Why is my pool waving?

As I look out the back door of the house I see the water of the pool splashing around and the waves are so high that the water is splashing out. My first fear is that the kids snuck outside and started playing in the pool without me knowing. I quickly look into the living room and see the kids are playing quietly. So why is the water of the pool moving around? Is someone out there? Has the automated pool cleaner gone mad? I can’t see the pool cleaner moving at all. What is going on? I look into the living room and see the lamp above the dining table is slowly swinging back and forth. My suspicions are confirmed, we just had an earthquake. Oddly I didn’t actually feel the earthquake.

I had no idea when I moved to Arizona three years ago I would be experiencing earthquakes here. I thought I was escaping the regular seismic activity of Portland, Oregon, but apparently this is not the case. Then again, it wasn’t that big of an earthquake (since I didn’t actually feel it). Maybe all the wine I was drinking caused me to already be swaying so I didn’t notice the additional swaying caused by the earthquake.

In reality the earthquake was not that big of a deal here – more of a novelty. I mean none of us at my house on Easter actually felt it (although the pool and hanging lamps may beg to differ). We were more surprised than anything that we saw the signs that an earthquake had occurred. Given the size of the waves generated in the pool, I wondered what people in California must experience. Also, do they avoid having pools built too close to their house? I pondered this, because if our pool splashed more than it had, we might have found ourselves swimming in our living room.

Based on the news out of Baja, Mexico it was a 6.9 earthquake. I was feeling happy that I lived in Chandler (just outside Phoenix) instead of closer to the earthquake epicenter. Over the last 12 years of living on the west coast I realize that earthquakes are just a part of life (and have experienced a number of them). Just like shoveling snow in New England in January or boarding up coastal store fronts in the Outer Banks of North Carolina in preparation for a hurricane in September – no matter where you live you have some strange earth or weather generated phenomena to experience. The sooner you realize we are living in a place beyond our immediate control, the better because sometimes you just have to deal with the unexpected. For this Easter Sunday I am just happy that I was not sitting pool-side during the earthquake, otherwise my chocolate bunny and eggs would have been washed away in a pool “tsunami” and my ham dinner would have been waterlogged.


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