A Summer Storm

We are back in the midwest for the holiday weekend. This time it is Minneapolis to visit a long time friend.
Even though it has been 11 years since I’ve called the midwest home, a summer thunderstorm reminds me just how much a part of me this weather and climate are.
In 11 years of living in California, Oregon and Washington, I don’t think I’ve experienced a true thunderstorm once. My definition isn’t the few claps of thunder that seems to qualify in Seattle. It is the hour-plus sort of storm where the thunder rattles the windows and rolls from one side of the sky to the other. It is the sort of storm where a clap of thunder can set off a car alarm. It is the sort of storm where the rain falls at a rate to justify the expression “raining buckets” and where you sense the awesome power of nature with every gust of the wind.
As a very small child I remember how much these sorts of storms used to frighten me. The “beep beep beep” of the television weather alert to be followed by the forecaster of the day reading a national weather service alert used to send me to the center of the house Mickey Mouse radio in hand to listen for every detail, just hoping the storm would go away.
Today a summer trip back to the midwest is a disappointment for me if I don’t get at least one good thunderstorm. This morning’s was at least two hours long. Windows rattled, rain pounded the windows and the wind was a constant. Strange how much all that just feels like home to me.