Stormy weather, stormy politics | Home Again

By Joanne Peterson | Oct 20, 2016

One afternoon last week, with a storm predicted, I drove to Brackett’s Landing to check out the beach and watch the boat traffic. The ferry kicked up white spray as it made its turn from the Edmonds dock to Kingston.

The chilly, wet weather reminded me that ferries are work boats, providing transportation for commuters and island delivery trucks. Summer tourists are just a part of the picture of ferry service.

In the pale distance beyond the ferry, a freighter labored toward Seattle, a froth of white water kicking up on either side of the bow.

I suddenly remembered my dad pointing out the “bone in its teeth” that a boat appears to carry when powering through difficult waters.

The Victoria Clipper labored toward Seattle, too, probably with a few tourists regretting their decisions to visit Victoria during such weather and thinking that the choppy ride home wasn’t the highlight of their day.

Their best memory of the trip might have been taking high tea at the historic and elegant Empress Hotel, enjoying sumptuous British treats while temporarily escaping the rain.

That afternoon as I began writing, I half-listened to a TV newscast. Heading into the weekend, preparation was underway for the anticipated major storm. A news anchor described damage to a town on the Oregon coast hit by a tornado.

In Seattle, viewer photos showed tree limbs littering neighborhoods and rainwater cascading over plugged drains. A reporter interviewed shoppers hurrying to buy generators, batteries and last minute groceries – including snacks and beverages for watching the Seahawks game on Sunday.

The reporter proved unsuccessful at convincing anyone to consider the possibility that a storm might cancel a Seahawks game – ever!

My candles and flashlights awaited a power outage, and I had food and water. But what if the power went out before I could send my column electronically? Sometimes waiting two weeks is long enough that I lose track of what earlier seemed like a good idea for the next column.

Could I simply skip this week and allow a month to pass between “Home Again” appearances? I didn’t want to do that. My imagination kicked in, and I envisioned a tense journey around downed power lines, random tree branches and standing water if it became necessary to drive to Mukilteo to hand deliver my words to the Beacon offices.

The TV news broadcast continued in the background; the news anchor moved on to presidential politics. Oh, my. Discouraged, I contemplated the future of this country after the dehumanizing, character-revealing campaigning has settled into sad American history.

What will happen after the ballots are counted and the election is (finally, thank God) over, and we have a new president? I’m choosing to trust in the strength of the nation and to hope that Americans realize they must make peace with one another.

I reached for the remote and clicked the TV off, realizing that my column was so insignificant a concern that I needn’t have worried about it – except that it gave me another opportunity to say we are all in this together.

Stormy weather or stormy politics. We are all just walking each other home.


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