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Summer Storm by Helen Chappell

As I write this, the evening air is as still as glass, and in the distance I can hear the disgruntled rumbling of thunder as a summer storm approaches. Far away to the west there are distant flashes of lightning. The western sky is filled with black thunderheads, huge and threatening, like an especially dramatic movement in a Beethoven symphony. There’s a thunderstorm coming. The question today is, will it pass over us and drop a ton of much-needed rain on this parched landscape, or will it split in two, passing us by? One of my earliest memories of the Shore is storms. To a small child, the crack of lightning and the cannon roar of thunder were terrifying. I used to cry and hide under the covers. To little ones, loud noises are as scary as the monster who lives under the bed, waiting to grab your hand or foot and drag you down. And those sudden flashes of lightning – like fire! My aunt told me thunder was angels rolling barrels in heaven, but I wasn’t having any of it, little heathen that I was. I can remember once being caught on the Bay in just such a sudden squall. The family’d been

fishing, way down the Bay, and we were beating back into Fishing Creek with the wind at our backs. All of a sudden, the sky clouded up, waves roiled and rolled and bolts of lightning the size of tree trunks dove into the Bay around us. You couldn’t hear much of the thunder above the roar of that big old Mercury V-8 Marine, but you could feel the rumble. My father and his friend Jess Dean were in charge of the show, and even as waves washed over the gunnels, I don’t recall feeling afraid. It was my first experience with one of those squalls that come up the Bay, but not the last. I had 9

Tidewater Times October 2012  

Tidewater Times October 2012

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