Friday, August 14, 2009

Leif and Lightning

We've had a lot of thunderstorms this summer and some spectacular lightning. Yesterday in the wee hours of the morning, about 1:00 a.m. the thunder rolled so long and so hard it was literally shaking things in our house, which is of a sturdy concrete block construction. By 1:30 a.m. it was raining so hard I had never heard any rain that hard. Today, we had more thunderstorms, and it made me think of how much Leif loved thunderstorms. He delighted in the electric displays. Once, when we were living in the old stone house in Manhattan, Kansas, he put a hammock out on the small front porch, strung between two pillars, so that he could lie in it and watch the storm. This probably wasn't the safest thing to do, but Leif wasn't known for seeking the safe route.

One time, he rode his motorcycle up to Aggieville (in Manhattan, Kansas) which was about 3-5 blocks from our house, depending upon which part of Aggieville you were in, and while he was gone, a thunderstorm blew in. Our daughter-in-law, Darlene, wanted me to call Leif and tell him to come home. She found the storm frightening, as I guess many people who don't live in areas of the country where they have thunderstorms often do. I laughed and told her that Leif would think I was crazy if I called him and told him to come home in a thunderstorm and that he knew enough about them to get inside. She was still concerned, so I told her she could call him, and she did. He was both touched and amused, but he didn't come home in the storm, which was for the best. He shouldn't have been out in it, so he stayed put with some friends in Aggieville and came home hours later after the storm was long past.

He would have enjoyed the opportunity to do some time-lapse photography of lightning, but he didn't have either the equipment or a safe place to do it.
This photo is from the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory image collection: NOAA Photo Library

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