On August 24th, we noted the one year anniversary of the South Napa Earthquake. I try not to dwell on what happened and the passing of time has made it easier to look back on the event. But still, I can feel my blood pressure rise while I write this post.
The earthquake hit at 3:20am on a Sunday morning along a previously unknown fault that runs, geologically speaking, directly under our house and my shop in Browns Valley on the west side of Napa. After finding shoes and wondering around our house dumb-struck in the dark, Mark and I decided that we should drive down to the shop to survey the damage and check for gas leaks.
The kitchen was a huge mess. Broken glass and sticky glucose coated the floor. Shelves and refrigerators had dumped their contents. Anything not bolted to the ground shifted to the center of the room. Thankfully, no one was in the kitchen at the time.
We checked on our neighbors in the shopping area. At Browns Valley Market, we found the owner standing at the entrance with a river of red wine flowing out the door into the parking lot. He was thankful that no one had been hurt when the refrigerated cheese case tipped over onto the deli counter. I almost snapped a picture but I was overwhelmed at the destruction of our local market.
Back at home, we faced more of the same. As we begun the clean up, we focused not on what we had lost, but on the items that had been spared. In addition to only loosing one piece from my mother's Red Wing pottery collection, my great grandmother's sugar and creamer set, which had been perched on an open shelf, sat untouched while the other items around it were smashed to bits.
After most of the clean up was complete at the shop, I noticed that the kitchen clock (which is always a few minutes fast) had stopped right at 3:20am when everything started to shake.