The Impossible Winter in August

Today was an interesting weather day in Eastern Massachusetts.

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This summer has been a rather average one in temperature and precipitation which masks some very violent weather events. The tornado in Revere, Massachusetts just to the North of Boston by mere miles, destroyed 65 buildings and was a rain wrapped tornado last week. Somehow nobody was killed.

Rain wrapped means essentially that nobody could see it as it looked like a wall of rain with an ever so slight swirl. Yet not a swirl for one to jump to the conclusion of the reality coming towards you. Think of that for a moment. Many of us are used to images of those “classic” Kansas Twisters which are usually dry storms and you can see the dark swirling nightmarish fear coming straight for you. Not in this case. The terror is might as well be a stalker of the night.

Rain wrapped tornadoes are just about the only kind we ever see in New England and we don’t see many of those. Massachusetts averages only 2 tornadoes a year. Which on a side note makes July 2014 quite interesting in this regard: Massachusetts had two tornadoes…Kansas….zero. Yes. Count how many years that happens.

I was fortunate/unfortunate enough to experience a tornado on July 10, 1989 in the town I grew up in. The warning we had was a Severe Thunderstorm Watch issued by the National Weather Service (in no way  discrediting them to their excellence) and ominous clouds to the west. Around 4 o’clock the streetlights came on. The sky was a quiet eerie purple. Suddenly a wall of water and wind bashed the town in a instant of absolute chaos. As soon as it had come it had ceased. Left behind ripped off roofs, numerous felled trees, a powerless night, and shock. Luckily, nobody was killed. It was an experience I shall never forget.

As promised, I did digress. Let me bring you back to the point stated at the beginning of this summery blog. Today was an interesting weather day in Eastern Massachusetts. Why?

Due to a large cold pool of air in the atmosphere high over New England, combined with the heating of an early August sun, thunderstorms were very likely. This is a classic setup for hail as air forced upwards condenses in the cold, gains mass, and falls to earth as hail. The higher up the air is forced, the larger the stones.

On the west side of the town where I was at the time when the storm commenced, it rained as hard as I had seen it rain all year. Towers of dark clouds screaming warning to any who turned their eyes northwest unleashed a torrent of rain. And Hail. Lots of Hail. But not where I was. Just to my east.

Only 1 mile east of me the heavy rain was accompanied with nickel sized hail. I discovered this only after the storm. At first I noticed leaves scattered about covering the roads and sidewalks. Then the hail. It covered the ground as snow. It had looked like some random dream I could have manufactured. Walking in a summery, forested town while trudging through an impossible winter. It was nearly that.

Arriving home I discovered the tragedy. On the back deck, covered in leaves and with hail STILL on the ground from 3 hours prior, were the tattered remains of flowers in pots put out only yesterday. A beautiful Azalea looked as if it had been cut by shears. An African Violet actually knocked off and broken completely. I was late this year in putting out flowers. I suppose I should have been one more day late?

The Geraniums are still coming this weekend and the weather will always be a blooming passion regardless of season.

Such is the weather. Such is the Universe.

Cheers,

Jason

 

White Hot Ice

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Is there any more beautiful way your face should glisten?

Your eyes of green like emeralds on fire

The majestic swaying of your hair whispering in the wind

Your Smile

To rival the sun’s heat

Your Stare

Piercing through my soul

You so immaculate

Intense as a supernova

Yet…….

