Derechos and tornadoes and quakes, oh my!

“Don’t like the weather … wait a minute.”  That mantra has been quoted to me in every state and part of the country in which I have resided or visited.  A chuckle usually follows and,  depending on the state, the speaker does one of the following 1) removes his Stetson and wipes his sleeve across his forehead , 2) resumes picking his or her  teeth with a worn toothpick, 3)  shrugs and pours another glass of Perrier … you get the idea.

Oddly, Virginians have seemed graciously abiding when it comes to the weather.  Summers hot and humid, winters are mild or not, and fall and spring make up for any bad weather in between.

That graciousness was tested this week with the back to back derechos, confirmed tornadoes, a 2.0 aftershock in Louisa County, and power outages in RVA and beyond.  I haven’t even mentioned yet the  heat (approaching or exceeding 100 degrees each day) and the power outages that many Virginians have endured since late Friday (June 29th.)  Even Northern Virginia (a different state altogether) and DC are suffering the power outages.

Insultingly, no one I know had ever heard of a derecho wind.  Is that redundant?  Only meteorologists know that term.  It’s right up there with a gibbous moon.  Though I had never heard of derecho winds, I heard the wind about midnight on the 30th and was so glad we’d had those lovely, but dangerous old oaks removed that bookended our home until March.  After surviving an ice storm, Isabel and Irene since we bought the house  twenty-three years ago, I needed to endure a storm without worrying about being crushed by one of my beloved trees.

Any storm that begins with an I is especially worrisome.  In the aftermath of the aforementioned storms we were without electricity between four and 6 days each time.  One gets very grouchy going that long without power.

We skated through the derecho on the that hit around midnight on the 29th/30th losing only cable and internet for a day.  We braced for the next storm knowing that it was our turn to get really clobbered.  We checked all of our battery-powered preparedness supplies, gathered water, and charged all of our cherished phones, iPods and iPads.

We had a spectacular storm that lasted about three hours that night  but didn’t lose power.  Living in a rural county it is hard to know if there were significant power outages in Prince George, but our sense is that the storm shook its fist at us but basically decided this time just to bully us.

But I just knocked on wood.  I don’t want to tick off the weather gods … the summer has really just begun.

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