Saturday, August 22, 2009

Late Night Storm



There's nothing like a thunderstorm, nothing. The flashing and booming, the hard rain, gusty wind, wow. The weather gods are hardly ever as dramatic as during a big storm. I love them!

Usually these storms take place in the late afternoon, after the steamy heat has had a chance to build up, but last night right around 4:00 a.m. a huge thunderstorm rolled over the house on Tennessee Avenue.

I put on my glasses, laid my head at the bottom of the bed so I could gaze straight out the window. The purple jagged sizzling branches of lightning momentarily blinded me. Some of the booms of thunder were so loud, the windows rattled in their frames. It was SO cool.

Jake was terrified of thunderstorms. At the first flash of lightning, he would either climb into the bathtub (an odd instinct if you ask me) or wedge himself behind the toilet. He would shiver uncontrollably throughout every storm and for quite awhile afterwards. No amount of comforting ever convinced him that he was safe. Sometimes I drugged him with doggie downers which made him woozy and disoriented but he still hid behind the toilet. He really hated thunderstorms.

Last night for the first time since I've lived in Washington I was able to enjoy a visit from Brothers Thunder and Lightning without distraction or guilt. The sky ranted and raved and ranted some more. My attention to the storm was undivided. It was great. After the storm had passed, though, I found myself feeling lonely. Well, it was 4:30 a.m., a lonely time of the night to be sure. And I did enjoy the storm, I did.

I know I'm always writing about the Jake-shaped hole in my life. Apologies for that. I'm working on filling in that hole. Seems like it's taking forever, doesn't it?

33 comments:

steven said...

hi reya, a huge storm blew through this region a few days ago. it had tornados attached to it which wasn't so nice but what was amazing were the neon pink, blue, and purple forks of lightning that played from the horizon to the west right over our heads (i convinced my boy and my girl to stand outside with me and watch). it was absolutely incredible!!! the rain roared in sidewards and splattersmashed against the windows - it was like being in a carwash when i was a kid!! i opened the window just a bit to feel the spray.
i always feel some sadness when they move on and i can still hear them rumbling in the distance. i don't know what that is. perhaps it's the ending of something so elemental and powerful.
have a peaceful afternoon - looks like the leaf shadows are racing up the wall to fly away into the sunlight! steven

Celestite said...

I love a big thunder boomer too. We get some good ones here.
That Jake shaped hole has to erode from the edges, you can't fill it in.

Barbara Martin said...

I saw sheet lightning from my apartment window during the storm that Steven mentioned. A new development in the east as I have only seen sheet lightning in western Canada on the prairies usually accompanied with a huge thunderstorm cell with tornado potential. And I also saw sheets of wind-whipped rain blowing sideways down the street. At which point I asked for more angels to surround my place for weather protection.

Remembering your lovely Jake is fine, Reya. There will always be instances of places or situations that remind you of him.

I love the first photo of the turret to make an interesting shaped room.

The Bug said...

I want to live in that building! But only if it has air conditioning LOL.

That Jake shaped hole isn't going to going to fill up any time soon - & I guess it shouldn't. I remember how conflicted I felt when i found out my Dad was dating scant months after my mother died. Glad he was happy. Furious that he could go on that easily. Not saying Jake was your husband, but his presence in your life was just as complete...

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

To both enjoy and be sad...that will happen often, maybe for ever, but with less sad and more smiles...

Cynthia said...

Your growing leaps and bounds, aren't you, Reya? I also can get a bit nervous with a lot of loud noise...especially thunder. But I agree that you have to make friends with the weather, whatever form it arrives in...I deal with heat here! Also we get hurricanes...'round about now...but they are missing us so far.

I used stand outside and lift a twin flat bed sheet...it was exciting when I was a child. I think when we can again celebrate with the weather gods, we are moving along! Trust when there are no guarantees-that is a big step. <3

Liza Ursu said...

Amazing photos again Reya! A pretty big storm blew through our parts around 1am (I happened to be watching Signs at the time - bleck!) I have a house full of fraidy cats/dogs. You know sometimes I think that in those moments when you are missing someone who has passed, missing them so much it hurts, it is then when they are with you the most. That's why it feels so visceral?

