The Lightning Round

Lightning Scored Concrete

A lightning bolt had struck a nearby telephone pole, traveled down its length and discharged into the surrounding ground. This resulted in a black gash that had been carved into the sidewalk’s concrete, etching out the electricity’s trace. This event occurred more than a year ago, but the scar is still quite visible to us when we walk by it, a permeant record from a moment’s violence. Concrete is pretty tough stuff and other than the charred indentation, the sidewalk does not appear to have suffered too much damage. Likewise the telephone pole appears to be fine. Immediately after the lightning strike there were burned spots on the pole, but a year of weathering has all but erased those signs of damage.

Dave and Maren called us while we were out for our walk. They had big news! They are now officially engaged. Maren’s engagement ring had arrived and not waiting a minute, they immediately drove down to FedEx to pick it up. The ring originally belonged to Maren’s grandmother, but had to be resized. No word yet on a wedding date. We didn’t ask and none was volunteered. Any wedding in the near future would likely end up becoming a Zoom wedding. Their near term plans include a car trip to the cabin, followed by a new apartment together.

If not for a little thing like a global pandemic, Anne and I would be engaged in our annual summer camping trip out west now. We were scheduled to leave Saint Louis on Memorial Day. On this trip, we planned on taking the southern route, stopping in Oklahoma City, Albuquerque and the Grand Canyon. Today, we were scheduled to be in California at Yosemite. On Monday, we would have made the coast at Monterey. I am reminded of these travel plans, because daily now I am recieving cancellation notifications for all of the camping reservations that we had made. Every other day a new reservation is canceled and refunded. While many of these parks have reopened for day use the campgrounds are still closed. I expect that this process will continue through the month of June. The beauty of letting these reservations tick-off one-by-one is that I’m getting all my money back, while if I had canceled them myself, I would have only gotten half.

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