Last night, after an entire day of blizzard conditions resulting in a foot of snow, I put my kids to bed and settled into a nice warm bath. After my bath I read a little, set the coffe for the morning, turned out the lights and fell into a deep sleep. A moment before 4am, I woke groggily to a grumbling sound and a little shaking. I thought briefly to myself, "Darn snow plows! Why can't they wait until later to clean the street?". I then noted my cat sleeping soundly beside me and the sounds of snoring coming from the kids' rooms before falling immediately back to sleep. The kids went off to school (apparently the blizzard and shaky ground were not enough to justify a snow day off from classes). Upon waking from a very restful night's sleep I had a brief morning phone conversation with my boyfriend and turned on the news. That's when I realized that I had been right in the midst of a terrible tragedy and apparently slept right through it.
If you haven't yet turned on your TV, I'll share the horrifying news. Apparently, an earthquake originating from just outside the town of Sycamore in northern Illinois rocked the state last night. Cats and dogs all over Illinois (and even some of their owners) were awakened at 3:59am by a slight tremor that registered a mere 3.8 on the Richtor scale. News reporters quickly jumped into their vans, cameras and all, to report from every gas station in which nothing more than a bag of chips was knocked to the floor. Even the normally well-respected CNN had to have their take on this tragic event and reminded us all that Illinois is on a major fault line and this could have been as bad as the recent quake in Haiti. All day I watched as friends started groups on Facebook to rally support for Illinois victims who now had to find some way to replace a cracked picture frame or injured their back when they had to pick something up off the floor. There was talk of telethons, celebrity visits to draw attention to the plight of Illinois residents and refugee camps being set up in local bars.
I laughed today like I have not laughed in a very long time. Although the newscasters were completely serious in their reporting of this event, everyone else seemed to have a sarcastic wit in the face of this sheer terror. Despite the fact that our nation's economy is tanking, people can't find work, and that a real earthquake recently occured in Haiti, people were joking and laughing at our shared oh-so-serious earth burp (as I will likely refer to it from now on). The humor was clever, cynical, and smartassy and I laughed at all of it. The funniest part of my day was talking to my folks about the earthquake/burp as we watched my son's basketball game this afternoon. They turned to me and in all seriousness said, "Well, we always said you could sleep through a World War." Now, apparently, I have faced true devestation and slept through it all, living to tell you about it. I guess they must have been right.