Storms A’rollin’ In

This morning I awoke with a distant beam of hope in this ongoing swollen gland thing, which has been most obnoxiously annoying–can barely eat or swallow and have awoken once choking due to not breathing correctly during a nap.  It certainly frightened our kitty “Granny,” who had most adorably fallen asleep on my chest!

This morning was the first time it didn’t wake me up gasping, and I felt a tiny tiny bit better in the way you have been hiking in the dark and just see a tiny glimpse of dawn on the horizon. I stopped off at my regular doctor before work and got a prescription for an antibiotic as well as a requisition for an ultrasound if it does not get better next week. So I have not been able to run for a week, thanks to this whatever-it-is. I miss running really badly. I so miss feeling the wind on my face.

But this post is about the storm coming in. The news described these October storms as a parade of three storms. The first hit a couple days ago, the second is hitting now, and the most powerful is coming tomorrow.  These storms are fueled by the remnants of Typhoon Songda, a super typhoon that has made its way across the Pacific from Japan, mixing in with the Pacific jet stream, which makes it lose some of its tropical traits but not its energy (wind, rain). What happens is that these storms first hit the islands to the west, and, depending on movement and energy later, can hit anywhere in the Metro Vancouver area, including south near the border and into the US in Washington and Oregon. All our areas are under alert right now. Like any storm, tracking the movement isn’t an exact science, so it is always just “watch and see” and be-prepared thing.

This morning, on the way in, major accidents on nearly every major road artery caused huge backups. It’s not even bad yet. Our back deck is full of leaves and small branches from some sustained winds and rain over the past couple days, however, and today, right now, the wind is picking up. You can see trees beginning to wave wildly in the occasional wind gusts. Power just flickered in our office, and one of the professors said his wife texted to say the power was out at home (they also live in our city).

The sky this morning hinted of some blue–between the 2nd and 3rd storms–but is now gray and white and full of ominous overtones. I went on a little walk (am on my lunch hour), and the weather seemed foreboding, dark, very wet, and windy.  Already one tree has smashed a vehicle and 80,000 are without power on the island and on the lower mainland.

I love storms. I like being in them. I know you have to be prepared though, and I don’t like to be alarmist, but being prepared isn’t being over-the-top. So tonight, while my husband sees a couple movies with a friend, I will go home, get candles ready, get the flashlight out, secure the plants on the back deck and the balcony, and ensure we have something to eat for a few days that doesn’t require cooking.  And then I get to watch the storm and try to continue to recover from this gland thing!

Then it’s alone time for a couple hours, which is great since I have so many books to read at the moment. I have an advance copy of Jaimee Wriston Colbert’s Wild Things, an excellent short story collection, to keep me company (this is where my solar lamp may come in handy if we lose power). I have an upcoming interview with her, so watch for that! I really loved this review of her book:

Jaimee Wriston Colbert has written a book of deeply affecting elegies to the scattered remnants of wilderness, the some few wild things we still live among: blackbird, brown trout, reef shark, teenage girl. By turns luminous and razor-sharp, in landscapes as diverse as a shimmering beach in Oahu and a crumbling mill town in upstate New York, these characters find comfort, not only in the “peace of wild things” but also in their scrap and bite, their tenacious urge toward survival in an absurdly hostile world.

—Pam Houston, Contents May Have Shifted and Cowboys Are My Weakness

What a great thing to keep me company (in the midst of all those weird fiction books I ordered!)

Okay, I am going to end this blog post with tips for running in the wind. See This Runner’s Recipe for the source:

  • Run by effort, not by pace
  • Mind over matter
  • Dress for the wind
  • Use the wind to your advantage
  • Be cautious of dangerous gusts

I would add to this, in dangerous windstorms, don’t go running. You could be injured by flying debris, falling trees, downed electric lines, and so on. (I’m still hoping that by tomorrow or Sunday I will feel okay to at least run a mile or two.)

The lovely featured image is by Ingrid Taylar. It shows a storm hitting the Pacific Coast in Ucluelet, British Columbia on the west coast of Vancouver Island, 2014. Attribution license; Flickr Creative Commons.