We’re getting a pretty massive thunderstorm in Vienna right now.  It’s been windy all day (and getting cooler since about 3:00 — woo hoo!) and raining on and off, and then a few minutes ago, the thunder and lightning started.  I don’t know enough about the weather patterns in central Europe to speak with any authority, but I imagine these winds and storms blowing right down from the Alps.  They have that kind of gravitas.

Back at home, everyone is hunkering down for a massive storm of their own:  Hurricane Irene is upon them with flooding, winds and general, low-level panic.  All up and down the east coast of the US, people are evacuating and bracing for intense damage.  In the DC area, they get it all:  hurricanes, massive snowstorms, flooding, tornadoes . . . even earthquakes, as proven earlier this week.  They don’t really specialize in any one kind of disaster.  We got to do all of them from time to time, with neither enough practice nor enough local funding to handle anything perfectly smoothly.  Everyone stocks up on toilet paper, milk and water and stays in.  I’m not criticizing — I think it’s a pretty good plan, and has served us well for everything from hurricanes to “snowmageddon”.

I think I’m safely out of the path of any hurricanes while I’m living here in Vienna, but I’m thinking of everyone at home and hoping that they all stay safe and dry.  I’m sitting here in a big storm, too — I’m with you all in spirit.

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