It's been mostly a dry summer for us here in southern Pennsylvania, but over the past few weeks we have had some pretty impressive storms. Because of our situation relative to the regional geography, we often see storms passing without actually getting rained or lightninged on ourselves. I've actually seen this phenomenon happen on radar, as our outpost south of The Brogue is represented by a hole or parting of the stormclouds passing visibly to our north or south.
This afternoon we've got the darkness and the rumbles which send our dog scurrying to wedge herself under the bed, but so far hardly any drops. It's hard not to just sit and watch the clouds roll in and over and away. Sure, they can cause vineyard and trellis damage. But still...storms are so compelling.
I was reminiscing recently about how, when I was growing up in State College, my brother and best friends and I would sit out on the front porch and dare ourselves to watch summer thunderstorms from that perch, no matter how furious the conditions would get. When my friend Gretchen, after moving away to LA many years later, came here to winery to visit, we sat out on the screened-in porch and had supper with my family during a particularly raucous storm. She commented about how much she had missed thunderstorms--apparently they are an extremely rare phenomenon in that part of California. For some reason, having only lived in Pennsylvania and Indiana, I was surprised to hear that. I guess I assumed that everybody gets thunder sometimes.
I love visiting the parts of the Midwest and West where thunderstorms are particularly dramatic. I can remember nearly blowing off the road near Omaha, hearing the tornado warning sirens as the sky turned black. I remember watching a huge storm approach the Grand Canyon. (Ahh--those wonderful adventures back in the Age of Travel...) While we definitely don't live in Big Sky Country here,the vineyards and wide fields near them do afford us a pretty big view of the sky, for this part of the world.
The air is still. The dog is wedged. Thunder's growling and cracking. I can see the rain rolling in, and I feel that familiar thrill. Heading to the front porch...bring it on.