Wednesday, January 05, 2011
I am now officially old
My soon-to-be-15-year-old brother called me tonight for help with his homework.
The assignment: interview someone who was in the "great quake" of 1989 - which happened seven years before he was born.
In terms of one of those "where were you when...?" moments, I'll never forget it - it was right up there with the terror attacks, albeit a lot less horrific.
Somehow, I have a talent for living in places with extreme weather and geological episodes. There was the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Before that, I lived in Houston when Hurricane Alicia and the subsequent floods hit. Would you believe the school district required us to get notes from home excusing our absences? Hello! Twenty-three people died!
Then in college I was in New York City when a record (for the time) blizzard hit. That was no major problem for me because the power stayed on and I didn't drive, so I didn't have to dig my car out from under several feet of snow.
Then in 2001, I was living in the Pacific Northwest when the Ash Wednesday earthquake hit, luckily doing no major damage (except to the Capitol building in Olympia, Wash. Go figure.)
I've also had the pleasure of getting snowed in during a blizzard here in Portland 2003 the same night I broke off an engagement. We were snowed in together for a week. I was really, really dying to know what I had done in another life to create that kind of karma for myself! (Just kidding. I was actually just dying to throw him out in the snow, but unfortunately I am not that heartless.)
In 2008 there was another blizzard, but luckily I got snowed in with Mr. RK and the kitties, so it was much more pleasant.
Even disasters have their humor. I told my little brother about a story I remembered from right after the earthquake, which was in eighth grade. One of my teachers let all of us share our stories about where we were when the earthquake happened, which was really quite cool of him. He also made us laugh with a previous student's story: his little brother was having a pee when the earthquake hit - and needless to say, he had some problems with aim.
We laughed so hard I'm surprised we didn't all wet ourselves.
And when I told the story today, more than 21 years later, it was still hilarious. At least my bro and I thought so. But what do you expect from a couple of pottymouths?