Little Miss African Violet decided to make an appearance. It is a rather rare event when she does so. She takes her time and we wait ever so patiently for her. Maybe she wanted to see what all the commotion was about.
Because, when last I wrote, I was calmly anticipating an upcoming shower and saying, "a summer rain is the very best kind of rain" (and it usually is), but little did I know that we would have a deluge of nearly three inches of rain in less than four hours, topping all previous records, with thunder that shook the house, rattled the windows in their frames and made our teeth chatter.
And that lightening strikes would split trees and sizzle electrical panels cutting power to thousands of people in the surrounding areas. Or that storm drains would overflow and streets would flood, that sewage would spill into creeks and rivers causing contamination warnings. Oh dear.
I was not expecting that.
In fact, we were just carrying on as usual here, not even realizing how bad things were getting and about to drive up to the barn for Ginger's riding lesson, when all of a sudden a tremendous crack exploded in the sky, forcing us to stop in our tracks and rethink that plan.
Once I'd gathered my wits about me and unpried both hands (which were clinging for dear life to the wooden stairposts), I went to check on the local 'emergency broadcast warning system' for storm updates. Hmmm. Didn't seem to be any, so we climbed into the car and began driving up the narrow, twisting well-worn mountain road; rain beating down, windshield wipers slapping, lightening flashes and rumbles of thunder in the distance.
By the time we arrived at the barn though, the horses were freaked out and restless and in no mood for fun and games. Who could blame them? Animals know. We decided to follow their lead, and went back to the safety of our home. And not a moment too soon.
The sky went dark and started popping and cracking like the fourth of July. Barrels of rain poured down, our "creek" went from zero to warp speed in seconds as water cascaded down the road like white water rapids (our house is at the low end of the hill). Neighbors got out their sandbags. The roar of rain on the roof was all we could hear. Tremendous rain. The lights kept flickering on and off. Forunately, we never lost power, but some did. The girls and I huddled in the library with our books, but could only stare out the windows in wonder. And then it was over as quickly as it had begun. That thunderous brute of a storm lumbered east, leaving behind it a steady rain that fell til the next morning.
Later, we read in the paper, that a dramatic flash of lightening hit the old Call-A-Ride antenna on top of the Senior Center, "peeling the end of it like a banana" (a quote from the park operations supervisor). Apparently bolts of lightening "danced" around a small Community Library, rattling employees and patrons. Someone reported seeing a fireball come down in the parking lot. Neighboring towns had to evacuate schools and businesses due to flooding and power loss; lightening strikes set off alarm systems in hotels. And on and on it went.
I will never underestimate a summer storm again!
All that happened last Thursday. Today the sky is clear, the sun is shining and it's hot. Maybe climbing into the 90 degree range, more of the same tomorrow, and then a cooling down. That's what the forcaster says anyway. We shall see.