I was in front of the computer this morning at 1:10 working on an entry when I heard a short, loud bang which caused the windows to rattle. If it were winter, I would have assumed that a large piece of ice had given way and fallen off the roof, but since it was June, I was dumbfounded. I'm not too far from O'Hare airport, but nothing takes off that late at night normally, so I was sure it wasn't a plane roaring overhead. There is also an expressway not far from me, so I thought perhaps there had just been a large accident. Just to be sure, I took a walk around the house to make sure that nothing strange was going on, then finished my work before going to bed.
It wasn't until I woke up that I found out that what I had heard was a 4.5 earthquake centered in Ottawa, Illinois, about seventy miles southwest of Chicago.
That certainly explained it. I've never experienced an earthquake before, and if you told me that I would I'd have expected more of a rolling feeling. This was more like a quick explosion, over almost before it began. Looking back, it was more like a loud thunder clap without the lightning. If I'd been asleep when it occured, I am sure I would have slept through it. I felt no rocking or rolling of any kind at all.
So I can cross another natural disaster off the "to-be experienced" list. I am thinking of the irony of knowing that a dear friend of mine moved to Los Angeles from Chicago last fall, and I can only imagine how many earthquake comments he has heard since making this move. He could have stayed here and experienced the real thing.