I can’t remember the last time I spent a Saturday doing nothing. All summer I pushed myself to get up early and race to the farmers market, fearful I’d miss the first or the last strawberries of the season. I spent Saturdays this fall working on The Triplicate’s 2010 budget. In November, I traveled for the birth of my granddaughter. Then it was baking, shopping and preparing for the holidays.
New Year’s Eve I went to Salem to visit baby Kayla. Her mom and dad let me babysit while they went out to dinner for the first time in eight weeks. I returned home Sunday night and was back to work Monday morning.
Last Saturday was my day to do nothing. “Lolling,” my girlfriend Denise calls it.
Doing nothing makes me restless. I went out and picked leeks and carrots in the garden and started a soup for Sunday. While it simmered I threw in a load of wash and cleaned a bathroom.
Rick was doing his own kind of lolling on the upstairs sofa with a book propped convincingly on his chest to appear like he was reading it.
In the next room I pushed the laundry basket to one side of the bed and curled up to take a little nap—the ultimate lolling. I closed my eyes and practiced the techniques of meditation I’ve learned in my yoga class.
And then I felt it. It was as though the Jolly Green Giant had wrapped his arms around our house and tried to uproot it. It swayed to the left and then to the right.
“Rick, it’s an earthquake,” I tried to say in a regular voice, but I was yelling.
“It’s an earthquake,” he answered back calmly.
The dogs jumped up and the four of us stared at each other, wondering what our next move would be.
I went to the computer and Googled “earthquakes today” and soon discovered the magnitude and epicenter. I called editor Richard and the reporter I knew was in Eureka. I contacted our IT guy who’d been listening to the scanner and found out there was no tsunami warning.
Already a crew was gathering at The Triplicate preparing to post all the information they had on The Triplicate’s Web site.
At 6 p.m. Rick and I arrived at St. Joe’s for the crab feed. A few people recognized me and asked what I knew about the quake. One man said he was really frustrated because first he went to Eureka channel 3 and it was off the air, then he went to KPOD and there was nothing and then he went to FOX and they were not reporting on our earthquake. I asked him, “Did you check The Triplicate’s Web site?”
I learned a few things Saturday. First, in a local emergency Triplicate staffers are the eyes and ears on the street. We’re the only news team in the county and we’re ready to roll any day, any time, no matter what it takes.
After St. Joe’s we went to the office where Richard and several reporters were making calls, getting first-hand accounts, answering phones and giving anyone who called—including a Medford TV station—the information they asked for. Had the Eureka Times Standard needed it, we would have made ready to print their Sunday edition at our plant.
Second, I realized we haven’t done a good job of getting the word out about our Web site. When there’s breaking news—weather-related or otherwise—we’ll let you know at triplicate.com 24/7.
And finally, I learned a truth about myself: I am destined never to loll.