Saturday, February 9, 2013

Different Perspectives

I think I mentioned this in a blog post once before, probably on this blog. But being a rather lazy fellow tonight, rather than look it up I'll re-post it. Not that this entire post is a re-post; just the opening illustration—maybe not even that.

It was 1985 or 86. We were living in Asheboro, NC. A couple of hundred miles from the coast. If a hurricane reached us it was pretty well just a rain event with a little wind. In late August we went to the Nags Head area for mixed business and vacation, and while we were there Hurricane Charlie hit. It was a Category 1 storm that did relatively little damage. We rode it out, even though our hotel was on the ocean side, and it was an adventure.

A month later a big storm headed for the same area. It was either Gloria or Hugo. I could look it up and know for sure, but did I mention I was felling kind of lazy? It was bearing down on Cape Hatteras and Nags Head. The evening the storm was to hit, I couldn't sleep. I thought of my several clients there on the coast, braving a strong storm, while in Asheboro the weather was dead calm. We slept with the windows open that night, and the silence and calmness mocked me.

I was amazed at how much difference a couple of hundred miles could make. I knew that intuitively already, but that was the moment in time when I thought it through logically. The United States is a big place. The weather and circumstances vary. Not all that many of us will share the same experiences.

Yesterday the Blizzard of 2013, a.k.a. Storm Nemo, pounded my old stomping grounds, southern New England. Relatives in central Massachusetts had over 30 inches of snow. Friends in RI received over 20. In eastern Massachusetts my nephew's house had at least two feet of snow and lost power, though no one was there. He's at sea, his wife was at work in the hospital, and the children were with relatives.

Where I was? In a place where the temperature reached 74 degrees on Friday, began Saturday at 44. Later it dropped to 32 and we had snow showers and a little sleet. Just enough to be enjoyable, not to cause worry. It didn't slow me down a bit. Such a contrast to what my friends and relatives were going through.

But such is America: a land of great physical diversity. I am all the more amazed at my homeland.

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