Sitting in a fairly large conference room at the corporate office for the company I now work for in Alaska, we had been going through our workbooks diligently. There were eight of us gathered around a large group of tables all pushed together with two people sitting on each side. It was a variety of different people going through the company training class for new employees. Of course in that kind of group there is a wide range of ages, personalities and everyone with their own life story.
We had played a couple of ice breaker type games and learned some things about each other. It was amazing how diverse we all were. That is one thing that I will have to get used to up here. People have such varied backgrounds and history’s here. However, there was one young girl from the south like me! We didn’t have very much in common but we immediately connected when we began to talk about our love for southern football!!! We exchanged a hearty “Roll Tide” and laughed as everyone else seemed puzzled! It was a very warm moment for me and actually made my day even though it sounds very insignificant. It was a sweet feeling of home and I just don’t get too many of those these days!
About an hour into this meeting we are all getting settled and making a little progress in our workbooks. As I’m sitting with both hands on the table listening intently to our quite animated and interesting instructor, I am startled by the sudden movement of the table. Beneath both my arms the table began shaking and moving. I look to the corner in front of me and the large black cabinet that holds the electronics for the presentation is noticeably moving about on the floor and about that time I realize that I can hear the windows behind me rattling and shaking as well. I quickly look around, wide-eyed with expectancy of an explanation from someone in this room. Just then, the guy who is sitting to my left announces to us all in his very authoritative and knowledgable voice: EARTHQUAKE!
Wow! What an experience! As quickly as it had begun, the shaking stopped, and all was calm once more. Of course now, the room was buzzing with giggles and chatter about what had just happened. A few minutes passed and then our instructor lead us back on track and we all turned once again to our work books. Just like that, it came, it went and we moved on. In an unheard tone, under my breath so that only one could hear , I whispered a “thank-you”, knowing that in that instant life could have changed drastically for any or all of us sitting in that room that day.
Note: On August 20, 2009 @ 10:19 am (GMT-Alaska time) an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 was felt 31 miles away in Anchorage, AK.