Summer Thunderstorm

by Ginger on August 20, 2014

in Day in the Life

I woke up this morning, disoriented. I heard a rumbling, but couldn’t figure out what it was–dream? big truck? earthquake? My mostly still asleep brain couldn’t process what I was hearing.


A giant peal of thunder shook the last shreds of foggy-headedness away. THAT was a noise I recognized, though we hear it incredibly rarely in San Diego. I love thunder when it’s a little bit away from where I am, the roll and rattle, the deep boom that vibrates through you. I reveled in the familiar, comforting sound for a minute, before realizing that oh crap, N.C. had wood panels outside. Thunder doesn’t ALWAYS mean rain, but there’s a reason you tend to hear about them together, so while it wasn’t raining at the moment, I knew it could be any minute.

I woke N.C. up, and he processed a bit like me–groggy, then quickly aware when he realized what was going on. We both jumped out of bed and headed outside to grab his stuff before the rain came. When big fat drops started coming down intermittently a few minutes later, the abrupt start to the morning was at least somewhat vindicated.

Because it was earlier than my alarm, I allowed myself to lie back down, and enjoy the noisy quiet of a thunderstorm about to start picking up steam. The thunder continued for quite a while, but the real rain didn’t reach us for almost another hour. I had forced myself out of bed and into the routine of the morning, and was almost done with my makeup when it really started to get going.

I could hear it getting more intense–the rain picked up, the wind picked up, lightning flashed, the thunder got louder and the time between peals got shorter.



Car alarms in the neighborhood started going off, triggered by the intensity of the thunder. The dog, who has never been in a thunderstorm of any real substance, got this panicked look on her face, so I sat down next to her to pet her while the thunder continued to roll in.

N.C. came home from dropping Jackson off at school, and we chatted a bit about how unusual this was, how much we needed the rain, how much the dog was freaking out, and how intense it seemed to be getting. Lighting was followed by thunder within 10 or so seconds now, and the rain was coming down in sheets.

And then, the flash and the crack happened almost instantaneously, probably separated by no more than 2 or 3 seconds. It was that sharp, intense crack and tooth rattling boom that comes from dangerous proximity to lightning striking, with none of the soothing rumbles of thunder from a distance. It sounded like it was on top of us. I jumped, even though we had not 10 seconds before been talking about how close it all sounded, and my heart beat like wild from the adrenaline of the scare. It was intense in that moment where nature took all the focus, crowding out any other thought beyond this storm, this very minute.

And then it was time to go. I said goodbye to my husband, grabbed my umbrella (with a couple of busted ribs, as it turns out), and ran to the car. I still managed to get fairly soaked from the shins down, and out of lack of practice, managed to get my face and hair a little wet in the open-umbrella-narrow-door dance. Once situated, I wiped the rain off my face and hair, and then I sat, still and quiet, for a minute before putting the keys in the ignition. I looked out the window at the world melting around me, then closed my eyes to soak up the sounds of a summer thunderstorm.


april August 21, 2014 at 4:24 am

I adore thunderstorms, near and far. I dislike driving in them though.

Ginger August 21, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Oh man, no. Driving in them is…no. Not my favorite.

Older mom August 22, 2014 at 9:39 am

Loved this, I could hear it and feel it. Love a good thunderstorm with gently rolling thunder and the smell of new rain, even new rain on hot sidewalks — just smells like summer.

Tracy August 23, 2014 at 1:06 pm

I loved this – you captured the thunderstorm very well in your words. I love thunderstorms – but only if I can stay home and not go out in it!

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