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Welcome to Thinking Out Loud, a blog that contains postings from The Tampa Tribune’s Editorial Board and from various Tribune Community Columnists. Unlike the unsigned editorials that represent the newspaper’s institutional voice, the blog postings offer personal perspectives on the issues, personalities and events of Tampa Bay. We invite you to participate by posting your comments. We’ll do our best to respond.

Contributors:
Joe Guidry

Joe Guidry is the deputy editorial page editor of The Tampa Tribune. He is a Tampa native and a graduate of the University of South Florida. He is married and has an adult son.


Jeff Stidham

Jeff Stidham grew up and lives in Bartow. He has been with the Tribune for nearly 22 years, the last 10 on the editorial board.


William Yelverton

William Yelverton is a Tribune editorial writer who has worked for the paper nearly 22 years. He lives in the Dade City area.


Jim Beamguard

Jim Beamguard is a Tribune editorial writer. He is a native of North Carolina and a graduate of Davidson College. He and his family live in Brandon.


Jackie Papandrew:

Jackie Papandrew is a freelance writer and editor. Her syndicated humor column appears in publications in the United States, Canada and India. She lives in Largo with her husband and children. Visit her website at www.jackiepapandrew.com.


Camille Beredjick

Camille Beredjick is a senior at Chamberlain High School, an avid musician and a scribbler with a quirky sense of humor. In the fall, she will be attending Northwestern University to study journalism, political science and music, and she plans to pursue a career in journalism.


Jim Harnish

Jim Harnish is in his 17th year as Senior Pastor at Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Tampa. He and his wife, Marsha, have two daughters and two grandchildren. He is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary and received the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Bethune-Cookman University. He is the author of six books and numerous articles and studies. He enjoys playing with his grandchildren and cheering for the Florida Gators.


Angela Hunt

Angela Hunt is a novelist living in Pinellas County with her husband and two 220-pound mastiffs.


Sheryl Young

Sheryl Young was a Tampa Tribune Community Columnist in 2005-2006. A freelance writer since 1997, including the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Tampa Style Magazines, St. Pete Times and nationally in Better Nutrition, Today’s Christian Woman and more. She’s received a First Place Amy Foundation national "Roaring Lambs" Writing Award, and has lived in Tampa Bay with her family for over 20 years.


Christie Gold

Christie Gold teaches English and journalism at Freedom High School in Tampa where she advises Revolution, the school newspaper. She has been both the Hillsborough County Teacher of the Year and Florida Journalism Teacher of the Year. She lives on a small farm in Wesley Chapel where she trains as a competitive equestrian.


Natalie D. Preston

Natalie D. Preston is a karaoke singing, only-child pouting, Seminole Tomahawk waving, newlywed bride blushing, 50-state traveling, girlie girl who loves to shop, read, run and jump up and down on her soapbox.


Fernando Figueroa

Fernando Figueroa is a researcher, educator and lives in Riverview.


Gary Beemer

Interests include humor, politics, economics, community and world affairs, finance, people, religion, music, sports, current events, the arts and education.


Nicole Yunger Halpern

Nicole Yunger Halpern is an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, where she studies everything she can get her nerdy little hands on. Desired major: life. No, not necessarily biology. Life.


Kris DiGiovanni

Kris DiGiovanni is a Tribune Community Columnist, Huffington Post contributor, Daily Kos diarist, and teacher, who recently moved from NW Hillsborough to another planet - a small beach community in Pinellas County. She also blogs at www.sandscript.wordpress.com


H. David Braswell Jr.

H. David Braswell Jr. is an Information Systems Professional. He is a native New Yorker and a lifelong NY Giants fan. He attended college in California (Cal State Northridge) and moved to Tampa in 1998.


Sean Marcus

Sean Marcus teaches creative writing, journalism and reading at Chamberlain High School. He has one son and is expecting a daughter in early March. He can be reached at wuizabug@gmail.com


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Singin’ in the Hail

Posted May 19, 2012 by Nicole Yunger Halpern

Updated May 19, 2012 at 03:20 PM

Lancaster, the UK city whose dialect flummoxed me last December, hailed on me this evening.


Hoping to admire the sunset, I sallied forth from work into a driving wind. The wind pummeled me with hailstones like a middle-school bully with taunts. Though I’ll keep suppressing my memories of middle-school taunts, I didn’t mind the hail. Because you know what helps one appreciate hail?


Near-freezing rain. Which Lancaster dumped on me this morning.


Hoping to taste the fresh air, I sallied forth from home into a downpour. The downpour pounded my umbrella like a real-estate agent pounding a physicist at Monopoly. Though I avoid challenging real-estate agents to Monopoly, I didn’t mind the downpour. Because who needs sunshine when sampling a potpourri of precipitations?


Growing up in Florida, I encountered no precipitation less mundane than rain. And Florida Humidity, which has enough body to earn it not only precipitation status, but also capitalization and a Social Security Number. The hailstorm that punctuated my childhood lasted twenty minutes. Having pirouetted through a ballet class during the spectacle, I regretted missing it.


Regret needles me no longer. Lancaster offers not only mundane rain and humidity—not only near-freezing rain and hail—but also freezing rain and Insta-Melt Snow (“Solid enough to arouse snow-angel dreams, but melts on contact!”).


Not converted to the cult of cloudiness? Consider my bedroom window. That window doesn’t face westward. But if it did, you might ask, “Do you enjoy watching the sun set?” I’d reply, “I can’t watch the sun set, because clouds cover the sun. But what clouds they are! What rain they promise! What a feast for the eyes, the ears, the skin, the sweatshirt pressed into rain-jacket duty!”


Perhaps I celebrate rain to console myself. When Google offered me buttons purported to change the weather this April Fools’ Day, I growled, “Don’t tempt me.” But we’re told, if life hands you lemons, make lemonade. If the sky hands you rain, start singin’ in it. If I hand you an umbrella as a souvenir from Lancaster, you’ll understand why.


If I hand you an umbrella, moreover, thank me for not bringing one souvenir more characteristic of Lancaster: near-freezing rain.


The author wrote this article approximately one month ago. Though May hasn’t hailed on her (yet), it prohibits her from leaving home sans hat, scarf, gloves, coat, and at least one sweater.




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