red.

But I won’t worry about anything today. I’ve got water in the basement and comfy shoes in the car. Today’s weather is cool and clear and the ground is still - so far.

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