We trekked down to Iowa City to celebrate the engagement of my sister Wendy to her fiance, Andrew. Although both Wendy and Andrew live in Santa Monica, Andrew's folks still live there (he's originally from Iowa City) and they invited as many people from both sides of the family to come down for a late Sunday picnic and get together. It was the end cap to a busy weekend that saw us driving over to Carroll on Friday night to see my folks, as well as Andrew & Wendy, and also watching a boatload of Queer As Folk episodes with Jeff on Saturday.
Here's the happy couple. They are pretty damn cute.
I also snapped a couple of Anna, one in the back yard and one in a room at Andrew's parents' house that has been completely decked out in 50's malt shop decor.
I jokingly called it the "one stop malt shop, everything that I got." Their malt powder was raw.
We made the obligatory stop at The Java House to get St. Louis Blues au laits and picked up a pound of St. Louis Blues for home brewing even though I can never get it to taste as good at home. I wish the Java House would come to Ames, but it would probably give good old Cafe Diem a run for its money and I really, they're close enough. Anyway, the guy at the counter, upon finding out we were from Ames, told us to watch out for the storms that were headed this way.
We got back on the interstate and this is what we saw. (lower quality images as they are screen captured from videos we took)
That folks, is a good old fashioned Iowa wall cloud. We know how to do severe weather up right here. This is the kind of cloud that spawns tornadoes. We drove into it anyway (even though I wanted to wait it out).
I am always awestruck by severe weather like this during the summer. It, like Glinda, can come and go rather quickly, and it frequently does not live up to its billing. I have lived in Iowa for 37 years and have never once seen a real live tornado - not that I really want to. But when it does deliver what it promises, it can be some of the most frightening stuff you can see.
I thought about how these storms really are just a product of an energy cycle all out of whack, with the only way out a violent reaction that spits a lot of energy back out. If this is what nature does in response to out of whack energy, is it not all that surprising that our bodies would do the same thing?
Anyway, in spite of the thunderstorms, it was a great time. It is always good to see my sister and Andrew who are truly well matched and he fits into our family like he's been here all along.
This is the picture Anna drew of Andrew and Wendy on Friday. I love it.