Posted tagged ‘thunder and lightning’

“He slides into second with a stand up double.”

February 12, 2018

The rain started yesterday morning and continued into this morning. It was at times gentle and at other times fierce torrents. Puddles formed in the lower parts of some roads. The cars in front of me alerted me to the puddles and I drove slowly. One puddle was so high it was almost up to the top of my tires. The cape has no sewer systems so the rain has nowhere to go. Yesterday afternoon I had to brave the deluge and run to my car. I got soaked. I sat there just a bit when all of a sudden there was a clap of thunder and a bolt of lightning. I love thunder storms

Last night the wind was tremendous, and the rain pounded my roof. Had I been Noah, I would have hoped the ark was ready.

I did go to the dump yesterday during a lull from the heavy rain; however, as my luck would have it, the rain started just as I got to the first recycle bin. But the guy there told me to stay in my car, and I did. Next stop was the trash bins. I unloaded my trunk and asked the guy there to throw them in the bins as the bags were too heavy for me to do that. Why were they too heavy you might ask. I have the answer.

Almost two weeks ago I slid out my door and fell. I used my right hand to brace myself when my left foot went sliding. I sat on the step a while until my leg and my hand mostly stopped hurting. Well, they never really did stop hurting. Sleeping has been intermittent. The pain from movement wakes me up as do my own groans. It took a couple of days before I could use my hand. The swelling mostly went down. The problem was I couldn’t lift any thing with that hand, and I had to find a comfortable position so it didn’t hurt. Saturday and Sunday my hand was so painful I decided to have it checked. I went to Urgent Care where I had x-rays. I have a fracture. That totally surprised me. The doctor wants me to see an ortho in case I need surgery. My hand is now encased in one of those velcro sorts of casts. I’ll call my doctor for a referral.

This is the first time I ever remember sliding. I am the falling sort. I guess I have falling down pat as I haven’t ever been hurt. Now I’ll have to work on sliding.

“When I die,’ I said to my friend, ‘I’m not going to be embalmed. I’m going to be dipped.’ Milk chocolate or bittersweet was the immediate concern.”

August 6, 2016

Last night I watched the end of the opening ceremonies and the last few innings of the Red Sox game so I was up until quite late. By then the house had begun to feel sticky and close so I turned on the air conditioner. It was a delight to fall asleep in the cool air of the house.

Today has quite a breeze and is sunny, but rain is due late this afternoon. There may even be thunder and lightning so I’m going to hunker down. Tonight’s movie on the deck is postponed. If I were in Accra, Ghana, rain wouldn’t matter. I remember sitting and watching Is Paris Burning? when it started to rain. We all just picked up our chairs and moved them under the overhangs along the sides of the theater. The movie continued.

I don’t love spaghetti all that much. It is just too much work spinning it on the spoon with the fork, making sure I don’t look silly eating it and quickly wiping the sauce off my cheeks from the flying end of the spaghetti. I do like pasta especially ziti and penne, but I don’t ever make it at home. I think pasta is seldom just for one person. It is a crowd food.

Chocolate chip cookies are comfort food. My mother made them often though never often enough. She made special cookies at Christmas, but chocolate chip cookies were for any time. I loved them hot from the oven when the chocolate was still runny. I have made all different sorts of chocolate chip cookies. Some were made with macadamia nuts instead of walnuts. In others chocolate chunks took the place of chips. I’ve even tried mint chips, but I didn’t like them all that much, the same with butterscotch. I learned you don’t mess with the chocolate. It’s almost a holy food.

The sun has already disappeared behind grey clouds making the day a bit darker. I really think rain is coming, finally.

“Oreos come in packages. Otherwise known as a gift. Cherish it.”

July 2, 2016

My wish was granted. Last night it was a mighty storm. The thunder started way off with small rumblings then it got closer and louder. The lightning lit up the room. One thunder clap was right over my house. All three animals looked up as if the roof was falling. Mother Nature celebrated the 4th just a bit early, and her display was spectacular.

The air is cool this morning with a slight breeze, but the humidity will return later. I have opened all the windows. This room, my den, is always wonderfully dark and cool in the morning as the sun doesn’t hit it until the afternoon.

My mother always put the shades down all summer. She said it kept the house cool. She also made a pitcher of Zarex most days and left it in the fridge, but she hated it when we opened the fridge door as we generally stood there by the door to check out the fridge. She said we were letting the cold out.

