Boom, boom, boom... the whole house was shaking with what felt like someone using a sledge hammer to try and huff and puff and blow the house down. Over and over and over, the banging came making the coffee on my desk tremble and my cats cower in the corner of the room, a wide eyed expression on their bewildered faces and they looked from side to side. What was that awful noise? Each bang felt like a massive death rattle, a trembling of the house as it struggled to stay upright. I went down into the basement to investigate. The source of the disturbance was a tremendous relief as it came from workers hammering in supports under the house.
The week before had been worrisome, without a foundation for the house, I felt naked, exposed, and vulnerable. Once while sitting at my computer, I felt the house shake ever so slightly. Was it an earthquake? Fearful images of the house caving in without its foundation came flooding through my mind. Then I heard the washing machine click into another cycle. The shaking was only someone doing laundry in Black Thorn. I breathed a sigh of relief; my muscles relaxed and my fist slowly un-clenched.
I've always been anxious about earthquakes knowing we are long overdue along the Hayward fault for another "big one". The Hayward Fault is 40 miles long and about 8 miles deep and trends along the east side of San Francisco Bay. The last earthquake along that fault line was October 21, 1868 and is estimated to have been between a 6.9-7 on the Richter Scale, which had not been invented yet. There's a walking tour of the fault line which takes you from the broken, uneven asphalt and concrete of roads and sidewalks to grassy soil ridges raised along dirt trails.