The First Storm of the Season

The Carpenters sing one of my favorite Christmas carols. The First Snowfall paints a nostalgic picture of that first magical snowfall of the winter. As much as I love that song, there is another weather-related event I look forward to with equal anticipation. The First Thunderstorm of Spring. I’ll admit it, I am a Lightning-holic. After being cooped up inside all winter, the first genuine thunderstorm always comes as a bit of a shock. It’s almost as if we forgot there was such a thing as thunder and lightning. Then a streak of lightning races across the sky, followed by a house-shaking BOOM!” and we’re jolted back to reality.

Ever since I was a kid, I have always loved a good storm. Since suburban Detroit has the good fortune NOT to be located in Tornado Alley, we can generally enjoy a good light show, without having to worry about our roof being torn off. Losing power for a few hours is generally the worst of it. The other night as I left work, I saw a huge bolt of lightning race across the sky. It lit up the horizon for miles. However, the promised storm never materialized. It rained a little bit on the way home, but the light and sound show I was hoping for must have had another booking in northern Ohio. Oh well, since it’s April, I’m sure another one’s on the way.

Many years ago, my sons and I headed to Metropolitan Beach for an afternoon of fun in the sun. The day began warm and breezy, but after we got to the beach, some dark clouds appeared on the horizon of Lake St. Clair. Our worst fears proved true as the storm headed straight for the beach. It was moving so fast, we barely had time to get to the Activity Center before all hell broke loose. During a lull in the storm, my son Jeff convinced me that we could make it to the car, so we made a dash for it. Our Windstar was in sight when a huge bolt of lightning struck a light pole about thirty feet away. I could smell the ozone in the air, and the hairs on my arms and neck stood up at attention. As we ran the rest of the way to the car, I chastised myself for doing something so stupid. Ever since, we prefer to do all of our storm watching indoors, thank you very much. A pretty good idea when you consider the alternative. Despite that close call, I still look forward to the next ground-shaking thunderstorm with eager anticipation. How about you?

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