Linda Sue said...

My pup is terrified of anything that goes BOOM and he stresses over big trucks that have back up beeps...
The Jake shaped hole in your heart will always and forever be there- sorry to say- you can not fill it with any other shape, might be able to push it over a bit but it will always be there, trust me I KNOW this - my heart is full of all sort of holes...seems to be able to take it however, I'm not dead from sadness yet..in fact there seems to be room for more!

Deborah said...

i was up
should have called you

i say don't try and fill the hole
i say just plant things around it
all kinds of beauty
light
and colors
roses
whatever you want

i have holes with the most amazing vistas and gardens of light and life around them.

love you so

k-brow said...

No apologies necessary for writing about the Jake-shaped hole, Reya. It will fill, gradually, and the process is one to write about, but the process is one that takes time.

I read recently that there's something (ions? energy?) about bathroom porcelain that frightened dogs find comforting, and that many dogs rush to the bathroom during a storm, to hide.

My own aren't fearful of storms. I can attribute Ella's calm to her early (<1 year) hunting retriever training, with guns fired in close proximity, and also attendance at block parties where fireworks were present. Cricket is also the veteran of many fireworks displays, and doesn't react. Interestingly, Cricket rarely reacts to auditory stimulii; but of course he reacts dramatically to visual stimulus; dogs, squirrels, baby strollers, escalators...

We had a big storm here at about 10pm, and a friend said that there were storms all over the eastern part of the US last night.

Reya Mellicker said...

Steven I do feel sad when the storms move on, but I also usually feel relieved. Even though I'm indoors and allegedly "safe" - the weather is a lot bigger than I am.

Bug the condo building that looks like a castle is lovely and I am certain every unit is air conditioned.

K Brow I'm thrilled to think of you sharing the eastern third of the U.S. with me ... and a lot of other folks, too. Do you need an acupuncturist? I know a great one in Atlanta. Her name is Faith. It doesn't get better than that!

Deborah said...

or maybe you could plant something in the hole

like the tree in the hole to China

love you some more

lakeviewer said...

Of course you think about Jake. He's was/is a big presence; everything he did comes back at the right time. That's the best part; we remember the odd thing as well as the pieces we had not paid attention to when that person was alive.

Don't worry about filling his absence. Enjoy the remembrances. You loved; nothing feels better and more enduring than that.

Madtexter said...

Love, love, love thunderstorms. It's a great reminder that we are not the most important thing in the universe.

We had a thunderbanger blow through around 11 o'clock last night. The dogs and hubby were already in bed, and the cats were probably hiding under the guest room bed. But me? I lifted a window and enjoy feeling the power of nature and the smell of energy in the air.

ellen abbott said...

I'd give anything for a storm like that. It's been awhile since we had an 'in your face' storm, though we did get some rain yesterday...cloud lightning and low rumbles.

We don't mind hearing about Jake. He left a big hole. It's going to take time to fill it up. Hell, it's going to take time just to find all the holes!

ewix said...

We always watch lightning strike the Empire State Building.
Big thrill
totally love it

Buster doesn't seem to notice the storms........

Bee said...

At least there is a silver lining to your Jake-shaped hole; and there always is one.

I miss those booming light shows. Rain is just so gentle and drippy here.

Reya Mellicker said...

Bee I always missed dramatic weather the whole time I lived in San Francisco. Never got over that longing for a big ole storm.

Madtexter - there IS a smell of power in storms, isn't there. Wow.

Lynne said...

Reya, we had drama all night last night on and off. Every time I opened my eyes I saw flashes of light and the booming of the thunder would wake me just as I felt I had gotten back to sleep.

I like a good storm too, but not at night when I am trying to sleep for heaven's sake!

My father used to hold me up to the window when I was very small to watch storms. I guess that's why I like them now as an adult.

Pearl said...

We've had a whole lot of incredible storms in Minnesota as well.

And Celestite is right about the Jake-shaped hole...

