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Can’t shake feeling something’s wrong

I don’t know what worries me the most. The fact that I haven’t felt most of the earthquakes in Southern California or that they are getting more frequent.

How could I not feel the 3.0 quake Friday in Valley Center? And on May 4, California had nine quakes of magnitude 2.0 or above. There were also 108 quakes below magnitude 2.0. It just never seems to stop.

I remember barely feeling the Northridge quake from here, which has led me to believe my house is built at the tip of a giant underground granite mountain.

That’s mildly reassuring, but I don’t feel earthquakes at work and I haven’t felt them when I was driving. I think my personal seismometer may be broken.

I fear I’ll be walking along watching houses crumble and think, “Gee, what do you suppose caused that?”

My ability to stay in Southern California-denial mode comes and goes. Nearby faults and ancient calderas notwithstanding, I want very badly to believe all these “smaller” quakes are letting off steam, preventing a really big one.

But I just want to say to whatever or whoever might be handling these things — enough. I get the message. I have most of my supplies ready.

When the kids were little, I had it all squared away. I even had a stash of cash. At worst, we could use it for kindling. I gathered up all the usual stuff — water, canned food, first aid kit, snacks, blankets and a pair of shoes by our bed at night.

I still keep shoes handy. I learned that from my dear friend who was at home in bed in Northridge during the Northridge quake.

Meanwhile, years went by and I forgot to check on our supplies, which managed to leak, mildew and generally get yucky. I plan to check on them more often.

Maybe I’ve watched too many volcano and earthquake movies. Maybe I just don’t trust the dog to leap up and alert me like animals are supposed to. I feel better when I have sufficient supplies stocked up and put somewhere I can get to, even if all heck breaks loose.

No matter how brave I am, I already know I’d rather change out a plastic barrel of mildew once a year than be stuck drinking the water from the toilet tank. And yes, if you know where I live, I’ll get enough to share.

Truthfully, I hope my house turns to dust, because I’m not really happy with my remodel and there is no way I am cleaning up that mess.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer shopping for a cozy tent that sleeps 12 and information on how long bottled margaritas keep. Contact her at [email protected].

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