From their living room overlooking Nisqually Reach, George and Fran Norton can look out and see a spot in the water about halfway between their property and Anderson Island.
Thirty-three miles straight below it, the Earth moved Wednesday.
The result turned out to be Washington's biggest earthquake in 52 years, a 6.8 temblor that rattled dishes up and down the West Coast, damaged buildings in Olympia and Seattle, and gave the Nortons a new distinction.
Mr. and Mrs. Ground Zero.
Unless someone was boating over that spot in the water, it's doubtful anyone was closer to the epicenter of Wednesday's quake than the Nortons and a handful of their neighbors on the old Puget town site northeast of Olympia.
George Norton was sitting in the office of Puget Marina, the boat business he's run next door to his home since the mid-1960s. "I screamed at everyone to get out, now, " Norton said. Out back, the ground moved like the sea.
With boat propellers flying off their wall displays, everyone made it out safely including Gerty, their miniature schnauzer. A day later the Nortons marveled at how little damage their property sustained.
Cracks in their shop floor, piles of broken propellers and a crack in their home's chimney are all the quake delivered. "I can't hardly believe it, " Fran Norton said. "We're just so grateful. It could've been a real disaster."
Except for the chimney crack, the house that George Norton built from a kit in 1973 survived unscathed even though it sits about a half-mile from the epicenter.
He knew he lived in earthquake country when he built the three-story wood house and decided to use bolts rather than nails to hold it together.
"It's built like a ship, " he said.
It was a smart move, just like the decision to leave Lake Geneva, Wis., and move to the Puget Sound to run a boat business. "I was looking for a place with water, fir trees and mountains, " Norton said.
The couple raised two children on their property, living first in an old farm house and later in the house that he built.
An old marina still floats below their house, but the boat business now sits a few hundred yards inland in a shop building built on a high spot.
On a clear day, they can see Mount Rainier, the Olympics, the water of Puget Sound. "It's been a very pleasant place to raise a family, " George Norton said.
Over the years, the Nortons have endured ice storms, windstorms and other smaller earthquakes. George Norton recalls being out on the water in 1980 when Mount St. Helens erupted.
The Cold War was still on, and he didn't immediately recognize the mushroom cloud as volcanic. "I thought, 'Oh my goodness, the maniacs blew up Portland, '" Norton said.
Portland survived, just like the Nortons.
After Wednesday's quake, calls started coming in from around the country as friends saw the epicenter on the news and realized how close the Nortons live to it.
It wasn't until much later in the evening, though, that the Nortons themselves realized just how close they were to the epicenter.
They knew they were close, but until then, they didn't know they were within sight of the spot.
It was a startling moment, but the couple isn't about to leave the Puget Marina, a place they've called home for nearly 40 years.
"We've got to accept this as part of our lifestyle, like the rain, " Norton said. "It's something you live with."