Thursday, August 4, 2011


My mom was a huge fan of thunderstorms. This is genetic. Runs in my family like hair or eye color. She got it from her mom, who got it from her dad, and so on. Mom used to light up when the clouds would cover and get all excited. As soon as a rumble of thunder could be heard, she'd have us outside on the porch watching it. We'd count in between the lightning strike and the thunder's sound to judge the distance of the storm, tally our counts of lightning, and get soaked once the rain fell.

Thunderstorms are like the fireworks on the Fourth of July, except better because your best seat for viewing is anywhere and there are never any crowds.

I do this with my kids now. As soon as the sky turns a funky shade, we're running out barefoot, armed with the camera. We snap pictures of the clouds rolling in until they're above us and threatening, then race back inside. We keep the sliding glass door open, and line the floor with towels to catch the rain, then stand at attention and wait for the action. The louder the thunder, the better. That growl that grows into an explosion gets our cheers. The crack of the lightning, the kind that makes us jump, receives shouts of "Awesome!"

Life is little celebrations.

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