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Earthquake was startling, but everything turned out OK

I'm writing this column on the evening of the great earthquake of 2011. Wasn't that exciting?

I was sitting at my desk when my chair started to rock. I thought someone had entered the cubicle so I looked quickly to my left, then to my right, in order to catch whoever it was that that messing with my seat. But I didn't see anyone.

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At first I thought, "Boy, whoever it was did that quick and got away!" But then I noticed that the floor was moving slowly, like waves. I stood up and found myself slowly going up and down as the building shook like a very large freight train was going by. The hanging lights were swaying back and forth while the building shook.

Then, it stopped momentarily. When it started back up, it was much more intense. Things fell off cabinets, out of bookcases, off desks. We even had a couple ceiling tile supports come loose and hung down from the ceiling. No one panicked, but my entire office headed out the door and down the stairway to get out into the parking lot.

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At this point, everyone knew it was an earthquake, but no one knew where the epicenter was. When I got home, I drove around Highland and Fulton to see if any damage was evident. I didn't see any.

Another school year has begun. Please take your time when driving through your neighborhood. Be especially aware of parked cars. Kids have a tendency to dart out from between them.

Are you looking for something to do now that your kids are in school, something that would fit into your schedule and would make a difference to people in the community? A local, volunteer-based organization, Neighbor Ride, is dedicated to helping seniors of Howard County, aged 60 and older, maintain their independence. Drivers are needed to offer transportation for health care, appointments, social outings, religious services, volunteer activities, shopping and other personal needs.

There are a couple volunteer orientations coming up at the Neighbor Ride office, 8950 State Route 108, No. 115, in Columbia. The dates are Sept. 13 at 7:30 a.m or Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.

For more information or to schedule yourself for one of the sessions, contact Rosemary Noble or Patrice Cerwonka at 410-884-7488 or via email at volunteer@neighborride.org.

I started a neighborhood blog for the Highland-Fulton area. It can be found at highland-fulton-md.blogspot.com. In it, I plan on keeping the communities up-to-date with any late-breaking items and other things that can't get into the column for one reason or another. Please take a look and let me know what you think about it.

Well, that's all for this week. Commit a random act of kindness. Look in on your neighbors. Say a prayer for our troops who are serving in harm's way and remember their families, too.

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