The Edmond Sun

November 16, 2013

AS I SEE IT: The earth shakes; the sky is falling

Marjorie Anderson
Special to The Sun

EDMOND — Henny Penny might be an alarmist, but for a while it looked like she could be right: “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” Threats of two-hundred pound scorched satellite debris crashing through the roof ... earthquake tremors and power outages ... and then there was this:

Ping ... ping-ping ... ping-ping-ping. An avalanche of peanut-sized Blackjack mock-acorns hammer the roof and roll to settle in clusters on the front lawn, planting themselves I suppose. They’re smaller than the Live Oak acorns that fall in muffled whooshes in the back yard, but the little front-yard faux-acorns are noisier because of their greater number. Unfortunately the squirrels, who prefer the bumper crop of Live Oak acorns out back, show no interest.  

The slow, but consistent flump-flumps out front are giant, fringe-capped Burr Oak nuts ricocheting off the roof and then, like decapitated elf heads, rolling in droves down the driveway to line the curb. No way they’re going to plant themselves, but the Blackjack nuts will, and I'll have enough seedlings to open a nursery come spring.

I first heard those nuts falling shortly after the first of this fall’s rash of earthquakes began. At first I assumed the pings, flumps and whooshes were house-settling noises come to join the other familiar household sounds, whose abrupt silence jarred me awake when the power shut down on the very day I learned of the two-ton, man-made satellite that had run out of steam and was looking for a place to crash.  

The silence of the ceiling fan woke me that night. I grabbed the flashlight and was following its meager beam down the hall when ADT's mechanical voice began to shriek, “Power off ... Power off!” I silenced the voice with a button punch and made my way to the kitchen, past the silent refrigerator, and on to the fuse box in the garage.

No problem there, so I backtracked to the office where the computer (which of course was dead) houses my address book and hence my emergency numbers. Smart move, I thought, turning to focus the single AAA-battery’s circle of light on 20 pounds of a yellow-paged phone book.

I’m on my cell phone dialing the power company when I hear the bedroom ceiling fan come back to life beneath a roof unshaken by earthquake or pierced by satellite debris. Henny Penny was wrong! I reset the security alarm along with half a dozen clocks and gratefully fall asleep amidst comforting, familiar household sounds ... excluding the various nut pingings, ploppings, whooshings and planting-of-selves noises out on the lawn.

Disclaimer: Last weekend the boom of a 3.4 earthquake could, to my inexperienced Okie ears, conceivably have been the much touted 2,000-pound runaway satellite plummeting out of control to earth. At that point, who among us wouldn’t have become at least a temporary Henny Penny disciple? I rest my case.

MARJORIE ANDERSON is an Edmond resident.