Just in case you've never been to Florida in August (and you probably shouldn't) let me try to explain what it's like.
Nearly every afternoon, around 3 or 4, the same thing happens. I'll be doing .......something....usually in the kitchen and suddenly I begin to hear it. The far off, softly distant, thunder rumblies. Each time I check the clock and think to myself, "Yup, right on time". As I said, it starts softly and creeps up slowly and it comes from the east. Our house faces directly west so it's in the back of the house.
As it gets louder, and therefore closer, I usually run out to the mailbox. It could be my last chance of the day to fetch the mail without an umbrella! Shortly after I bring in the mail I notice how much louder the thunder is!
If I go to the back of the house, the east side, I know that I will see stormy skies. And that's so bizarre because out the front window the skies are still sunny and blue. You doubt me? Take another look at the photos at the top of today's post. There was only as much time between those photos as was necessary to walk from the back of the house to the front. So....1 minute? 2 minutes? Surely no more than that. At the back of the house we have Dark blue stormy skies and at the front? Light blue and sunny skies. Oh yeah, it's strange all right.
It has happened before that while driving down the highway we find ourselves driving into a rain storm that we saw from a mile back where we were as dry as the dessert. And then a mile or so down further the road, we drive back out of the fierce storm into blue skies and sunshine. In fact, more than once, as we were driving over the bridge to go off the island we have seen the rain begin at the halfway point of the bridge. It's like there is an invisible line on the bridge, this side: no rain/that side: total rain. It's like changing the channel on the television. So funny!
Meanwhile, back at home today (and most every afternoon lately) eventually the thunder boomers are directly over head and the darkness in the back of the house begins to leak forward. The sunny skies are gone, the wind has picked up and every time the thunder crashes, I get the crazy feeling that the house is rocking. It isn't. I know it isn't, but there is something about that thundery kabooms that throw off my balance a little bit I think.
Then the rain begins. Gently at first. Just a little pitty pat. Then it's gets heavier and stronger and louder until, if you were watching TV in the family room, you would have to turn up the volume to hear the show!
The rain falls so hard that it bounces when it hits the ground or the tops of the courtyard posts. It gushes from the gutters, it funnels off the roof and it begins to puddle on the ground.
The trees and the shrubs and the plants stand a little taller even though the rain drops are crashing into them. They bounce and bob and sway and wave as they eagerly receive the rain falling from the sky. And I always wish it were a little cooler so that I could open the windows. I love the smell of the rain.
Eventually the thunder begins to fall away, grumbling a little as it goes, the wind dies down and the rain gradually slows back to a gentle sprinkle. Then, all at once, it's gone and the air feels refreshed, the temperature has dropped considerably and all of the green growing things are happy.
It might only last 15 minutes, or it could be as much as an hour but it's more often the former than the latter.
If I am at the museum or the grocery store when the storm starts, rather than try to make a mad dash to the car, I just wait. I know it won't last long. If the storm should pass through earlier in the day while Tim and I are walking, well there isn't much that can be done about it. Just laugh and get wet I suppose. If the storm ends before we get back, once the sun comes back out we will begin to dry off before we get home.
This being August, tomorrow we will probably do it again. And that's just fine too.
I understand that rather than our daily August Rain Shower, this weekend we are anticipating Tropical Storm Fred's visit. So if there is no post on Monday, do not worry, it just means the power is out. As soon as the power resumes, so will I.
Have a great weekend, rain or shine!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.