Surviving the storm

MITCHELL'S MUSINGS: Friday morning's storm prompts childhood recollection of lightning and thunder scare

I have to admit storms kind of bothered me when I was a little kid. OK, bother might not be quite strong enough of a word for how I felt about thunder and lightning and wind and heavy rain and….

But then terrified might be too strong a word too. Then again, maybe not. It’s difficult to remember everything from back in the day, it being a lot more back than it used to be, but I know I didn’t like them much at all.

My parents tried to help by saying thunder was just God moving his furniture around.

That kind of helped but didn’t really explain the lightning  part and why did he do all his interior decorating in the summertime?

And during one particularly memorable summer storm in Red Deer, I decided furniture on the Prairies must weigh a lot more because it sure was louder than back home.

Anyway Friday morning’s storm was the catalyst for all this fond, or maybe not so fond, recalling of memories from my childhood.

I have to admit I wasn’t so much scared when the storm hit at 5:30 a.m. as peeved that it was a full hour and a half before my man-made alarm clock goes off to get me going on a weekday.

I tossed and turned for awhile but the booms were pretty loud and the light show was playing itself out on my bedroom wall, although without my glasses it was kind of wasted on yours truly, not that I was keeping my eyes open at the time anyway.

So after a bit of cursing, and more tossing and turning, I thought I might as well go to the bathroom and then see if I can get at least another hour of sleep.

Alas, no. Now it was raining and the drops were dripping from the gutters I’ve been meaning to clean all summer, and last summer and…., so it was getting pointless to try and even sleep.

And then I realized the cat was outside and I debated over and over – What do I like more, sleep or Mischa, sleep or Mischa?

If I was actually sleeping the cat might have lost out – I know, I’m heartless – but I eventually gave up and went all the way downstairs to see if the little darling was OK.

I turned the light on the deck and normally she’d be there wanting in at that time of the  morning, not to mention wanting to be fed as well, but she was nowhere in sight.

I did not venture out into the pouring rain desperately seeking Mischa but I figured I gave it the old college try and that she must have found shelter somewhere, so I attempted to go back to bed. Again, I know I’m heartless.

But on the way back there was another flash of light and 15 seconds or so later (I was taught as a kid that every second or so counted for a mile, as in how far away the lightning was, but I have no idea if that is factual or not and it was before the metric system of course), so I thought if you can’t beat Mother Nature you might as well join her.

As in on the deck to take in the sights and sounds.

And it was a pretty good show. There was sheet lightning and fork lightning and enough good booms to put it up against any Canada Day fireworks display.

However, it may have been cool, but, of course, it was still too damn early for my liking.

After a few minutes, and too long between flashes and booms – us humans don’t have the patience for natural phenomenon, at least not this human at that time of day, although I probably should have made a cup of coffee and just got into it – I again tried to go back to sleep for the 23.5 minutes I had left before the alarm clock was set to go off.

I failed, miserably, maybe drifting off for the .5 part if I was lucky.


However, the good news is the cat came back for its 7 a.m. feeding,  a little wet but no worse for wear, and certainly with its appetite intact.