Friday, June 15, 2012

Missed Us

We're still on the road, trying to stay ahead of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and just barely managing.

Pam and our Dallas friend Doreen decided Wednesday to visit the drought-stricken city's arboretum, where Dale Chihuly's touring collection of frizzy glass art is currently on display. Only hours after they finished looking, a front rolled in and directed a surgically aimed hailstorm at the fragile exhibition, shattering one of the works they had admired most, a set of big crystal lily pads mounted in a pond.

Some of the hailstones were as big as baseballs and spiked like geodes. When they stopped falling on the fancy glassware, the storm moved over to the city's Lakewood district, home of Pam's other longtime Dallas friend Betsy. It smashed roof tiles, car windows and shrubbery everywhere.

This morning, we stopped by for a visit and paused at the local Starbucks for a latte on the way. As you see above, the storm had made flappuccino out of the awnings, and inside the only topic of conversation was heavily caffeinated one-upping over whose next door neighbor had gotten the worst of it.

Betsy, preoccupied and grim, was patrolling her densely planted front yard doing damage assessment as we rolled up. When we came through her gate, she said, "If you're roofers, get off my property."

Apparently it had taken only hours after the hail stopped falling for a predatory army in tool belts and pickup trucks to descend on Lakewood trolling for payment in advance. The Morning News ran a story warning of contractor scams. Betsy had turned away dozens and her courtesy cupboard was bare.

We're on our way back to Ruidoso now. The Little Bear fire is well on the way to being contained, and if the wind continues to blow from the southwest we shouldn't have trouble with smoke in the Upper Canyon.

Tomorrow, we'll have just a few hundred more miles of two-lane blacktop across the frying pan flatness of West Texas, where by the way we have encountered a plague of grasshoppers crossing our path in mating pairs, trios and now and then a frenzied cluster of four or more.

Some of the calamities Nature sends our way are more entertaining than others.

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