And the earth shook

My attachments pasted in, email addressed, and note to my copyeditor finished, I took a deep breath as I poised my finger to hit “send” on the last chapter of my book. It was a momentous occasion for me. I’d been working on this rendition of the book for more than two years and the project as a whole for more than ten. But I had no idea just how momentous the occasion would become.

Just as I started to press the “send” option, a low rumbling sound came rolling in from somewhere. My first thought–earthquake!!! I had been in a minor “shake” in Raleigh, North Carolina, back in the late 1960s, and I’ll never forget the sounds and feelings that went with it–the low rumbling that slowly but steadily built into a roar, the shaking and swaying of everything, and the noise from rattling glass, furniture, and buildings.

Surely NOT! Not in West-by-God-Virginia! No, it must be a C-5 in descent over our house for landing in Martinsburg.

Then the house shook. The house swayed. Looking through the windows to see what was up, I saw the deck posts shimmy. I stood, but there was no center of equilibrium. This never happened with a C-5, even when it was smack dab over our house, I thought, as visions of being trapped in the lower level of our house sprang to mind. That was when I ran outside. Dave was on the deck rockin’ and rollin’ to a bumpy, erratic beat.

Earthquake! we both shouted.

And then there was silence. I sent the last chapter. And things subsided back to “normal.”

I knew my momentous occasion was no earth-shaking event in the big scheme of things. But I couldn’t help wondering what might happen if and when the book is ever published.

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