In proximity to my heart possibly just as dangerous

Those who bask in the white hot attraction

On a glorious  August afternoon

Can slide into the depths of frigid winter

Devastated to an ice encased hopeless December

One never knows

Yet both experiences are recommended

There is no other such way to learn the true meaning of love

Or the feel of ones wanted so badly but never meant to be

 

 

The Jewel of New England

Cape Cod is an elbow of sand. A gift from the last glaciation 15,000 years ago. It is a part of the very wonderful area of the United States known as New England, jutting out into the ocean as part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is a place by itself a wonder, yet at the same time containing distinct areas of itself which are polar opposites. It is one of my favorite places I have ever seen. Why? I have found only a few places I have visited so far in my life where the emotional connection combined with the serene feeling that I was somehow “home”… Which of these two images do you prefer? They were taken at the exact same spot on Chapin Beach in Dennis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Chapin Beach July 2003

Chapin Beach Dennis Mass

 

Chapin Beach January 2004

 

Chapin Beach January 2004.....The essence of Seasonal difference in New England

 

Winter fades to Spring which turns to Summer as the land comes alive in the process. In these two images are why I love New England. The arctic looking frozen beach to a warm July evening. Every season has its beauty and the balance is stunning. Each season is nature’s way.

Cape Cod is special. You arrive down Route 3 or perhaps Interstate 25 from 495. You then cross one of the towering bridges over the Cape Cod Canal. Monuments they are. They are reminding you that you may still be in Massachusetts after you cross, but your state of mind will be of something which you can find nowhere else.

The Sagamore Bridge

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The Bourne Bridge

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Cape Cod has many distinct areas. Moving from West to East then North…There is relaxing Falmouth,the bustle of Hyannis and the Kennedy History……the peaceful charm of old Cape Cod in the Dennis and Brewster area to the wealthy town of Chatham at the elbow of the Cape.

As you are turning North in the peaceful town of Orleans you venture along the Cape Cod National Seashore. The National Seashore was created in August of 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. It was not a popular move by locals at the time. However, 53 years late and a deluge of development along the East Coast, it is 40 miles of unspoiled Atlantic facing coastline. Mr. Kennedy seemed to understand and love this piece of Earth like many. Instead of ceaseless development erasing nature from any possible logical connection to the landscape you have scenes that look like this in places:

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I approve.

The Cape then ends at Provincetown. It is a world within many worlds and of itself. You sit in an Atlantic Ocean deluge of contentedness. Perhaps in a chair along the beach or small restaurant. You gaze out at the glimmering blue in the brilliant summer Sun. The breeze is New England’s natural air conditioner, sheltering it from the intense heat of other areas of the country. Provincetown is a wind of its own. Tolerant, respectful. accepting, relaxing. These feelings prevalent on its narrow streets and closely built houses older than many states.

So is the Cape a favorite place of mine? Yes. However, there is one area that to me, is where the heart of the Cape beats the strongest, and you feel so alive. It is Dennis, Mass. More exact, West Dennis. Why? My family went to the Cape every summer, as my grandparents started doing in the 1950s. At the same rented 2 story house a quarter mile away from the dunes of Chapin Beach.

The ground felt different. The air smelled different. The trees were different. The world moved slower. The roar of the Ocean nearby. This was, and still is, Dennis, Mass. The place where sunsets are a starburst of color, as the waning day of July seems like an Endless Summer Night (Thanks Richard Marx circa 1988).

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This area will hypnotize you. You will be in a dream. Awake at the same time, and thanking everyone and thing you are. To me, it is this prose:

I began to walk towards the ocean. On the hot blacktop in bare feet on a warm July afternoon. The road wrapped in serenity descended gently to the sand dunes, leading to my anticipation. I wanted the waves to hit me for the sake of being alive. I was swift in descending down the road  by white picket fences, pine trees, and a maple mitigated in its growth by the proximity to the salty air and marginal soil. Regardless, my concern lay beyond the dunes. A slight breeze kissed my soul as I neared the dune and the compelling drive for more led my eyes to the blue goddess spanning the horizon. The beach sand, glimmering like little stars. set against the sapphire blue of the sky. Piercing my reality with expansion. The knowing that there is more out there. There are places to see. And sometimes, you swear these places were you and me.

Chapin Beach on a Hazy Sunset

 

I hope anyone of you reading has a place like this on our very special planet. One we must take care of.

Thank you for reading.

Cheers,

Jason