Thursday, July 3, 2014

Go Fourth And Blow

In celebration of Independence Day, all eyes along the Atlantic seaboard are on Hurricane Arthur. It appears at the moment that Arthur is going to stay well offshore, which means things will be fairly normal for the holiday. If you count thunderstorms and horizontal rain as normal. The forecast still calls for plenty of wind and rain on the Fourth, making the prospect for enjoying the holiday less than tantalizing. Grilling some dogs and burgers may be a bit dicey and we're also in the market for rainproof fireworks. Maybe we'll just light them off indoors so the kids don't miss out. Just kidding!

Life out here on the East Coast the past decade is so different from Oregon. I remember out there in Corvallis getting a handle on the weather by looking to the west. If I saw clouds, it's probably going to rain. If I didn't see clouds, it might rain. If I saw a mix of clouds and blue sky, it might rain. Now when I lived in Bend or Prineville on the dry side of the mountains, I still looked to the west. But didn't figure it would rain no matter how many clouds I saw.

Here in Gloucester, though, I never know where the weather will come from. It could be a Nor'Easter, a hurricane or tropical storm sweeping up from the south, or a tornado or derecho bearing down on us from the west. I had never even heard of a derecho until we moved out here. Nor did I pay much mind to hurricane season. That's all changed. We've had storms drop up to 10 inches of rain in one day -- that's a year's worth in Bend and Prineville -- on us and a violent thunderstorm with 2-3 inches of rain in short order isn't unusual. We've had tree limbs go through our bedroom window at midnight in a storm, a tree fall on our neighbor's house in a tornado, a run-of-the-mill thunderstorm send our last grill cartwheeling through the yard and for good measure we've had an earthquake, an EF-3 tornado and thundersnow.

We had one hurricane blow through a few years ago at a time when we had two visitors from Oregon. Two friends also opted to bunk over at our house, for some reason they thought it was safer in a house where people are packed in like a jar of pickles, and so we had somewhere around 19, maybe 20 people in the house. I had them all stay toward the front side of the house away from the trees in the back yard. No one got hurt, everyone was safe and what I remember most is hustling over to our neighbor's house to help him out when a tree went through his roof.

I don't remember that type of stuff in Oregon. Nor do I recall any runs on groceries when bad weather was on the horizon. Out here, the mere mention of a hurricane, or snow, or any related natural disaster  sends people in droves to the store to stock up on water, bread, milk and eggs. It can get a little crazy and I hesitate to take to the kids to the store for those trips. It might get kind of dangerous. I guess it's all part of the adventure. As Ezra used to say, "That's just the way it be's."

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