Typically my wife, my kids, and I take a vacation trip to North Carolina to visit family. This year we did the 1300+ mile road trip version, and if let me tell you, that's a LONG time to be on I-40. It was worth every second though. For the second year in a row we avoided at least one week of the blazing hot summers here in Oklahoma courtesy of devastating droughts and monster domes of high pressure. Our vacation this year was especially timely because we managed to plan our vacation during the hottest week of the summer. (remember the 112, 112, and 113 degree days in OKC?) While we were enjoying 80s and 90s with occasional thunderstorms on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I occasionally caught tweets and facebook posts of the crazy heat back home.
I did my best to not post too much because it quickly became apparent that my posts were not exactly what my fellow Oklahomans wanted to hear. The shoe has been on the other foot though. A few years ago we went in June and ended up with record breaking heat nearly the whole time. I remember taking my oldest son, who was 5 at the time, to an Atlanta Braves baseball game in the middle of the afternoon. We lasted about 4 innings as I recall. I also took him to an air show at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point near New Bern, NC. Many people were treated for heat related illnesses as temperatures soared into the triple digits on the tarmac with ridiculous humidity. Unfortunately that's usually how summer works in the U.S. When one part of the country is baking, the other is most likely experiencing storms and mild weather. We like our chances being near the ocean, so I have no doubt we'll be headed back.
The day we left to come home I started hearing about the devastating wildfires going on here. I wondered to myself how terrifying it must have been to be near Luther, or south of Norman, or near Mannford, or near any one of the raging infernos that were keeping our firefighters so busy. I saw a facebook friend post pictures that were sent to her by friends of the charred remains of her home as she watched helpless from Minnesota. She had an amazing peace and wonderful perspective through it all. It was a tough way to end a spectacular vacation, but a great reminder of the Oklahoma spirit! Hopefully our pattern of back-to-back droughts will end soon, and we can all enjoy the beautiful summer that North Carolina usually offers us this time of year.