You probably heard. Southern California had an earthquake yesterday morning. It was the first one I've felt since living here. It was at 11:42 am, and I was sitting at the piano with a little 5 year old girl. There was a mild rumbling and the house shook just a bit, but I wasn't sure. Sometimes the boys run into the house from outside on their skateboards and it shakes, or somebody jumps off the top bunk upstairs and there's a shake. But it caught my heart off-guard for sure. I looked around during the stillness, and then it started again. I knew this time. It was distinct and lasted for several seconds. The lights hanging from the ceiling were swinging and some things fell off of shelves. I swooped the little girl from the piano bench and we got down on the floor up against the couch, and my older kids got into doorways. Adam grabbed Conor from his crib (he woke up from the shaking) and made sure he was safe. And then it stopped. No big deal. No damage. No injuries. But it was unnerving during it. Everyone has been talking about "The Big One" for so long down here, and how it's so overdue that you just never know if this is it. How long will it last? How big will it be? What will the repercussions be? We were lucky this time. Seismologists are saying it's a "wake up call". The epi-center was just over an hour from here, but I know it was felt as far away as San Diego and even Las Vegas. It was a bit awe-inspiring to feel the power of the earth like that.
Our prophets and leaders of the LDS Church have always encouraged us to maintain a year's supply of food and water and supplies. This kind of self-reliance is smart living for a number of reasons, and it has been a boon to us during times of unemployment or financial hardship. I was very sad to have to leave all of my wheat and pasta and water drums behind in Utah when I moved here because there simply was no room in the moving truck for them. I have felt vulnerable ever since.
And during the three years I've lived here, there has been a seeming increase in the warnings to prepare, and I'm doing the best I can on meager resources. When Gordon B. Hinckley died early this year, maybe a lot of people don't know that just three weeks before he died he broadcast a Stake Conference for just the members of the Church in southern California, where he spoke along with a few others, and the theme was "Get Prepared". It was loud and clear. Prepare your houses, get your storage in order, strengthen your marriages and families, get ready. It was very sobering. And it's been on my mind ever since.
A few months ago, our Stake held a huge community Preparedness Fair, and Adam was asked to do a video on earthquake preparedness, of all things. That was a great learning experience for all of us, to go through the drills and reenact the scenarios on film. The kids knew just what to do when the house started shaking. Nobody panicked.
I am praying for the resources to get our house in order so that we will be prepared. I found a great bulk food co-op here, and I have my eye on an excellent wheat grinder and mixer. My heart is right, and I know the blessings will show up and a way will be provided. I want to be ready. I want to be free from fear and panic in the event of an emergency situation, and be able to focus on the safety and calm of the people in this house. Even be able to help others, if possible. Yesterday's "wake up call" has done even more to strengthen my resolve to follow the counsel given to us by living prophets.