We had the mother of all thunderstorms here in SW Florida this afternoon. The sky darkened, the rain began coming down in torrents, and the thunder started. So far, no problem. I usually enjoy a thunderstorm, and like to watch the turmoil of the big water that is our back yard. But this time, the thunder didn’t stop. For more than half an hour, tremendous claps of thunder followed each other closely, no break, I mean no lull at all. It was scary. I wondered if somehow the house would be compromised. Roof tiles blown away, pool cage panels ripped off, the thunder reaching in and grabbing me. And, of course, I was alone. Ed is coming back a day early and will be home tonight. But he’s not here now.
Finally, a respite and I guess that was it for today. I still hear thunder, but it is distant – the storm is moving away to terrorize another part of this peninsula. It is hurricane season. Thanks for the reminder. I am grateful I wasn’t caught outside. I used to bike every day and at times would get caught in a heavy rain and was once blown into roadside bushes by heavy winds. When a storm threatened when I was walking Buster, I’d be worried enough to hurry him along. In case you think I’m paranoid please know that Florida leads as the most lightning-prone state in the country. It experiences an average 25.3 lightning strikes for every square mile and has an average of 1.45 million lightning strikes each year, the highest in the country. More than 62 deaths attributed to lightning strikes have been recorded over the past decade. I also remember a tragedy from school days in Chicago. A kid in my class was on a city street and running to get out of the rain when, wham, lightning hit him and he died. That memory has stayed with me.