Joan’s Journey – Unexpected Events Lead to CAT

Santa Monica, CA rocks. Santa Monica senior living rocks and rolls. And I mean literally — my chair, bed, and car, with me in them, have rocked and rolled with earthquakes.

Joan's Journey and her CAT realization

Welcome Joan’s Journeyers. Geriatric experts talk about adjustments to senior living. I suggest “Climate Change” be added to the list. On the calm, clear night of March 17, 2014, at 6:25 am, I was asleep in my bed at Holiday Villa East (HVE) in Santa Monica.

Quite suddenly, I awoke as my body lifted from the mattress into the air. In a very few seconds, my body fell back onto the mattress. The bouncing movement of the building and its contents, like the ceiling fan, stopped swaying. The thundering noise ceased. I was surrounded in dark stillness. Not a sound was heard in the hallway outside my room or from the street.

“Did I have a nightmare,” I wondered?

Nothing more happened that I noticed, and soon I fell back to sleep. Although I didn’t feel them, according to the US Geological Survey, more than 100 small earthquakes, not aftershocks, occurred in the four hours following that 4.9 quake, including a 4.2 quake. Since Jan. 1, 2014, at least 500 quakes have been recorded in the City of Santa Monica.

The next morning HVE was abuzz with resident and staff chatter about the latest “significant” quake, which means 4.0 and greater. The March 17 quake was felt by most LA County folks, but fortunately caused little damage.

I  called my son Mark, who lives across the Hollywood Hills in LA County. “Why didn’t you call me after the quake?” I said. “I was scared.”

Mark’s cheerfully answered, “Quakes in LA are like noisy garbage trucks going by. They happen!”

Joan London, a former Houston Chronicle newspaper correspondent, is a freelance medical and social service writer. Ms. London recently moved from Baltimore to a senior housing residence in Santa Monica, CA, where she is closer to her children and grandchildren.

To read the rest of Joan’s post, view “Part 20: Unexpected Events Lead to CAT of Joan’s Journey.

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