He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. —Psalm 113:9

October 13, 2010


I thought my biggest news this week would be that I done gone and lost my turtle again. But then this morning I felt my very first earthquake. Earthquake! In Oklahoma! Where we already have to worry about tornadoes and crippling ice storms! Clearly, this state wants us all dead.

Or not... they’re saying it was the second biggest quake in state history at a 5.1, with the biggest being a 5.5 about sixty years ago. So it’s not like anyone got hurt or suffered any major property damage. But it was strong enough to shake us awake in our bed. At first I thought Matt kicked something to make the bed shake, and I asked if he was okay.

“Are YOU okay?” he asked.

“Yeah... did you feel the bed shake?”

“The whole house shook. It felt like an earthquake.”


“That’s what it felt like.” And then he went back to sleep, because he grew up in California and is therefore completely unimpressed by Oklahoma’s piddly little show of fist-shaking fury.

As for the rest of us Okies, according to Twitter and Facebook we’re all just a tiny bit freaked out, but mostly excited to talk about it, because this was a first for many of us.

And as for Matilda, she’s home safe. I found her after more than two hours of combing our yard and searching around the neighborhood with Matt, crying the whole time. I was crying, I mean. Matt was just looking manfully concerned. Finally, our behind-us neighbors let me search their back yard with the help of Charlie, their beagle mix. Charlie’s the one who found her, stuck between their chain-link fence and our next-door neighbor’s privacy fence. She peed all over herself and me as I pulled her out of there, and then I took her home and cleaned us both up and collapsed and lamented the five years she took off my life.

The worst part of that whole ordeal, besides thinking I might never see her again, was knowing it was entirely my fault, because I am a gorram fool who didn’t learn well enough the first time that when she’s outside, an eagle eye must be kept on her, and EAGLE EYES DO NOT MULTI-TASK. Seriously, if she was lost for good I didn’t know how I was going to deal with bearing the whole blame for putting my pet in danger and making my husband and I both sad. I thought of all the parents of missing kids who just looked away for a second and then never saw their children again, and what kind of special hell on earth they must live in, because I was ready to fall apart over a turtle.

Thank you, Lord, for happy endings. Now could you please make sure the ground doesn’t open up and swallow us all?

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