April 15, 2011: Our First Real Texas Hailstorm

Souder met me for a lunch meeting at La Cima today.

It took long enough but we finally got to experience it for ourselves.  It was a while after I got home from work (work was just a normal, long Friday.)  It was dark out and I was on the phone with Craig when the incoming thunderstorm suddenly became very, very noisy.  It didn’t take long to realize that the banging sound was not rain falling on to the house but hail – hail the size of quarters.

I know that hailstorms are like this pretty often in north Texas but it was something to be at home for the first real one to occur since we moved here.  This was pretty crazy.  We were pretty concerned about our cars that were sitting out in front of the house as the hail was pretty strong.  It was coming down so fast that within a few minutes the atrium was completely covered in ice.  I’ve never seen hail come down so fast and collect so much.  The entire lawn was covered in a layer of ice in no time at all.  Very strange.  And even though it was still pretty warm out the ice stayed for a long time.

After the hail stopped, started again and then finally stopped I went out to inspect the vehicles.  It looks like we survived our first big hail storm without any damage.  Thank goodness.  It is tough having a new car.  We would have been very upset if the Acadia had hail damage before even making it in for its very first oil change.

Speaking of cars – we are seriously contemplating the possibility of getting a new car to replace the ten year old Mazda.  The Mazda is still running fine but it needs a number of repairs, does not get the fuel efficiency of a new car, isn’t looking the best after many winters in New York, needs to be registered in Texas and does not have working air conditioning – even after having had it repaired.  So it is not as cheap as an old, paid off car might be and without working air conditioning it is nearly useless as an emergency backup car for a family with young children in Texas since we could nearly never safely take the children anywhere in that car.  So we are thinking about some alternative options.  The leading contenders are the Chevy Cruze Eco (42 mpg, six speed, small, cheap), the 2013 Chevy Malibu Eco (38 mpg, not available for a year or more, unknown price) and the GMC Terrain (32 mpg, large enough to replace the Acadia in day to day driving, more expensive.)  So we will see.

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