Pearl

Delwyn said...

Hi Reya

I love tropical storms too..I wonder why that is...such drama and adrenalin experienced from the safety of indoors.

We get some doozy summer storms here...and Kealia could always hear them coming before me...
They become frightening when accompanied by hailstones, as they can be - often golfball sized stones...you don't want to have your car outside then... or it will be pocked...

Your hole will fill up brick by brick like the wall you have shown us. I loved that red turret...where is Rapunzel?

Happy days

Reya Mellicker said...

Where IS Rapunzel? Great question!!

California Girl said...

I have been off the grid for a awhile. Major thunderstorms here in the Northeast. Unbelievable really. We are trying to figure out when summer began and when it will end.

Nancy said...

We never get tired of hearing about Jake. We had a golden retriever who did the same thing. She would become catatonic! Hard as a board. Literally scared stiff! We also used doggie downers.

Glad you enjoyed the storm. I love to watch them. too.

debra said...

Storms fast and furious in NE Ohio, too. Grief, I think, is a process rather than an event, and we talk about it until we don't need to any more. We had my brother-in-law's funeral last evening, a celebration of his life, really, and tomorrow friends and family are coming over to share food, company and memories.

Sandra Leigh said...

No proper storms here, I'm afraid - a bit of rain from time to time, but it's just a tease. The grass still crunches under my feet when I go off the path on my walk. I love watching thunderstorms, as long as I'm safe and dry. Thunderstorms are so rare here, people who grew up on the island actually get scared, like Jake.

Phoenix said...

Well, I'm terrified of storms too, we had one in New Delhi on Friday afternoon.. it practically shut down (read blew away) the airport. Though, I find it very weird that while I feel relieved when storms move on, I actually feel proud to have been through a storm! May be it gives me material for weaving my stories!

Reya Mellicker said...

I love the idea of the emotions that attend storms - fear, thrills, pride that you lived through it, etc. Those most stem from the most basic survival instincts. Very very cool to think about!

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Hello Reya, we had lightening & thunder late Saturday afternoon, but alas, no rain in our little area. I love to hear the downpour when it rains & to see the lightening, but after having some trees in our yard struck last spring it does make me nervous.
As for Jake... various things will bring on the hollow feeling from time to time, but you are getting better. Years after losing wonderful pets I experience sadness & emptiness when they suddenly pop into my mind & heart... even when Gertie is sitting right next to me. Love continues...
My word verification today is "paters" ... thinking of pitter patter of little feet... oh well.

Merle Sneed said...

We were supposed to have rail all weekend, but it only rained Friday and by Saturday morning it was gone.

The Jake-shaped hole is supposed to fade away, not snap shut.

Mrsupole said...

We rarely get thunderstorms here and the cats hide or disappear.

I am thinking that it is not a hole that Jake left, but a beautiful piece of a pie in your life. Our lives are filled with many pieces and each one is what makes us who we are. Jake will always be a part of you and to stop talking about him would be like cutting out a piece of your mind. Memories of him will always be there, but there will be newer memories to think about on a daily basis, although there will always be triggers that make you think of Jake. As long as you think of him, he will still be alive in your heart and soul. He was a part of you for so long and will always be a part of you.

I for one am very thankful that you are able to talk about him. I will always associate him with you, and this is okay. He lives on inside all of us with you. I know his memory will also fade with us, but when you talk about him, I enjoy these insights into life with Jake. Jake was a beautiful and loved dog and his memories will continue to be just as beautiful and loving.

God bless.

pam said...

Your Jake-shaped hole is NOT taking forever - it takes AGES. I know it well. Love yr blog -

Susan said...

I said goodbye to my red dog Jake one year and seven months ago. I loved him more than I can ever remember loving anyone or anything. I think about him each and every day, sometimes many times throughout a day. I look up at the clouds when I walk with my other dog Winnie and I talk to him. I can't imagine that the hole left by him will ever be completely filled ... I don't really want it to be. He was an amazing dog.

Absolutely no need to apologize for loving and missing Jake.

xo Susan and the Gang at Black Street