Channeling Julie Andrews

After what has felt like months - if not years - of steamy and oppressive heat, we've finally caught a little break. We still have the steamy and oppressive heat during the day, but as evening rolls around, the pressure builds, the sky clouds over, your left eye starts to twitch in excruciating pain, and then we have the most magnificient thunder storms. Often they're even accompanied by pounding rain.

Normally during a thunder storm I will park myself in front of whatever glass door (or window) provides the most spectacular view. Tim will continue going about his business, pausing occasionally (usually after very loud crashes) to holler upstairs and make sure that 1) I'm ok and 2) he isn't missing anything really incredible. (I usually respond with 1) Yes and 2) No; because if you're not going to take the time to stake out the storm from the beginning, you don't deserve to be told about what you're really missing. And he's missed a lot the past couple days.) Cassi usually parks herself on the stairs between me and Tim. If it gets particularly noisy, she will go downstairs and cower around Tim's feet (he's usually at his desk) and wish for sand into which she could bury her head until it's all over. Meg, being the most timid, will either rush upstairs and press herself into the pillows on our bed so forcefully that there's a Meg-shaped imprint once you finally are able to scoop her off or, if the booming is loud and nearby, she will rush down into the basement and cower under the bar-height counter that's in the back of the theater.

This whole dynamic changes drastically when Tim is not at home during said storm, as was the case last night. Last night's storm was particularly delightful - the lightning was so close that the flash and zags of light were ripping across the sky in concert with their thundering crashes. One after the next the bluish-white would tear through the sky and you could imagine that you heard sizzling as it raced by. (It was imagination, have no fear - there were no strikes nearby.) Since Tim was not home to embody disinterest, the puppies were marginally more terrified than usual, resulting in them racing around the kitchen in circles, whimpering. To add to the fun, we're babysitting my sister's 14ish month old puppy who was most decidedly unhappy with the storms decision to occur. Rather than racing around in abject terror with Meg and Cassi, she plastered herself to my legs. I tried to pull her into my lap and she resisted it until she finally realized that that actually would let her get closer. Then she relaxed enough to sit and quiver unhappily on my lap while I tried to coax Meg and Cassi down from their terrified frenzy enough that they could come huddle on the couch with me and the little one.

Finally, when all three dogs were calm enough to be relatively still and simply cower and cringe next to me on the sofa while I wished heartily for a third hand so that I could pet all three constantly rather than trying to rotate through (which caused whoever was left out to nudge and/or paw mercilessly at the closest hand until it was their turn again), I tried to figure out exactly what might calm them down. Eventually I had an idea that, given the late hour, I figured I try because it might at least result in me getting some rest: we all clambered into bed, I tucked the covers around Meg and Tera (Cassi was having none of that, but she was content to be on my pillow) and we turned the white noise maker on high and the light out and I tried desperately to remember all the words to My Favorite Things. I lost a few of the verses, but I guess eventually the dogs decided that if it was unserious enough that I could sing that they could go ahead and relax. Either that or I fell asleep and they had no choice but to just cope.

Regardless, we all made it through the night and no one had any accidents. (This was surprising because while I toyed with the idea of trying to drag them outside one last time in a lull, I dismissed it after I had a quick vision of having to try and race through pounding rain and lightning after at least one of them when a flash startled them out of their wits. This vision is based in reality as I have had, on at least two occasions, the chance to do this exact thing for Meg who was motivated enough by fear to slip out of her collar and leash and take off for parts unknown.)

But I didn't get to watch the storm, and that's a bit of a bummer. Cause from the sound of things it was magnificent.

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