Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we've lived through another vacation on the Chesapeake Bay! Whew! And I'd like to thank everyone for the nice comments about my battle with the horrible monster ... uhhhh ... truthfully, just a jellyfish. They sting, you know.
My Appalachian grandpa invented a drill that could nose out five holes side by side in a human hair (top, not side). No matter. He grew up a farm boy in Appalachia, and that means he was obsessed with the weather.
He passed that obsession along to me, thank goodness.
My daughter The Spare and I went for a kayak trip on the mighty Chesapeake. About a mile from where we stay there's a little strip of sand where, at low tide, the water's only about a foot deep. In other words, it's easy to spot jellyfish there. Which I was keen to do.
Spare and I were lounging in our foot-deep bath, maintaining a 360 degree view of our surroundings in case a jellyfish floated into our midst. (I was facing inland, where there's a radio tower popular to the local buzzards.)
I looked to the west, and there was no mistaking it. A frontal boundary appeared on the horizon, moving fast. It looked something like this.
The Heir just could not understand why I hustled her into the kayak so quickly she couldn't even get her shorts back on. I mean, I was nearly frantic, and above us was only blue skies.
We got started, paddling westward into the approaching storm. At first Spare thought I was nuts. Then a gust of serious wind and a little rain got her attention. Then we heard thunder.
"Dig in and paddle," I said.
Damn if she didn't ply that paddle with the strength of a sea monster. And The Spare is a slight lil' girl. She's well shy of 100 pounds.
To make a long story short, we beached back at our home port just as the wind gusts hit 40 and the thunder and lightning got serious.
I thank my hillbilly grandpa for watching the skies, because that frontal boundary was moving so fast, only a dedicated sky-watcher would have seen it coming. Hat tip too to the Spare for tucking in and rowing with all her might.
Tomorrow: More hillbilly resourcefulness in the land of tides.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS