Friday, August 26, 2011

Up late at night...remembering...

When I was younger and some of my closest friends and I lived in the same neighborhood, we used to have silly parties and get-togethers in honor of fun and random things.  Like: it happened to be nine o'clock on a Sunday night and the lights were about to change to a blinking yellow light instead of a red/yellow/green one...or, it snowed four inches and school was out (even the local Chinese restaurant wouldn't open - "Snow too big!" they'd say)...or, the power was out for five days in the middle of a muggy Greensboro month of May, and we went to the manicure place (even though they had no electricity) so we could get our nails done before That Thing in The Spring (aka "Prom" at our very tiny private Classical Christian School).  Or, it was a late summer night, just before a thunderstorm, and we were sitting out on Carrie, Ginna and Lucy's back porch, giggling uproariously at who knows what (thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Clement for pretending not to hear us) and jumping a little when the loud thunder cracked, and I'd chuckle thinking about Mr. Clement's cautious reminder typed and taped to the phone: "do not use phone when lightning".

I'd always feel safe and well sheltered though, there in the city, tucked under the porch eaves, sitting on a rocking chair and feeling the cool air blow as the hard rain hit the hot pavement.  Here though, on top of this mountain, teetering on the Eastern Continental Divide, it feels a little different.  Almost like I'm closer to where the lightning meets the sky, instead of the other way around.

All this extreme weather has put me on alert lately (earthquakes?  hurricanes? terrible storms? it makes me wonder if we're going to take a trip soon), so it wasn't hard for George to get me out of bed tonight with his howling and whining right after a stormy downpour started.  He was freaking out because he was stuck in his kennel on the front porch, where I had put him for safekeeping since I neutered him yesterday.  Aaron Ray gave me a hard time today for complaining about having to leash train a dog at eight months old (imagine walking a 50 lb. yo-yo) just so I he doesn't run loose and bust open his incision.  My astute husband told me that if I didn't want to go through all this trouble, I shouldn't have neutered him...but I think I was right when I loftily informed him that, "this hardship lasts only a week, but castration lasts a lifetime."  Its a truth I feel deep in my heart.

At any rate.

I shuffled George into the dog/laundry room and gleefully went out on the porch to sit and watch the storm.

Let me tell was a rattle-your-insides, heart-in-your-throat, jump-out-of-your-skin, doozy of a storm.  Here, I've got a snippet for you (and yes, I thought of the "do not use phone when lightning" warning the whole four minutes I used my cellphone to video it):

(I don't think you'll be able to fully appreciate this cinematographic masterpiece unless your volume is turned all the way up...the storm was pretty loud.)

I mean what I say about everything feeling different around here, though.  Storms are not just a good excuse to stay up until two o'clock in the morning; in these mountains, cattle die under trees after being struck by lightning and vets have to go out and examine them for insurance claims.

My boss lost 26 cattle that had been struck under one tree in a storm not too long ago.
Heavy winds and hard rains can wipe out acres of those lovely amber waves of grain.

Photo Credit
Little lost momma cats turn up on doorsteps sopping wet with their baby kittens.

This place lives or dies by the weather, which is a hard truth for this city girl to learn sometimes.


  1. I literally burst out laughing when I read the line "Do not use phone when lightening"! I COMPLETELY forgot all about that! What happy memories on that back porch. Miss/love you!!

  2. aw michelle, i got warm fuzzies. and some cold pricklies. hope you guys are doing well. you know you now have 2 more reasons to visit raleigh! (3 if you include brian... jk. i was thinking of me and lola.) much love!

  3. Haha, Becca - Yes, I'm so glad you're home (just like Al and Brian's song says) and I'd just like you to know that my Canadian readership has completely disappeared since you moved. :) I'm so glad. :)