Tuesday, February 13, 2007


The wind changed directions this evening and began to blow out of the west. It had been overcast for most of the day but as the evening approached the clouds thinned out somewhat and you could see a hint of sunlight toward the horizon. I sat out on the back deck to enjoy the remains of the day. As darkness set in, I could feel the temperature drop slightly and felt moisture in the air. I heard the faint sound of thunder off in the distance and then suddenly my eighty-pound black Labrador Retriever was in my lap. He is fearless most of the time, but at the first sign of a thunderstorm he wants as close to me as possible....preferably under a blanket.
Thunderstorms are a remarkable force of nature. I remember when I was about thirteen, I went to a dance at the Dora National Guard Armory with my family. In retrospect I find this strange since neither my mom or my dad danced but I guess it was something to do on a warm and blustery March evening.
I began to hear the sound of thunder to the south so I went out on the portico to have a look. I was too young and foolish to fear the weather then so I sat there and watched lightening fork across the dark sky like the tongue of a mythical snake. Thunder seemed to roll on forever. Most of the lightening was cloud to cloud, but it struck somewhere behind the armory and I smelled something I had never experienced before. I now recognize the smell as ozone.
I began this blog in my office at my desk but a bolt of lightening hit too close and our power blinked and when the computer rebooted, the half written entry was gone. I know, all you computer people out there are saying "dang Rick why didn't you hit save now and then." I knew better but I did not so I fetched my laptop and retired to the screen porch and hooked up my portable recorder and recorded the rain, the thunder, and the sound of my wind chimes.
I imagine that long before, radio, stereos, T.V. and telephones, our forefathers spent hours contemplating the rain and the power of a thunderstorm.

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