**If you're local and totally over earthquake stories, feel free to skip to the bottom for a funny story about my parents.**
Last night, as we were watching the Oscars, I said to David "This has the potential to be a long night." You see, a line of storms was forecast to move through the state during the overnight hours. And when it's 70+ degrees in February and you live in Tornado Alley, overnight storms are something to be taken seriously. I'm normally a pretty heavy sleeper, so on nights when there's a chance the house will be blown away, I have to psyche myself out a little so I won't be too comatose to notice.
But then, instead of being blown away, the house started shaking. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my immediate area is have a "swarm" of earthquakes. Most stay in the 3.0 range and are not a big deal. (I feel the need to mention to any California readers that our quakes are happening at much shallower depths than yours, so that is why small quakes feel like such a big deal. And also, this is Arkansas. Not California.)
Anyway, the quake. Yeowza!! For the most part, I've remained relatively calm about the quakes. They are over before you can say "Earthquake". This one was different. It was much, much stronger and lasted significantly longer than the previous ones. I bolted upright on the couch and grabbed Bruiser. I'm not sure why. I guess I figure when FEMA says "Hold on" as earthquake protocol, they mean "to the dog". Eventually the excitement subsided. Sort of. The quake was large enough to be felt throughout the state and even into neighboring states. Suddenly, my Twitter stream and my phone came to life. I don't want to say anyone mocked my constant mentions of earthquakes, so I'll just say the tables turned a bit when they felt it from several counties away. Kind of unnerving, eh?
All said and done, the preliminary magnitude was a 4.7. We didn't have any visible damage. The tremors and aftershocks continued, but nothing major. (Click here and here if you want some actual news reports on the event.) So, it was time to think about bed. Or rather, hope to catch a little sleep before the storms rolled in.
Oh, but did I mention it is 70+ degrees in February? Massive swings in weather tend to make people kind of congested and sickly. And by "people", I mean "my husband". Quakes and tornadoes don't seem to phase him when he's got sleep on the brain. So, he was out the minute his head hit the pillow. And it wasn't very many minutes after that before I had to start the
elbowing gentle nudging routine to get him to turn over and stop snoring.
Eventually, I dozed off too. Then something woke me up. On a night full of earthquakes, thunder, and snoring husbands, figuring out what woke me up was a pretty hefty task. But, for good measure, I
elbowed gently nudged David again. Since I was up, I checked the radar again and saw that, mercifully, the worst of the storms has broken up before they reached us. Finally, I felt like I could get a little sleep. But as I dozed off, I thought of one of my favorite stories involving my parents and a particularly rough night they once had.
My dad is hard of hearing. He is completely deaf in one ear and has significant loss in the other. With a hearing aid, he manages quite well. But without a hearing aid, he's basically unable to hear anything but the loudest sounds. Therefore, my mom was always in charge of the alarm clock. When it would ring, she would nudge him on his shoulder and ensure he woke up.
Oh, and my dad could also put on quite the snoring show. So, to distinguish between the two, nudging was reserved for "time to wake up". Elbow to the ribs indicated "You're snoring. Roll over." Apparently this system worked really well for them. Most of the time.
One night, my mom heard my dad snoring. She gave him the "Roll over" signal. Instead, he got up and went to the bathroom. She assumed that he just needed to pee and would be right back. So she dozed off. Some time later, she heard water running. So, she got up to investigate.
My dad was standing at the sink groggily covered in shaving cream.
Mom: Mike, what are you doing? It's 3 in the morning!
Dad: What? It's not time to wake up?
Mom: No. It's pitch black out. Why would you think it's time to wake up?
Dad: You nudged me.
Mom: You were snoring.
Dad: But you nudged me.
Dad: When I'm snoring, you elbow me. You nudged me.
Mom: Why didn't you look at the clock?
Dad: Because you nudged me.
(This went on for some time)
Mom: Whatever. Come back to bed.
Dad: Ok, but it seems like I should at least shave the other half of my face first. (*Mumbling under his breath about nudges versus elbows*)
After that, my dad went to a sleep clinic, started being treated for sleep apnea, and the elbowing subsided. I don't think the snoring at my house has reached those proportions just yet, but here's hoping the weather and the tectonic plates cooperate tonight and I can get some rest. The bags under my eyes today are not flattering.