© 2011 . All rights reserved. Vintage Map of the Middle Atlantic States

Earthquakes and Hurricanes in Washington, Oh My!

“Floor-to-ceiling windows seemed like such a good idea…”

That comment came from my son as he and his wife, along with throngs of other East Coast residents, navigated crowded store aisles to stock up on food, water, batteries, etc. in preparation for Hurricane Irene. It appears that the end of their week has the potential to supply the same adrenalin rush the earthquake provided on Tuesday.

The first week of a new school year is stressful under the best of circumstances, but my daughter-in-law faced some extra challenges this week as she began her new job in D.C. Public Schools as a fifth grade teacher. Barely settled into her new apartment with little time to get her classroom prepared, she greeted her new class with excitement on Monday morning. Who knew that on the second day of school she would find herself in the middle of a 5.8 earthquake with those new students!

Earthquakes are supposed to happen in the West Coast area she just moved away from, not Washington D.C. Most folks in the nation’s capital did not immediately attribute this unexplained rumbling to earthquake, but to an attack. Memories of 9/11 are still fresh on the minds of some, and a view of the Pentagon out your apartment window is a constant reminder of that day.

Whether it is a terrorist attack or a natural disaster, a shaking room full of 10 year olds you just met yesterday, whose safety is your responsibility, is a scary place to be. Preparing to face a hurricane in an 11th story apartment building with floor-to-ceiling windows can’t hold a candle to the guts it took handle that elementary classroom on Tuesday.

Little did I know when I snapped those photos of the Washington Monument a few weeks ago that today engineers would be frantically trying to repair eathquake induced cracks to prepare it for hurricane force winds and rain. When I posted photos of the beautiful view of monuments out their windows I had no idea I’d soon find myself worrying my childrens’ safety instead of envying their view.

Earthquakes are supposed to happen in California.  Hurricanes are not supposed to happen in within days of and earthquake.

Expect the unexpected.

If I have learned anything in the last couple of years, I have learned the wisdom of that advice.  At times it’s discouraging, then I remember.  What is supposed to happen doesn’t always happen.

There is a name for it.  It’s called Grace.




One Comment

  1. Connie Chrane
    Posted 27 Aug ’11 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Laura, I was just thinking about your kids the yesterday after you commented on my facebook picture. I was wondering how they were doing, if Josh had any luck with the contact names Kelsey shared. I also wondered about the earthquake… now a hurricane! I guess we just need to expect the unexpected. I’m praying for them along with several other friends we have in the D.C. area. Love you! Hope your school year is going well so far. I am quite impressed with you and how you handle all that you have dealt with the past couple of years. You inspire me….

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