We were already up - the dog was barking for no apparent reason - and then out of nowhere the whole house started to shake. My first reaction was that a massive gust of wind had just slammed into the house. The only curious thing was that it had lasted so long, twice really, first a short blast, followed by a second, longer one.
The shaking was violent; we could hear it. The next thing we thought was we had just had an earthquake. One's first reactions following an earthquake where everything seems okay are relief and possibly some excitement. However, in an earthquake, one's perspective quickly changes.
The likelihood is, wherever you are during an earthquake, things are probably worse somewhere else. Coming from California, we've felt a lot of earthquakes. This morning's quake was the strongest one I've ever felt outside of the 1989 Loma Prieta quake in Northern California.
We were attending the World Series game between the Oakland A's and the San Francisco Giants when the earthquake hit - that's a whole 'nother story - and sure enough, while the shaking was bad at Candlestick Park, it was much worse in other places. Living along the San Andreas Fault line, you live in wait for the "Big One".
Fortunately, our Midwest shaker ended before things got out of control. So far, there are no reports of serious damage. The quake is reported to have been centered 127 miles east of St. Louis, registering 5.4 on the Richter Scale. Compared to the California quakes we've been through it felt stronger than that. Hopefully things are okay in central Illinois.
I'm thinking the stronger shaking we felt from a medium magnitude quake has something to do with the solid bedrock spread out under this midwest.