Thursday, July 25, 2013

There's Nothing Like...

...a good late afternoon thunderstorm. We had one yesterday. It thundered and rumbled overhead for over an hour and a half, and I was in heaven.

I've always loved a storm, ever since I was a little girl and my siblings would all run to Mom at every crack of thunder and flash of lightening. I don't know why they've never scared me. But instead of fear, I feel invigorated and alive when nature is giving us its worst.

Now, don't get me wrong. I've lived in North Texas all of my life other than one year spent in Alaska. I know the power and destruction these storms can have. When the clouds turn from dark gray or black to an off-greenish color, I know that means tornadoes are possible. I've seen (and felt) the damage done by hail. Even just strong winds can rip tree branches from the trunks, or even nearly uproot them from the ground. Only a few blocks from my house is an example of that . . . an old, gnarled tree that was ripped in two, straight down the middle of the trunk. One half still stands, but the other half has been on its side for as long as I can remember.

When I see the warning signs of imminent threat, I know to take cover.

But as long as it is just a powerful storm, but not a life-threatening storm? I want to experience it.

I'm one of those crazy people that would rather go for a walk in a thunderstorm than on a clear, sunny day. I like to feel the rain pounding down on my head and taste the electricity in the air and feel the rumbles of thunder rolling along under my feet.

Thunderstorms make me feel alive like little else in the world can.

So color me surprised when, during that year I lived in Alaska, I discovered that I could live there for years and likely never experience a thunderstorm. Most of the people I worked with while I was there had never seen lightening or heard thunder, other than on TV or in movies.

Apparently it doesn't get warm enough for the atmospheric change necessary to produce a thunderstorm up there.

Oh, sure. It rained. It rained a lot. Sometimes it rained really hard.

But there wasn't that sudden drop of temperature, that rush of wind coming up next to you, that fresh smell of rain-soaked clouds billowing overhead, that sense of excitement that comes with the first deafening crack that rents through the sky.

There was just rain.

More than my family, more than my friends, more than streets and stores I was familiar with, the thing I was most excited about when I came back home to Texas was thunderstorms.

Do you love a good storm? Or is there something else you love, which the rest of the world might think you crazy for loving?

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