After a wonderful Easter afternoon with my daughter and future son-in-law, brother and sister-in-law, two nieces and another fiance, and my nephew, I drove home through a thunderstorm. Earlier in the day, we had been out on the deck when sprinkles began to fall. We dashed back inside to avoid getting wet, but it seemed to be nothing more than a spring shower. We laughed at the dogs. The pug and the basset (Sandy and Maisie) were huddled together in one dog house. The golden lab (Hoss- does that name give you a picture of his size?)was curled up in the corner next to the deck and the house, ignoring the second dog house (guess he was hoping someone would come back out in the rain to open the gate on the deck and let him in through the sliding door- didn’t happen, poor guy).
I left at dusk, as dark began to descend. I had about an hour of driving ahead of me. I was driving alone, since my daughter and her fiance had come in her car and had left earlier. I wasn’t far down the road when the rain began- big, heavy drops coming down in a deluge. I went from no wipers directly to full speed. Still, it was only rain. Then the squawking signal of the National Weather Service blared from the radio. It was a thunderstorm warning, cloud to ground lightning and quarter size hail predicted- close but not directly in the area where I was. But right on cue, the light show started as streaks of lightning split the sky. The rain splashed down and then splashed back up off the road in front of the headlights like diamonds dancing in the light.
I merged onto the freeway and hugged the slow lane, gripping the steering wheel and going only 40-45 mph instead of the usual 55-60. Only a few brave (or foolish) drivers passed me in the other lanes. Most were staying to the right and going slow like me. Bright flashes of lightning continued to light up the dark sky intermittently. The NWS warnings kept coming- the intensity and range changing slightly each time, including and then moving from my area. The most worrisome part was the hail warning, which at the worst predicted half- dollar and ping-ball sizes and vehicle damage. Thankfully, I never saw hail at all.
Finally as I approached my neighborhood, the rain let up. I pulled into my driveway and loosened my grip on the steering wheel at last. Heaving a big sigh of relief, I gathered my bag of leftovers and then dodged the raindrops as I rushed onto the porch. I fumbled with the keys, got the door open, and was greeted by a cat rubbing my leg, purring. Ahh, home sweet home.