Friday, June 6, 2014

Storms Never Last

"Stormy weather,
Just can't get my poor self together ..."

Anybody else notice how many storms we've had already? Severe storms. It's hard for me to complain because I've always liked a good thunderstorm. But it seems like they've come early and have been more fierce this year. We've been fortunate so far in our town. No big hail or damaging winds. But we can't seem to shake the trend of almost daily afternoon darkening skies, often leading to some heavy downpours and threatening winds. We do get an occasional respite. Like yesterday. It was sunny and 75. But now as I write this the clouds have gathered in a sinister plot to once again deny the sun its rightful and proper place of prominence in the summer sky. So it looks like another one day in a row, then back to what must be climate change because it's sure not global warming. Forecast says rain and highs only in the 50s or maybe low 60s for the weekend. That just doesn't seem right for June in South Dakota. Although, as I've already mentioned, it's not entirely a bad thing. Because with bothersome or disagreeable weather often comes some pretty good photo opportunities. Which suits me just fine.
It's also true that some of our most fun and exciting family times have been experienced in the grip of a raging storm. Like the time we were camping near Mt. Rushmore with our son, who was about 9 or 10 years old at the time, and a thunderstorm of near epic proportions moved in so quickly it caught most everyone totally unprepared. Most everyone but us that is. We were skilled campers. We had pitched our tent on a very slight incline and driven the stakes deep into the ground when setting up, and even carved out a shallow trench around our tent to divert the water around it in the event of rain. And, oh, did it rain! There was also some of the most intense lightning and thunder we had ever  experienced. We were huddled together inside that little tent, dry and cozy, while the storm raged outside. It was awesome! We still talk about that night and how much fun it was to "beat the devil."
Some storms, however, have not provided such good memories. There was one a few years ago that sent us scurrying into the crawl space under our house to escape the high winds and huge hailstones crashing through our windows. That was scary. So, I guess the quote by Forrest Gump about a box of chocolates could also apply to summer storms... "You never know what you're going to get."  
One other thing - have you ever seen the tree pollen as thick as it is this year? It's crazy. I snapped a picture one afternoon a few days ago because I couldn't believe what I was seeing off in the distance. The pollen was so thick in the air it looked like a pale yellow fog rolling through the trees. It was kind of creepy.
If there was a time before when it was this bad I don't remember it. The rain started just a few minutes after I took the photo and knocked it all down, but for a while it was quite a sight.  
As I look out the window now from my desk I see the sun has lost another battle against the clouds. Guess I'll load some fresh tunes into my playlist for the drive to work, and take some comfort in the fact that, just like storms in life, storms outside never last either. Now I just need to decide which version of Stormy Weather to include. Billie Holiday or Lena Horne? Actually, I'm going with the Etta James version. I like that one the best. I might even turn it up real loud and sing along. I don't even care if someone is watching, as long as they can't hear me. That would be one box of chocolates no one would want to get.

Roger O'Dea   06/06/2014

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