November 9, 1968 at 11:02am, Indiana and Illinois felt an earthquake.
I remember it like it was yesterday.
It was my maternal grandparents' 50th Golden wedding anniversary. They would have been married 94 years today. November 9, 1918.
My sister and I were at my Aunt Florence and Uncle Russell's house eating lunch while preparing and decorating for the big party that evening.
My aunt was in the kitchen bringing the luncheon plates to my sister and I as we sat across from each other in the small dining room. My uncle was down in the lower level of their split level house in his fascinating radio room with all the radios and Morse Code contraptions and radio wave sounds from all over the world. He was a Short Wave Ham radio operator. I always wondered if he could pick up sounds from Mars.
My chair started moving and shaking and I looked at my sister accusingly as my chair rocked and slid.. She exclaimed that her chair was rocking too and then we heard the windows rattle and we looked at each other as the blood ran out of our faces. I said "I think we are having an earthquake! What should we do?" We both envisioned the earth cracking open and swallowing us right then and there and realized there was no place to run to get away...It was an awful sick feeling.
We asked Aunt Florence if she felt anything but she did not. She'd been moving too fast on her feet in the kitchen.
My uncle came upstairs when he heard the panic in our voices. He said he thought it was his heart beating hard enough to jolt his chair around and he was waiting for himself to keel over. He announced that we indeed had just experienced an earthquake as confirmed by the other Ham radio operators he was talking with who were privy to seismographs from around the country and the world.
We have had several earthquake tremors since that day. One was on my own wedding anniversary in 1974, but that was my first, and now, every November 9, I remember my grandparents 50th Golden wedding anniversary and my first quake.