We've had some violent thunder storms with swirling winds passing through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia over the past few days. The meteorologists described the phenomenon as a derecho – a weather event that is allegedly typical to the midwest. I'm from Indiana – which is smack dab in the middle of the midwest and nobody I know has ever heard of a derecho. Neither had anybody else I've queried. In my neck of the woods we always called them....thunderstorms....
I remember when I was a kid how wonderful it was to sit on the front porch with my dad while the rain poured, the winds whirled, the thunder roared and the lightning flashed in the distance. Dad alway said the thunder was from the angels bowling in heaven. Sitting on the porch with my dad I always felt safe; and there was nothing fresher than the smell of the air during a drenching rain storm.
Over the years I forgot about those idyllic evenings on the porch, listening to and smelling those midwestern thunderstorms. We embraced the storms as long as there was no siren warning us to retreat to the basement with our transistor radios hoping the tornado would pass us by.
I was able to relive to a small degree of that wonderful feeling this past Friday evening when the derecho passed by. The Shenandoah Valley does not get much in the way of thunderstorms. And my trip home from downtown Winchester, where I had enjoyed a delightful evening of Boga (a topic for another entry), was a bit treacherous – as I was caught in a whirlwind with a strange yellow light and an abundance of straw enveloping the car to the point I couldn't see and had to stop on the road. But, with relief I made it home safely and the rain started after I made it to the house. So it was with absolute delight that my husband and I sat on the front porch with the cats, of course, safely inside the house, watching, listening and smelling the forces of nature around us. There was something magical about feeling the power of the universe surround us in the midst of a storm.
We were lucky. Unlike many friends, we survived the storm with power.....but maybe it was because we embraced nature and celebrated the strikes those angels made while bowling.
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