First, an earthquake in New Jersey. No kidding.
At work on Tuesday I had just finished the dishes and sat down to eat lunch and read. The first thing I noticed was the chimes on the front door going crazy, and then everything - EVERYTHING - was shaking like mad. My first thought was that our gas line was about to explode. I dashed outside, still holding my book and cell phone, completely and utterly freaked out.
Now, this was not a major earthquake. In fact, the epicenter was in Virginia, no where near South Jersey, so there wasn't even any damage around here. (And very little in Virginia.) However, having never experienced an earthquake before, I was sufficiently spooked. And to make matters worse, my husband and good friend were both down south in Maryland and Virginia, respectively.
Since us east coasters are new to the earthquake phenomenon, we naturally all turned to our cell phones to check on loved ones. And because of this, no one could get through with the overworked lines. I couldn't get John, no answer from Jess and I couldn't even check in with my mom and or mother-in-law, who are both in-state. After a bit I was able to confirm everyone's safety, but man... it was scary!
So that was Tuesday. And now, Thursday night, the state is preparing for the onslaught that is Hurricane Irene, set to hit New Jersey early Sunday morning. Cape May County (my old stomping grounds) is under a mandatory evacuation beginning tomorrow at 8 a.m. The whole state is under emergency, and basically... it's terrifying. I'm so worried about those who live at the shore, both for their safety and the safety of their homes, businesses, etc.
And while I sit and listen to intense thunderstorms right now (completely unrelated to the hurricane), all I can keep thinking is that I hope Irene goes off track and heads back to sea, dissipates and, at worse, sends some rain and a little wind our way. Some rain and wind - maybe even some minor flood - I can deal with.
Total devastation? I can't deal with that.
Edited to add: Everything turned out okay!