So now I have to worry about earthquakes too?

Aside from winter's car-covering blizzards, the mid-Atlantic area has seemed a pretty mundane place to live, weather-wise. But during Tuesday's 5.8 magnitude earthquake our entire house outside Baltimore shook. I was flummoxed. Resting in front of the TV just before 2 p.m., I thought my son was violently shaking the couch.

Half-asleep, I looked around and heard a rumbling sound and glass rattling. I looked outside because I thought there was a tornado (we've had to worry about those lately, too!) but it was sunny. I opened the basement door to listen for our furnace, thinking maybe it was ready to blow. Then, my son and I switched on The Weather Channel and caught the breaking news: Earthquake rocksWashington, D.C.

Funny thing is, I left Florida partly because of hurricanes, after witnessing the devastation of Hurricane Andrew in the early 1990s. I've stayed away from my husband's hot native state of Texas partly because of tornadoes. And I always felt a twinge of relief that I didn't live in sunny California either.

Maybe this shake-up will allow me to follow the sun, because the earth under my feet is no longer solid, or so stolid.

Joanne Cavanaugh Simpson, Towson