I’ve been out of pocket for the past three days.  Since 1993, I have been involved in some capacity with World Changers, a student missions ministry of the North American Mission Board.  We had a weekend meeting for the project in Bonne Terre, Missouri, where I am serving this summer, and I was awakened from my sleep in the motel just a little past 4:30 a.m. by an earthquake.  It began with the sensation of being shaken awake by someone, and it took a few moments, coming out of a deep and peaceful sleep, to realize where I was.  That’s when I realized something different was happening. 

Right at that moment, the toilet seat in the bathroom went crashing down onto the bowl, and that’s when I sat up in bed.  The pictures on the wall were rattling, and that’s when I felt the bed shaking.  It was somewhat surreal to realize at that moment that it was an earthquake.  It wasn’t the kind of thing that would throw you out of bed, or anything like that, but it was a pretty fair tremor, and it lasted for 20 or 30 seconds after I woke up.  Of course, my deep sleep was ruined, but I turned over and tried to sleep for a while longer.

My wife called at 5:30 and asked if I’d felt the earthquake.  It was all over the news, she said.  That was a bit of a surprise, since it hadn’t occurred much more than an hour earlier.  As it turned out, it was the big news of the day, though there did not appear to be a lot of significant damage.  People are fascinated by the unusual, I guess.

We used to live in Southern Missouri, and over the space of a couple of years, we had two or three small tremors that could be felt or noticed, but this quake was a little more than that, and so I guess it is somewhat of a first.  It was interesting to note, in the morning, that it had awakened most of the guests in the hotel.  By the afternoon, it was old news. 

I’ll forgo the opportunity to experience a larger earthquake.


About LS

I'm 56, happily married for 25 years, B.A., M.A., career educator with experience in education as a teacher and administrator, native Arizonan living in Pennsylvania, working on a PhD and a big fan of the Arizona Wildcats, mainly in football and basketball.

2 responses

  1. Terry says:

    Glad you are ok. Can’t say that I have experienced one and I don’t care to. The closest I’ve experienced one is listening to the Randy Galloway do his sports talk show in Arlington, TX when one hit the metroplex. It unnerved him on the air quite a bit. That was close enough for me. Take care and God bless.

  2. Lee, sounds like a fun experience! When I was on staff with FCA we had a donor weekend in San Diego when a big quake hit SoCal. It was centered in Joshua so quite a ways from San Diego, but like you it was in the middle of the night (2:30am) and I was in a hotel. Actually, my wife and I were on the 17th floor of the twin tower Marriott right on the SD marina. We felt the tremor for 20 seconds or so like you, but those towers–built to move instead of break during a quake–swayed noticably for several minutes. I woke up first, and figured out what it was about the time Sandra woke up. She asked what we should do and I said if we were from California we would probably just go back to bed.

    About half of the 400 FCA staff and donors that were there went outside, which if you think the building is going to fall I guess is prudent. But they stood right below the building, where I could see them from my balcony. If you’re going to take the time to exit, why stay right where it’s going to fall on you?

    And like you, I was amazed at how quickly it was on the national news. In fact, CNN reported it within 15 minutes, but it was close to an hour before anyone broke in on a local channel to say what happened.