And The Flip Side Of That Is…

Yesterday I talked about “once in a lifetime experiences” and how I thought that some things that are fun and exciting (my example was hot air ballooning) shouldn’t necessarily be done just once. I thought that perhaps we should re-examine things we’ve done in the past as a “life list” thing (or “bucket list” to some) and maybe go do some of the really good ones again.

First thing this morning, serendipity reared its ugly head and I saw the flip side of that argument.

Twenty-nine years ago today, at 4:31 AM on the morning of of January 17, 1994, the Northridge earthquake ripped through the San Fernando Valley and beyond at a magnitude 6.7. There were 57 fatalities (72 if you count the heart attacks) and over $25B in damages. Our house was 5.88 miles from the epicenter. We got rocked pretty good, had shelves & things knocked over, were without power and water for a few days, but otherwise came through it okay.

(Image: Google Earth)

It was, I most sincerely hope, a “once in a lifetime” experience. I know, living in SoCal, that there could be one as bad or worse at any second, and there have been dozens and dozens of noticable but much smaller earthquakes that I’ve felt here, but the odds say that’s probably as bad as it gets.


So “once in a lifetime” experience has a flip side. Ask anyone who’s had their life scrambled for a couple of days to a couple of years (or more) by a hurricane, tornado, brush fire, flood, earthquake, landslide, or any of a dozen other life-changing forces of nature that can just jump up and slap you at any time.

Hot air ballooning, trip to Asia, solar eclipses (thanks to Jemima Pett for that suggestion!), flying in a B-25 – all GREAT things that I’ve gotten to do once and can’t wait to try again!

Major earthquakes or other natural disasters? Thanks, once is enough.

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Filed under Disasters, Paul

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