Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Gongfoolery: Gifts From The Sky

I was going to review a tea today, but it is not going to happen, why? I have a migraine. This blasted thing hit me yesterday and I pretty much slept twelve hours with moments of surreal lucidity when I attempted consciousness. It is bizarre, I remember mumbling to Ben at one point when I dragged myself to the bathroom that my sensory processing was really screwed up, all text I saw was registering as shifting encryption, if it didn't hurt so bad to look at it I think it could have been fun. I believe it is on the way out, my moments of clarity are longer and I can move my head without feeling like my brain is bursting, but I don't really want to think too much.

So instead I am going to relay a fun story that happened Monday. It was a good day, I posted the 1,000th blog, celebrated with some thrifting and mediocre Japanese food and then had a celebratory raucous tea party with my housemates. Right as the tea festivities were ending the first real storm of the season hit...and I mean it really hit. I was doing what I always do when storms are predicted (especially after dark) watching the radar...then I saw a beautiful hook echo heading in my direction. Well mostly in my direction, using my armchair Meteorologist skills I told my housemates (one of which who is terrified of storms, and I get that, I was the same way after hurricane Hugo as a kid) that we had a hook echo on the way and we were going to get clipped by the edge, but don't worry the tornado, if there is one, is going to drop east of us. I then promptly ran outside to watch the storm because I am insane. I am not really an adrenaline junky, in all honesty I am very much so a coward, but nothing quite makes me feel alive like storms (one of the reasons I kinda refuse to move from the Midwest now) It was about the time when the hail squall started and the next town over's tornado sirens (to the east, I was totally right and so smug about it) went off that Ben more or less hauled me to the basement with the cats and everyone else...much to my annoyance.
with bonus yard bits

Not before I got myself a small bucket of hail. Sitting in the basement, happily tracking the storm system, I debated the best way to use the hail...Ben had already fussed at me for licking them because hail is pretty filthy, especially after pelting into the ground! I, of course, wanted to make tea, but knew I needed to boil it and filter it...and by filter, I mean run it through a very fine sieve to catch any ground bits that I might have missed. I chose Malawi Bvumbwe White Peony, a tea I am rather familiar with and that can take hot water really well. The taste was not really changed from a normal session, but the mouthfeel was vastly different. It had a crispness that is usually not there, and a purity of tasted electric. I am completely willing to admit that might be in my imagination, and that the water is not ionized, but it certainly felt like I was drinking storm clouds. Clearly, I need to test this with other types of precipitation.
Look at those rings...I mean in the hail

On a completely serious note, if the start if the storm season (and new record for the earliest tornado in Missori's recorded history) is anything to go by, this spring is going to be a violent one. Luckily where I live in Kansas City is fairly unlikely to actually be hit by a tornado, the city's heat island usually causes them to drop to the east of us if they drop at all, the closest I have come is seeing plenty of rotation and the start of a funnel in the distance, it ended up dropping about 20 miles to the east so I was safe. The only damage we sustained was hail smashed crocuses and I got a bruised foot from a very well placed hail stone. Sadly, though, a lot of people are not, the EF3 that dropped on Monday did a lot of damage and it is being predicted that this will be one of the worst tornado seasons. So if you are feeling charitable, keep in mind the Red Cross is doing disaster relief and can use all the help they can get.
There is STILL hail in my yard

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