Saturday, July 16, 2011

Watching the world

Last Monday when Cindy Lou and I left the Cincinnati Zoo with granddaughter Ellie about 2 in the afternoon, the thermometer in the car read 107 degrees.  I knew it was hot, but that number still surprised me.  By that evening at grandson Noah’s last baseball game of the season, it was still really hot and as all you Ohioans know, damned humid to boot.  And, I might add, I thought it was child abuse to have those little men play baseball in such oppressive conditions, but all stayed hydrated and everybody seemed to get through it okay.  His team lost, BTW.
So it was no surprise that by 9 o’clock that night, all heaven broke loose when the skies lit up with electricity.  Thunder boomed for over an hour and the skies opened up with much needed rain.  All of the intense heat over the last couple of days translated into natural pyrotechnics  that I must admit, drew me out of the house to world watch.  I spent that flashy and booming hour on both front and back porches just witnessing the wonder and power of a Midwest summer thunderstorm.   
I try not to worry too much about being outside with lightning in the area.  Though I’ve seen lots of lightning in my life, I’ve never been really close to a strike.  Earlier this summer, while soaking up a storm from under the back porch canopy, I could have sworn I felt the heat from a bright white lightning strike a mile or so away.  Did I really feel the heat?  Can’t say.  All I know is that it was full of power.  
I realize we have all been cautioned countless times to be careful of lightning.  On another of Noah’s ball game nights, play was delayed for 30 minutes because lightning was merely seen on the horizon.  Football games and golf outings all are impacted when lightning is in the area.  Caution is certainly a better idea that valor when it comes to electrical storms.  
Still, I do so enjoy being out on covered porches when summer storms move through the area.  I feel the same way about going out to walk in snow storms, too, actually.  Something there is about witnessing the power of weather that makes watching the world go by mighty engaging.  
And, I might add, the family is off to Colorado next week.  Back to Crestone, it is, this time with two young men completing our company.  More on that in the next blogs.  
One thing is for sure:  during our nine days out there in the high desert we should witness some good rain activity out across the vast San Luis valley from our perch at a b&b on the skirts of the Sangre de Christo mountain.
Oh, my.  I am ever looking forward to sharing what the Rockies offer to two young men who have never been west of the Mississippi.  Should be a hoot.  Stay tuned....
Today’s elder idea:  The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
Mark Twain
image:  scavenged from Yahoo images (used without permission)