We haven't gotten much rain over the past couple of months, but last night and early this morning the skies over Charleston set out to make up for the deficit. Colby is living on base this week, so I spent the evening with him, then drove home around midnight, happy to see that the streets were wet and we'd obviously gotten at least an inch or so of rain.
I got home, fed my starving dogs, then fell asleep within minutes. Just a few hours later, I was awakened by a lightning strike that lit up my whole bedroom and a loud crack of thunder. I rolled over in bed, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but two big brown eyes in a terrified face belonging to a certain yellow puppy dog who lives in my house and is NOT allowed upstairs. With her short hair, the tags on her collar generally give her away when she is nearby, but her fear of thunderstorms seems to give her the ability to slink up a flight of stairs and right up to my sleeping face without making a peep.
I knew I couldn't let her stay upstairs, but I felt awful about sending her back down knowing that she was scared out of her wits, so I hauled myself out of bed, and planted myself downstairs, collecting Jack who was bouncing off the walls with a lightning and thunder induced mania. We settled ourselves on the floor, Ellie in my lap and Jack laying next to me and intermittently making a barking and bounding circuit of the room.
I've always liked the nice rumbly thunderstorms that the South is so adept at producing, but this storm was a whole other animal. The house was shaking with each crack of thunder, and my living room felt like a discotheque with the lightning providing the strobe light effect. But then, without any warning there was a crack of thunder that I swear split the sky in half, and I was immediately thrust back in time, the memory of the cruise ship mishap sweeping over me. I felt like the room was listing back and forth, and the thunder that continued to rumble sounded exactly like the waves crashing against the side of the ship and up over our porthole.
It probably only lasted for a few seconds, but my heart was pounding, and I just hung onto Ellie and kept whispering "It's okay, it's okay, it's okay". It was seriously one of the weirdest feelings I have ever had. I knew I was sitting on the floor in my house in South Carolina, but my brain felt exactly like it was back in the middle of a massive Mediterranean storm.
After about an hour, the worst of the storm passed, and I made sure the dogs were relaxed and in their beds before I headed back upstairs and back to sleep. This morning the skies are still grey and I'm sure the grass is very happy. I was able to sleep just fine, but had to have a grim little laugh this morning. Of course, only I would go on a romantic Mediterranean cruise and come back with a case of post-traumatic stress disorder. Angela, this is your life.