I’m a sucker for a good storm. They freak me out a little, but I love ’em. I love how powerful they are: wind, rain and lighting are things that humans can’t really restrain or control—they sort of put us back in our place. We didn’t get many in Seattle, but when we did, the power always went out so I’d go around collecting every candle in the house. My whole family would sit in the kitchen together around the warm light and play Bananagrams. For a short time in the summer, we’d all be in Upstate New York at a family cottage together where we could catch a few good storms. When they’d roll in over the lake, we would go outside onto the covered porch, grab some good snacks, sit there, and watch it like a movie. I spent some time on the other side of the Tetons growing up so I knew living here this summer would mean some good storms.
Today, I went out to shop at Dave’s, the local grocery store. When I left, the sky was clear and it was pretty toasty outside. I only spent about twenty minutes in there buying canned ingredients for my tortilla soup, but as I walked out, a cool breeze blew past me—not any ordinary breeze. I looked to my right and above the farm fields sat a large orange and gray storm. It was dumping rain over there. Unlike the experience of standing under it, rain from a distance appears as a thick mist, softly falling from the sky. I could hear a deep rumbling from a distance. I think I might have let out a squeal of excitement when I first saw it. Even some of the locals commented on the storm. I stared at it for a minute or two before hopping in the car and heading back home. Driving the short distance back to our dorms, I had all the windows rolled down so I could hear and feel it approaching. As I passed the grain elevators in town (still funny to say out loud), a large gust brought a small tornado of dust spinning to the left of my car. I closed my mouth feeling the grittiness of the dust that managed to work its way into my mouth between my teeth. By the time I pulled into the parking lot, the storm had moved across Ashton like a blanket. I turned the keys shutting off the Suburban’s loud growl and sat there with the windows open.
The thunder got louder, the wind continued to pick up and a few large drops began to hit the windshield. What was sunny Ashton soon became covered in a gray shadow. The rain picked up so I got out of the car before my groceries got too wet. I ran clumsily with my seven bags of groceries through the parking lot, cringing as the water slipped down my back. I quickly unloaded my groceries into our crammed fridge, sped to the living room and opened the windows. Rain began pouring onto the window sill but screw it, this storm was too good not to listen! I plopped on the ground and for the next thirty minutes, watched the lighting strike across the sky followed by infinite rumbles, catching the drops off the window sill in my lap.
Besides making myself comfy on the couch and enjoying the storms, I’ve found some time to get out and explore a little bit! Liz and I drove through Yellowstone earlier this month. We made it over to the Beartooths where we searched nearby fields of wildflowers for trilobite fossils. We even made it up to Bozeman while on the hunt for some cinnamon rolls! Sonja and I headed out on a brief afternoon hike the other day to catch some closer looks at the Tetons, stopping in Driggs on the way home to stuff ourselves with Thai food. Speaking of food, I began working with an awesome new volunteer from Friends of the Teton River who made me a Nicaraguan meal. I guess you could say my job is pretty darn sweet!