Thursday, June 23, 2005

Nature's Show

I was in the kitchen preparing dinner while the kids were in the family room playing early yesterday evening when nature decided our warm summer day needed a little more excitement. The clouds thickened and the sky grew dark. Rumbles of thunder sounded in the distance. Suddenly, a few minutes later, the unstable atmosphere conspired with the moisture-rich air to let loose a torrent of summer rain.

The kids ran to the open screen door and peered wide-eyed as the sheets of rain soaked the earth. I came over to join them and decided maybe we'd just take a few minutes and enjoy the storm. I slid the door open and we ventured out onto the deck, which though open-sided has a roof. Suddenly, the sound of the heavy rain pelting the roof intensified and little balls of ice began bouncing all over the floor of the deck. The kids were delighted, and terribly excited, never having seen hail up close. They scampered over the deck and collected pieces of the BB-sized hail even as each clap of thunder made them jump.

They each collected a handful of the rapidly melting ice before the frequency and intensity of the lightning strikes started to make me a bit nervous. I decided we better observe the rest of the storm from the inside of the house. It was quite a spectacular show and lasted about half an hour. Afterwards, as the sky began to clear, we went back outside. We took deep breaths, and enjoyed that perfect, clean, just-rained smell. Then it was time for dinner.

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