Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Quake 4.0

     We suffered an earthquake yesterday - and by suffered, I mean that I'm suffering because I DIDN'T EVEN FEEL IT!  A 4.0 magnitude quake pinpointed in Maine (where there've apparently been several earthquakes over the past few years...who knew! as a former/hoping-to-be-again-Geologist, I should have!).  The shaking was felt throughout the Boston area, and even further west into parts of New York; no tsunami's were spawned though, unfortunately...
       It was a little after 7 p.m. when I had gotten the kids into the bathtub - Quinn went first, and then the twins went together, about 7:15 p.m.  Quinn had run upstairs to get clean pajamas (since he'd missed the potty and peed on the first set... hohum), when Doug called from the kitchen "What was that?".  Seconds later, his phone signaled a new text, from our neighbor Jamie, who asked if our " just shook, too?".  Apparantly, the bathing of two two-year-olds was distraction enough for me to not even notice the house shaking.  My excuse is that my house is generally shaking anyway, especially leading up to my three children's bedtimes!  Oh well, the quake didn't cause any injuries or damage anywhere, just cool stories for everyone else but me...  but then, the more I thought about it today, I realized that I actually do have a little story related to the legendary "2012 New England Earthquake".
       I'd taken the kids for a walk just before dinner yesterday, to peep at the beautiful shades of leaves and skip stones across the lake.  We got home about 5:30 to find the neighbor's black lab (mix?) dog, Tucker, sitting on our front porch.  Tucker is often out wondering the neighborhood, chasing garbage trucks, accepting treats from the mailman so he'll leave him alone, pooping in everyone's yards (despite my telling him that it's not my birthday and please don't leave me anymore presents!), chasing baby strollers being pushed past the house, escorting small children blocks away much to the chagrin of their frantic parents.  Just last week, I had to intervene when a police officer was going to take him away (book'm Danno!) because he was running amuck and wasn't wearing a collar.  My kids love Tucker, and have always yelled gleefully to him out our front window; they pet him and hug him whenever we see him out, and he often comes over to say "Hello" when we get home from somewhere, but he always goes home easily when I tell him to.  Not yesterday though...
       We arrived home, with the twins in the stroller and Quinn walking along.  As I said, Tucker was sitting on our porch, which is something he never does, and when I unlocked our front door, he tried to get inside.  He was whimpering and definitely seemed upset about something.  He went over to the captive girls in the stroller, let them pet him and hug him, licking their faces and hands.  He went over to Quinn standing in the driveway not far from me, walked under his hand for a pet, and then came over to me.  He jumped up on me, but gently-so, and he just looked at me.  I nicely told him to get down, and he whined and layed against my legs so I could pet him.  I thought maybe he was just upset about being outside, that maybe he wanted to be inside his house.  Quinn asked what was wrong with Tucker, and I said maybe he was hungry or thirsty..  Tucker kept whimpering and coming back to me, going up on the porch.  At the time, I didn't think too much of it, though it was odd behavior for Tucker (I did scan him for bites, thinking rabies; I feel bad for thinking that of him now).  We were about to serve him a bowl of water, when, about 5 minutes later, the Nanny poked her head out the door and called for Tucker, who had gone back up on my porch.  I told him he had to go to his house, that Sam (one of the 21 month old twins he belongs to) needed him to play, and I took him by the collar and walked him across the street.  The Nanny met me part way, and I told her he was acting funny, and she led him inside his house.
         We went about the rest of our day and night - craziness while making dinner, eating of dinner, more craziness while cleaning up from dinner, bathtime times three, said earthquake, bedtimes times three.  This morning I happened to think about it more, and had an epiphany - maybe Tucker sensed that something was coming.  I know I've heard about animals sensing when earthquakes or other "forces" are impending.  It dawned on my that maybe Tucker had been trying to tell me that he was worried about something happening, that he could sense something was off-balance and unsettled in nature or all around.  Looking back, thinking about the odd way he had been acting, the whining and whimpering, his affection toward the kids but focused attention to me, and his relectance to leave - Tucker knew.
         I was hoping that we would see him outside today, but I could only hear him barking out a window.  Granted the earthquake didn't amount to anything this time, but if there had been a disaster coming, it would have been amazing if he'd been able to tell me, to warn me to take care of my babies.  I have a newfound respect for Tucker.  While I'm not quite ready to accept "gifts" on the front lawn, I won't be so quick to tell him to go home anymore.