Strong winds ahead

A memo from our lead pastor outlined plans for how worship will proceed this morning if high winds result in power outages. That’s the thing about online worship. We are dependent upon electricity and the Internet to get our services out. Because it is possible that some members of the congregation will lack electric power, getting the service recorded for later viewing is very important. Our new home is closer to the church than where we were living before, so it is unlikely that the weather will prevent us from making the short trip to the church. Other worship leaders should be able to come in and we’ll probably get the service out online and recorded without a problem.

Still, in the seasons of covid, with increasing effects of global climate change, we have grown a bit reluctant to make predictions. We know that we can be surprised. The forecasters are calling the weather a bomb cyclone. What that means is that we are experiencing a sudden drop in atmospheric pressure. The low pressure, still off of the coast, could be one of the lowest pressure storms to ever develop across the northeastern Pacific Ocean, with a forecast pressure comparable to major hurricanes in the Atlantic.

What I have noticed about the weather forecast is that rain is predicted for every day of the ten day forecast, with particularly rainy days today and tomorrow. We could see as much as 5 inches or more over the next week.

I’ve been paying attention to the forecast because we still have a few items at our rental house in Mount Vernon and it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to put cardboard boxes in the back of our pickup and have them arrive at our home dry. If we could, we’d have everything moved in a single trip. As it is, we may decide to make a couple of trips. We’ll see. The weather isn’t going to be a big inconvenience for us.

It was around this time a year ago that we spent three days snowed in at my sister’s place in Montana. We know that sometimes you have to be a bit flexible in your plans when the weather gets wild and that there are things in this world that are more powerful than we and our machines. We are fortunate that our new home is in a protected area on high ground. I’m just learning the routines of small craft advisories and wave predictions that are a part of living near the ocean. Fortunately the beach that is near our house is part of a very large protected bay. Still the waves could be much higher than usual and conditions could be pretty rough for boats that are at anchor in the bay. It is a good weekend to have my various boats all safely in the barn at our son’s farm. I don’t think it will be difficult for us to avoid going to the beach to look at the waves. And we’re not tempted to head out into the water, where sneaker waves could be a threat.

The storm is not going to be anything like the hurricanes that have threatened other parts of the world. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a level 1 out of 5 risk for severe storms. It looks like the most intense weather will occur later this afternoon and evening. And we will not be in the area of the most intense rain, which is forecast to hit northern California.

The weather is just another reminder that we have moved to a new place and a different climate. I moved the one remaining snow shovel that we own to our new home, but I’m confident that I won’t be needing it this weekend. Temperatures are supposed to be in the mid fifties all week. I’ll keep the shovel. Snow isn’t unheard-of up here, but amounts are light and the shovel only got used once last winter and I noticed that I was the only one on the block who actually got out and shoveled the light snowfall off of my driveway. The prevailing attitude around here is that the snow will melt within a day or so and so people just ignore it. We’ve lived most of our lives in places where people don’t ignore the snow.

Meanwhile, we had our son’s family over to our new house for dinner last night. It was a proper initiation for our new home. That round oak dining table has made yet another move and is ready for many more family meals. Being semi-retired and mostly empty-nest, it feels so good to us to have the gang gathered around the table. Of course we’ll get back to our usual routines during the week, but we had dinner at their place the night before last, at our house last night and tonight the kids will be at our place for a somewhat early dinner as their parents go out to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Then it will be back home for the kids for an early night to get their sleep before beginning a new week of school.

And, speaking of school, I was delighted to see our ten-year-old grandson practicing cursive writing. We had a fun discussion of the rather unique ways that upper case letters are formed in cursive. We noted that not everyone makes their cursive letters exactly the same way, but the school is teaching a particular style of writing. It was fun for me, because I can remember struggling with cursive writing. I was just at the point where I had discovered that some of my favorite adults had really messy handwriting. Our grandson, however, was fairly patient with the process of writing pages of letters in script. I had heard that schools weren’t putting much emphasis on cursive writing these days, but the homework our grandson has been doing this weekend looks very much like the exercises we had to do in school. I guess not everything is changing at a pace that is too rapid for me to keep up.

Everyday life is starting to settle in. We’ve still got some new routines to develop and some new things to learn, but part of this process of retiring is like our grandson doing his homework. You just have to practice, over and over, until it becomes natural.

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