October is Ray Bradbury’s month

San Andreas Fault, Hayward Fault, and three others whose names I forget, are poised to scrape and give us above a good shaking. October was Ray Bradbury’s thematic month for ghosts and heart-clutching events, and he was ever so right.

<br>California’s third year drought has brought this state so low that every weather forecast of “possibility” of rain brings hope and then, seems to me, disappointment. Whatever moisture does arrive always graces the northern part of the state. The dryness has the tectonic plates shrinking and stressed, and that is what we are all trying to prepare for.

The 25th anniversary of our last big shake was commemorated on October 17, a day that remains vivid in memory. And yet, we in the East Bay Hills caught the mildest edge of it, though drama was high. So what am I doing to prepare? I packed a tote bag with legal documents with a note attached to it: GRAB AND RUN. I have bottled water in the car.

The conundrum is whether I can also grab Loaner and Mojo, our kitten. The little one is roaming freely in the house now, though it will be a while before he will be going out to the backyard. Loaner could be anywhere. This makes me think of my sister Maria, who when our country home in Shanghai was caught in the shelling between the Japanese and Chinese armies in 1937, threw away the clothing our mother filled a bag with and piled her cat in there instead. They then, my parents, three brothers and sister and me in arms, trudged 30 miles to town, unable to drive because the roads were blocked with trees cut down by who knows which side to prevent travel. My mother had bound feet. I cannot imagine her ordeal.


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