I don’t know about you but it has been an interesting, atypical day weather-wise in my neck of the woods. April showers, funnel clouds, a small tornado, hail, thunder and lightning…a very interesting day here in the Central Valley indeed. We don’t usually get crazy-assed atmospheric conditions like these on a regular basis. But we do experience them enough to make us appreciate the fact that we don’t live in the Mid-West, the South or along the Eastern seaboard.
I can do without the funnel clouds and tornadoes (of any size); but give me a good thunder and lightning storm and…oh how it takes me back…I love thunderstorms. Of course my love is colored with the view of a child growing up in Pennsylvania. I don’t have the understanding of an adult who regularly weathers such volatile storms. I do remember my own Mommy Dearest being terrified of them. Perhaps that is why I don’t necessarily fear them. Mom hated thunderstorms. Her biggest fear was lightning…lightning somehow traveling through overhead telephone lines into our phone and electrocuting one of us unsuspecting while we were talking on the phone. She had a delightful friend who liked to call her during such storms knowing full well her fear. As for me, the rumbles though loud and sometimes close with the accompanied flashes across the sky were as exhilarating as a roller coaster ride. Such storms also often offered relief, albeit temporary, from the oppressive humidity that could be Western Pennsylvania summers.
It is the memory of my brothers and me playing in the rain during such storms as small children that made me smile while I waited in my car in the queue to pick up Jodie from school. The thunder was rumbling and rolling with lightning flashes following almost immediately. Pea-sized hail rained down on my car and brought a smile to my lips. I really do like storms like these. Of course I am safe and dry in my car so why not enjoy the sights and sounds all around me? It is then that I receive a text from Jodie telling me their dismissal time is being delayed due to lightning strikes in and around their campus. “No problem“, I text back. I smile again recalling Randy, Billy, some playmate whose name I can’t recall and myself running amuck during a storm just like this. It was so much fun, I smile as I remember…yes it was…until that moment where Randy and that other kid came so close to being struck by lightning…
I shake my head quickly back to reality.
What the fresh hell was wrong with us out there running around in an open cow pasture during a thunderstorm? No. Wait. What the hell was wrong with our parents letting us play outside like that? So while waiting for Jodie to be dismissed I quietly file this fond childhood memory with parents driving with me sitting in their lap or being tossed around with my siblings in the back of a pickup truck or being fed whole milk and honey while I was still a baby and on and on…
Still I smile remembering the sheer joy my brothers and I enjoyed dancing and prancing while getting soaked in those summer storms of our tender youth. Good times!