25 January 2012

i feel the earth move

Quick. Think of things Kansas is known for. Tornadoes. Dorothy. Wheat. And that's about it. It's a short list, and earthquakes isn't on it.

That's why, when I was sitting on my bed one evening in October and I felt a gentle trembling, seismic activity was the furthest thing from my mind.

"GRACIE!" I yelled, and my sister emerged from the bathroom and poked her bewildered head through my door. "Is the washing machine or the dishwasher on or something?"

"Uh. . . I just flushed the toilet. . ."

Clearly we weren't on the same page. "Never mind." I waved her away.

And that's when my Twitter and Facebook feeds began to blow up. Long story short, an earthquake that originated somewhere in Oklahoma had been felt all the way up here in Kansas, for the first time in memory. I had traveled all the way to Peru and Argentina and Italy only to feel the earth move under my feet for the first time (all apologies to Carole King) in the humble Midwest. The whole thing felt epic and triumphant and rugged, and if I ever have children, they'll hear all about it.

And you'd better believe they'll also hear about how their Aunt Grace missed the Great Quake of Oh-Eleven because she was on the toilet.

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