It's been storming here all night. Bright lightning and big thunder and the usual cats and dogs. Twice I've unplugged my computer so it wouldn't get fried by a lightning strike.
I'm fascinated by thunderstorms. And always waiting for the next one to really impress me. But it's been a while since I've been truly amazed by a storm, where the lightning has struck less than a block away and the thunder has come like an explosion at the same moment. Where this kind of close strike has happened again and again, while I watched through the picture window and started asking myself about the lightning conductors I might be close to. I feel like storms used to be bigger. Sometimes I wonder if they are always hitting harder one town away from me, always veering off to the north or the south, as if I had a storm deflector insulating me.
My mother saw lightning cross the kitchen twice when she was a teenager, so she was frightened by big storms. I remember she would bring out the kerosene lantern to have on hand in case we lost power, and then she'd retreat to her bedroom and wait out the storm alone. Meanwhile, my older brothers and I would go out to the garage, open the door, and stand just inside watching the storm pass over our world. Sometimes we would venture out into the driveway, but mostly, we just wanted to be close, without actually daring the lightning to strike us.
When I was a child, I would stay in the swimming pool for as long as possible when a storm was coming. But that wasn't a fascination with storms, just a love of swimming.
I wrote an essay when I was in 1st or 2nd grade about thunderstorms. The lightning was the hare on roller skates, moving super fast, and the thunder was the turtle, following, but slow. I found the essay in some old school papers a few years ago, and it was pretty good considering how little I remember knowing at that age.
When I was about 10, I dreamed that I was struck by lightning while running home in a storm, and I died. People say you can't dream your own death, but I don't know about that. Well maybe I didn't die, maybe I just went unconscious and the paramedics were able to get to me in time.