I hope your holiday time with family and friends went off without a hitch, but I know for many of you, it didn’t.  Despite all our plans, 2022 is closing out with a heavy dose of the unexpected.

Some of it comes from Mother Nature – in the form of King Tides that broke local records.  As a guy who checks my TideGraphPro app regularly, I was still surprised at just how high this week’s tides were.  A combination of phenomena contributed but we saw amazing images: the Gig Harbor lighthouse entirely surrounded by water, the Purdy Market flooded, the Narrows rolling over the road on Day Island – and jellyfish swimming down the streets of Olympia!  Thankfully, our emergency responders were there to support those who needed help to safely recover.

We all know traveling in the winter can be challenging, but the storms this year took it to an unexpected level.  I know many holiday celebrations that were disrupted by closed passes or cancelled flights.  The rental car marathon trips may become a thing of lore for some families as people rallied in the face of adversity.  I headed to SeaTac on Thursday night to pick up my son and his fiancé for a belated celebration.

Personally, I was particularly frustrated for those in Graham whose festivities were disrupted by the loss of power caused by the actions of some Grinch.  Our Sheriff’s Department is working closely with Puget Sound Energy, Tacoma Public Utilities, and others to hold those responsible accountable and keep our power secure.

On the positive side, a significant windstorm was expected on Tuesday night, and I was concerned about widespread power outages.  Our Department of Emergency Management and Planning & Public Works teams were ready but, fortunately, the severe winds were not nearly as bad as predicted.

This week, my Tuesday afternoon had a wonderful dose of the unexpected.  You may recall last week I shared about the generosity of our community, including our clothing drive for Ukrainian refugees.  Carolers from the Slavic Christian Center showed up in the Executive Office to say thank you.  They serenaded members of the Executive and Communications teams with seasonal songs, both in English and Ukrainian.

As I close out this blog, there’s one more unexpected turn of events to mention.  Who would have thought at the beginning of football season that a new coach with a new quarterback at the University of Washington would produce an 11 – 2 record and win the Alamo Bowl last night?  After reversing the dismal 4 – 8 season the previous year, the tremendous turnaround sets up many expectations for the Huskies in the year ahead!

Photo courtesy of the Daily News

I hope your 2022 closes as “expected,” and I look forward to our work together in 2023!