Weekdays in the summer we entertained ourselves. We’d bike ride totally mindless of the heat or we’d spend the day at the park on the field across from the bottom of my street. On those days we’d go home for lunch which was always a sandwich, usually bologna. I don’t even remember what other cold cuts my mother bought. To my sandwich I’d add hot peppers which I had cut in half. Mustard was my condiment of choice; of course, it was always yellow mustard. The bread was always white. I don’t remember any specific dessert, but my guess is it was Oreos, a wonderfully portable dessert. I still love my Oreos, but once I went crazy and bought peanut butter Oreos. They were pretty good though really what’s not to like about peanut butter, but I’m a traditionalist prone to buy the original though double-stuffed is always tempting.

“Sometimes it’s easy to forget how much you miss people until you see them again.”

August 16, 2015

Last night was my 50th reunion from high school, the high school from which I didn’t graduate though I went there for three years. Before my senior year, my parents kidnapped me and forced me to move to the cape ( that’s how I first felt back then). Friends I hadn’t seen since my junior year in high school went looking for me so I could attend, and they found me on Facebook. The whole evening was great fun. They even gave me a diploma, a real one from way back in time. It was signed by Sister Melania, the principal at the time. The signature is pure nun which I can’t really explain, but if you saw it, you’d understand.

The drive home, a two-hour ride, was unbelievable. The thunder rolled and lightning lit up the sky. I swear I saw the lightning dance. It looked like the jitterbug with the arms and legs of both dancers moving in tandem. Another series of lightning bolts looked like the God and Adam in the Sistine Chapel with fingers extended but not touching. Some bolts reached from the heavens to the earth. It was spectacular.

The rain storm was something else. It was raining so hard I slowed to a walk. The backwash from trucks made it almost impossible to see so I followed the red lights of cars in front of me and hoped for the best. The rain stayed with me but became a windshield wiper storm, and I could see the road and cars again. I drove in and out of the rain until about Plymouth when it just stopped. I don’t know if the cape got any rain as the road was totally dry. It took me about two hours to get home.

I am sitting in my air-conditioned house. I was taken aback by the heat when I got the papers. It will be in the 80’s all week. I do not suffer heat well. The young me did, but this me prefers to be comfortable. I think getting older should have some perks and being cool on a hot day is one of them. I do have a long list of the rest of the perks but most of them are unlikely.  Having someone cater to my every whim probably won’t happen, but I’ll not cross it off the list just in case.

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

November 18, 2014

Last night it poured and peals of thunder and bolts of lightning added drama. The thunder rumbled at first then kept getting closer until one cracked overhead and rattled the house, but that was the final act, thunder’s last hurrah. After that, the rain fell for a bit then it too disappeared. Today is colder than yesterday and will get colder still. Tonight will be in the low 20’s. It’s time to pull out the flannels.

Gracie is nine today. She is celebrating her birthday with a nap on the couch and some loud snoring. Tonight she’ll have a hamburger, no ketchup but maybe some cheese.

It is so quiet around here. No cars pass down the street, the kids are in school and for once no dogs are barking back and forth. The wind is strong but it is a quiet wind with no whooshing, no train sounds like the heavy winds bring. The trunks of the trees are steady and only their leaves are blowing.

I loved walking home from school and watching the wind blow the leaves on the sidewalk. Sometimes the leaves blew in a small whirling pool, an eddy of yellow. I’d always stop to watch. It was a bit of magic as if a magician had pointed his wand and told the leaves to dance.

The fall is passing so very quickly. Crisp days are turning cold. Not long ago the leaves were ablaze with color. Brown is now their only color. Yesterday I was sitting on the deck on a very cold wooden chair waiting for the red spawn to return. As I sat there, I saw single brown leaves falling slowly to the ground from one tree and another then another. The leaves fluttered the way snowflakes sometimes do. I watched a while until I got too cold. The spawn didn’t return, but I didn’t care. I got to watch the leaves.

“A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule.”

October 23, 2014

The visit was spectacular. We laughed and reminisced. We ate the great food Peg brought and I had made. We went up Cape sightseeing, stopped at the Coast Guard Museum, the Old Jail and in Sandwich for lunch. The weather cooperated, and we missed rain everywhere. They left yesterday afternoon and the house got too quiet. I miss them. Gracie does too. She loved her walks with Bill.

