It’s wise to keep wood around

I made a comment a few years back that I’m beginning to regret.

You know how superstition says you’re supposed to knock on wood to keep bad things from happening when you make a comment that seems to tempt fate?

For instance, saying I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket and then getting pulled over because you didn’t have a speck of wood in your car to rap your knuckles on.

Guess I should have run for the nearest forest after making my comment.

I was talking to someone about natural disasters and commented that we live in a good part of the country because we don’t have to worry about them here.

We don’t have to worry about the wild fires and earthquakes of the west coast, the tornadoes of the midwest, the severe snowstorms of the north or the hurricanes of the southern coast, I said.

I don’t remember who I was talking to, but they probably should have pulled off their socks and stuffed them in my mouth before I could finish my sentence.

Apparently I jinxed us because it seems like we’ve had just about everything since then.

I know we occasionally have remnants of hurricanes that pass through the area and cause flooding, so maybe I didn’t jinx us too bad with that aspect of my comment.

After all, it appears we’re going to miss the wrath of Irene.

We’ve not faired to well in the other categories though.

If you recall, we had a pretty rough time winter before last. Snow came early and piled up, sticking around for much of the winter. Virginia hadn’t seen that rough of a winter since, probably the blizzard of 1993.

Then this past spring rolled around and shocked us all with not one, but two, tornadoes. They just don’t happen here – we thought.

Of course, they actually followed a mild earthquake in the northwest section of the county in March. I doubt many people felt that one it was so mild.

That changed Tuesday when the 5.8 magnitude quake in Mineral that not only sent ripples through Pulaski County, but also to other states.

Now, I just hope no one strikes any matches because wild fires seem to be all that’s left. (Maybe I shouldn’t have shared my family’s remedy for skunk smells last week.)

So, I guess the point’s been made. We should never rest assured we’re not vulnerable to just about anything the rest of the country experiences.

I have to admit, though, I never felt Tuesday’s tremor.

As a matter of fact, if it weren’t for other people and the jagged line on the seismograph, I would have never known we had one.

I was returning from the restaurant next door and had just stepped back into the office when some of my colleagues noticed the shaking.

What is that?” one asked, as another said, “Are we having an earthquake?”

I was trying to figure out if they had completely lost their minds. I couldn’t feel a thing.

One of the women said her chair and desk were vibrating, so I quickly put my hands on the desk to feel the trembling … nothing.

You would think it would be easy to feel an earthquake while walking.

Then again, maybe my balance is so bad anyway that I didn’t notice if I was a little unsteady on my feet.

I headed back to the computer to look up Virginia Tech’s seismology site to see if there was anything to indicate an earthquake had occurred.

At this point, other co-workers started commenting on the tremor.

Just as I called up the seismograph and saw the squiggly line, the telephone started to ring off the hook with people calling to report the earthquake.

At first, I wondered if I was the only person who didn’t feel it. Later, a few others indicated they didn’t feel it either.

I felt a little less “left out.”

Still, I’m kind of disappointed I didn’t feel it. After all, it’s not like we have them every day.

Now, where’s some wood.



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