It’s been truly crazy weather of late. Tornados in the flatlands of middle America. Snow in the Rockies. Floods in the upper Midwest. Yesterday I jogged in the stifling heat–over 95 degrees. It’s been at least 10 degrees higher than the seasonal average since Friday. But at least the heat isn’t destructive, and as a SoCal boy, the heat is something I can deal with. I have learned to deal with the humidity as well, thanks to living in Japan for a number of years.
So yesterday, as I jog through a local park near our home in northern Virginia, I passed a “public house” there. No, it’s not a beer joint, but a county-owned facility that residences can rent for events such as weddings. It is also the local precinct polling location. And yesterday, Virginia held its primary for congressional seats.
The seat up for grabs is Virginia’s US House of Representatives, 11th District. It is the seat that Tom Davis (R) holds. Yes, the honorable Tom Davis whose office helped us with M’s permanent residency. As I believe most of you know, I am no dyed-in-the-wool liberal, but I tend to lean a little left of center politically. Still, Tom Davis did me right and I would have voted for him, if he was running for re-election. But he is not.
Anyway, as I was running/walking by the public house, I noticed the sign “vote here”. I had forgotten it was election day. So after I returned home, I showered, did a bit of work and then set out to vote around 6 PM. There was virtually no one there, so fulfilling my civic duty was pretty painless. I then headed for a local watering hole called Famous Dave’s on Chain Bridge Road. It has pretty good ribs but that’s not why I went. I needed to whet my whistle after four consecutive days of running outside at least one hour each day.
There, I saw the regulars–Matt, the bartender, Gary and his girlfriend Debbie, and a few others. After my third beer, we begin to hear thunder. Oh crap, another summer thunderstorm. These are fairly common, actually, but can scare the shit out of me. We debated about which is the scariest natural phenomenon. I insist its thunder, because even though it’s random, you can’t escape it if it has your name on it. The others blanch when I tell them that an earthquake is no big a deal–I’ve been through many, including the Sylmar quake of 1971 and the big one in San Francisco in 1989. I’d rather be in the middle of an earthqhake than be struck by lightening. Then suddenly someone said, Tornado.
“What?” we all looked out the window. “There’s no tornado,” we laughed. But we did see hail falling from the sky and getting larger right before our eyes.
“Doesn’t it hail when a tornado appears?” someone nervously suggested.
Well, it hailed for about fifteen minutes, getting as large as small walnuts at one point. But it ultimately subsided with no sign of a tornado. Whew…
This weather is crazy. I mean, 95-plus degrees in the afternoon and hail in the early evening? How illogical is that? Is this a by product of global warming? The thought of a dented up car crossed my mind, but when I checked it out later, there didn’t seem to be any damage. Fortunately, the thunderstorm was just another freaky summer storm in a summer of unfortunately freaky weather everywhere else.