We always easily connect. I think it is the friendship of years and the experience we shared in Ghana. The other night we listened to a song called Poop in a Hole about being a Peace Corps volunteer. The country wasn’t Ghana, but it didn’t matter. It was a universal experience we all accepted and mastered. The three of us laughed several times. I have no other close friends who would think that song funny, gross maybe, but not funny. Bill, Peg and I are experts at pooping in a hole.

Last night the rainstorm and the wind were tremendous. As I was going to bed, I saw lightning through the windows on the front door. The thunder was next. It was loud and it rumbled often. The rain was heavy and I could hear it hitting the windows and the roof. When I woke up this morning, it was sunny, but now it is cloudy again. It is warmer than I expected.

Pine needles cover my grass. They are all brown and would have fallen eventually but they were rushed by the wind. For some people on the Cape, pine needles are their front lawns. They buy and spread them mostly at seasonal homes. Crushed white sea shells too act as lawns. When I was young, there were very few lawns. Keeping them healthy and green was just too much trouble. The house I lived in had a weedy front yard so it was a lawn of sorts, the same with the back. I don’t know remember when grass reared its ugly head and having a beautiful lawn became a matter of pride. It was like importing suburbia. I do have a beautiful lawn now, but I also have a landscaper who takes care of it. I write a check and take compliments on how green and lush my lawn is: that’s my only contribution.

“Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day. It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken.”

September 1, 2014

Last night around midnight I was in bed watching a movie on my iPad when all of a sudden the room lit up. That was the beginning of the thunder and lightning and the torrential rain. The thunder was loud and long-lasting. The rain was so heavy I could hear the drops plunking my air conditioner in a constant rat-a-tat. I got out of bed to look out the window at the storm. I watched for a long while. The wind was whipping the oak branches back and forth and the backlash from the rain hitting the overhang came in the window. I didn’t mind. The storm was exhilarating.

Today is humid and ugly. It is an August day, the sort we usually suffer through each summer but not this year when August days, weather defined, have been noticeably missing. The sun managed to break through for a short time earlier but disappeared and left behind a cloudy, darkish day. It is very still and quiet.

Labor Day was always the last day of summer vacation when I was a kid. It meant a week day bath, setting out my new clothes and arranging the supplies in my school bag. The arranging took the most time as I would put the supplies in then take them out to look at them then put them back in a different arrangement. My mother would put our new lunch boxes on the counter and have them open and ready for packing in the morning. She made us go to bed earlier than we had all summer, but we didn’t fall asleep any earlier. I remember lying in bed thinking about the next day. I was excited about school starting.

My mother woke us up, and we were grumpy because of the early hour. She made us eat breakfast first then we got dressed, grabbed our book bags and lunch boxes and left for school. My friend Michelle and I always walked together. We were a little anxious getting to school on that first morning, but the nervousness wore off quickly because every day after that was always the same. The only thing that changed was my sandwich and the dessert.

“It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done.”

July 8, 2014

The breeze is just about gone, pushed aside by the humidity. We will be in the 80’s today while Boston will suffer in the low 90’s. Sitting on the deck under the umbrella surrounded by trees seems a perfect spot to spend the day. After my errand, that’s where I’ll plunk myself with a book and music to sweeten the day.

Both my sisters had extreme weather yesterday. In Colorado there was rain, wind and hail. My sister said the sky got so dark they knew the hail was coming followed by the rain, a deluge. My other sister who lives outside of Boston got tremendous thunder and lightning. She was outside watching when a bolt hit close, and she realized how silly it was to be out there, but lightning is so amazing it seems to draw us to watch. I remember the same realization hitting me when I was in Ghana. It was the start of the rainy season when thunder and lightning herald tremendous rain storms. I was outside in the front of my house on the porch under a roof covered in tin. Lightning struck the ground in front of me, and I decided I best get inside before the roof attracts a bolt of lightning. I had to be happy with a window view.

Deluge was one of my mother’s weather words. It didn’t rain cats and dogs. It was a deluge. Spitting rain was another, and I always knew what she meant. It was too cold to snow she’d tell us, and I believed her never having given thought to the Arctic filled with snow and fatally low temperatures. I was an adult before I realized snow could come regardless of the temperature.

