Earthquake disrupts Monday morning routine

Geological tremors aside…who’s going to make coffee?

By Treena Mielke Black Press

Monday morning.

Ho Hum!

Another day in the life of me.

It is not quite 6 a.m. and I lay in my bed for a few moments, floating in that delicious transition zone that exists somewhere between sleep and wakefulness.

Thoughts about the day ahead flit about in my brain, like butterflies, or tiny dancers twirling about on a softly lit stage, as I slowly leave dreamland behind.

That’s when I feel it.

My bed. It’s shaking. I think it must be caused by the little lap dog that has come to live with us while his family is holidaying in Hawaii. I think the little dog must be scratching himself furiously causing the bed to shake and I mutter a reprimand.

“Marble, stop that.”

The shaking eventually stops and I swing my legs over the side of the bed, glaring at the dog.

I look at cell phone. It is 5:55.

My brain registers the need for coffee and I stumble out into the hallway and flick the light on. Nothing happens. I flick it again. Still nothing.

I keep testing the lights.

There is none.

Finally the realization hits me.

The power is out.

It is so weird when one has no power.

It’s almost like total confusion in your brain. Every thought is stymied before it can be put into action.

Turn the light on in the bathroom.

Can’t!

Make coffee!

Can’t!

I stand in the middle of my house in the complete darkness, totally confused.

Not sure what to do next, I lay on the couch and pull a soft blanket over me and start texting people.

Do you have power? You? And how about you?

No one did.

My girlfriend said she was going to have a bath by candlelight, but then she couldn’t figure out how she could dry her hair. My own thoughts seemed to be fixated on coffee and how I could get some and then I remembered I couldn’t get my car out of the garage because the garage door opener wouldn’t work.

I pull the cover a little higher over myself and stare at nothing.

Finally, I light a coal oil lamp that I happen to own because I like old things and I like the lamp for a number of reasons, all of them purely sentimental. But, today, the lamp is a blessing and a necessity and, feeling like the lady with the lamp because I kind of was, I carried it with me to the bathroom, my closet and back to the living room.

One of my friends texts me I can use the manual garage door opener, but I resist, mostly because I don’t know how.

I decide to take my husband’s truck, that is parked outside the garage, instead, opting to stop for coffee at a little restaurant on the east end of town that miraculously had power.

“Do you have power?” the owner asked me. “No,” I said, not wanting conversation, only coffee. I desperately eye the coffee pot in her hand.

“Everyone’s power was out,” she announced cheerfully. “It seems we had an earthquake,” she added, almost matter of factly, using the same tone of voice she would use as if she was asking me if I wanted my eggs easy over or just an order of French toast.

“An earthquake,” I reply, incredulously. “Here in Central Alberta. Sylvan Lake. Actually, no, it couldn’t be. We don’t actually get earthquakes here. True, my bed did shake this morning, but I think it was just my dog, he scratches himself like crazy sometimes.”

I take the first sip of coffee, made even more delicious by the wait, and my mind processes the new information.

Oh my goodness.

An earthquake. Who knew?

Here I thought it would be just another Monday morning when I stumble out of bed, make the coffee, weigh myself, get depressed, and resolve, for the thousandth time, to exercise more and eat less and then cheerfully carry on with my day.

But, it is true. It was an earthquake.

Things are back to to normal now, but for that one brief moment in time I, along with many other residents of central Alberta, experienced how, in less than a heartbeat, life as we know it, could change.

Wow! I still feel slightly shell shocked.

I think I’d better grab another coffee and process this one more time!

Treena Mielke is the editor of the Rimbey Review and writes a regular column for The Pipestone Flyer.

Just Posted

Central Alberta livestock spring farm forecast

Alberta spring beef market looks steady, producers faring well

Supporters rally for Jason Kenney as UCP leader stops in Red Deer

Kenney promises equalization reform, stopping ‘Trudeau-Notley’ payroll hike, trade, economic mobility

The Millet Curling Club dates back to 1925

By 1936 Millet needed a bigger curling rink

Pecan Slice an easy and tasty dessert treat

If you like Italian, you’ll love Easy Manicotti

Encompass Credit Union AGM includes generous community donations

Credit union donations topped $25K in Wetaskiwin region

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Most Read