My mother used to play a game with us called Jack and Jill. She would attach a band of paper on one finger of each hand, the same finger on both hands, and place only those fingers on the edge of the table. She would say, “Go away, Jack,” and raise her hand in the air then bring it back down and put the finger on the table again. Jack, the band of paper, was always gone. She’d do the same with her other hand and finger. This time it was Jill who disappeared. We would look under the table on the floor, behind my mother on the floor and on her lap. We never found Jack or Jill. My mother would then say, “Come back, Jack,” and raise her hand again. Jack always came back. She’d do the same with the other finger and Jill would come back. I was aways in awe of my mother and her magic trick. I’d ask her to teach me, and she’d say when I was older, but she didn’t need to teach me. She knew when I was older I’d figure it out for myself and I did. In my mind’s eye I can see my mother with her fingers on the table and my brother and me watching and hoping to catch Jack and Jill. Never finding them made me love that trick even more. My mother was magical.

“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”

February 22, 2014

Usually Gracie is having her morning nap around this time but not today. The weather is beautiful, bright and warm. Gracie has been running in the yard almost since we both woke up. She comes in to look out the front door then goes back outside. She is one smart dog who knows to take advantage of a good thing when she sees it. Like Gracie, it is a day for me to be out somewhere, and I don’t think it matters where. I’ll lower the window and breathe in all the fresh air I can. I want to smell spring in the air.

Last night we had a spectacular rainstorm with thunder and lightning. I was in bed reading when it started. I loved it. Gracie, however, didn’t stir, didn’t even notice. Storms mean nothing to her.

The deck is now almost totally cleared of snow as is the backyard. Plow piles are still on corners but they are smaller and look the worse for the rain and the dirt from the road. I always wonder why the plows put those piles on the corners when right beside the corners might work just as well. If they do it so we can’t see oncoming cars, they succeed masterfully. 

Today is bike riding weather. I would maneuver mine out of the cellar, up the steep stairs, ride down the sacred grass hill and take off down the street. Maybe I’d be lucky and have a dime in my pocket, plenty of money for a couple of candy bars or lots of penny candy. I’d wear a jacket instead of a winter coat and hope not to be noticed by my mother who would demand a warmer coat, hat and mittens. One warm day does not spring make according to the Mother’s Creed to which they all adhered. I would have headed toward the field close to my house to check out the horses or to the farm at the other end of town to see the dairy cows. My town also had a barn behind the town hall where horses were kept. It had and still has a zoo. Next to the zoo was a barn filled with stalls and MDC police horses. I’d ride most of the day. There was so much to see. Finally I’d get hungry and cold and ready to go home. The bike went back into the cellar until the next warm day when I could resume my world travels.

“Once the rain starts falling it’s hard to tell it to stop…”

June 3, 2013

Last night it was a mighty storm. I saw the lightning then came the thunder, booming thunder getting closer and closer until it was over my house shaking the rafters. I fell asleep to that rain, but it was gone when I woke up. In its place was a dark, quiet day, the sort you sometimes get after a storm when all the sounds had been used up by the rain. Right now, though, the rain has started again, and I can hear the drops falling steadily on the trees and the deck. It will be around all day into tonight. The sun will be back tomorrow.

The rain makes me want to do little or nothing today, but my mood is neither lethargic nor somber. It is from the quiet and the darkness. Rain muffles all sounds except its own. My room is dark lit only by the computer screen. The window is wide open, and I have heard the progression of the rain. It started with a few small drops but is now the heaviest of rains. I have no gutters on my house so nearest the windows the rain falls in a sheet from the roof. No shopping for plants today, no planting flowers today.

Gracie is asleep in her crate. Fern is asleep on my bed and Maddie is in here with me sleeping on her chair. Animals know how to be cozy on a rainy day.

When I think of Ghana, I remember the smells and colors. My favorite of all is the aroma of wood charcoal burning. In my mind’s eye, I can still see smoke rising from the compounds behind my house when small charcoal burners were lit in the early mornings. My own burner was small and held only a single pan. First the charcoal was started. Thomas cooked for me and he’d squat in front of the burner fanning with a reed fan. When it was time for breakfast, he’d first boil the water for my coffee, my instant coffee, then the eggs and bread were cooked at the same time. The bread was leaned against the side to make toast. The eggs were cooked in groundnut oil, peanut oil, which gave them the best flavor of any eggs. I think breakfast was my favorite meal.

When I bought my first grill for this house, I never bought briquets; instead, I always bought wood charcoal. I used to sit outside on my little farmer’s deck not only to mind the grill but also to smell that charcoal burning and to remember and relive in a small way those mornings in Ghana.