Prairie Summer Storms

Thursday, July 14, 2011
Today was a very long day that began with the phone ringing me out of my sleep and so I was up and out the door early, till late late tonight. It’s because we are having weddings here this weekend and there is much to be done.

As I showered and prepared to crawl into bed after getting home tonight, I noticed the wind picking up and some distant booming that came closer, quickly. Within minutes it was a full blown, heavy thunder, lighting, and lots of water coming out of the sky type of storm. It reminded me of the storms we used to have down in Southern Manitoba, after a hot, humid summer day.

I’d never experienced storms like we had there. Violent boom after boom after boom, and continuous lightning that would make night into day. The wind would blow radio towers to the ground and mow down whole fields of wheat, and the water would flood the low spots, of which there were many. And they always came at night, after everyone had somehow found sleep, in spite of the stifling heat. In shock and awe we would gather in the living room and ooh and awe with each new flash of light, then cringe and wait for the booming thunder to come. They are good memories now.

A storm in a field is a much more lonely thing than a storm in town or the city. In those places there is a sense that we are all in it together, us against the weather. That together we could overcome anything the weather could throw at us. You would be comforted by seeing the neighbours sitting in their front rooms, watching the same show you were watching out their large front windows.

But here in the field, there is a sense of just us, against the weather. You start a rotation past all the windows to check for leaks, cleaning up where it has blown in. The storm increases in its ferociousness, flashing and banging, and there is no one across the road looking into the sky to offer you a sense that we are in this together. I start to worry because with the new streams rushing through the front yard, the sump pump should have started by now, and it’s not.

Micah gets up, the noise had brought him up, and he provides the sense of camaraderie as Lauralea is blissfully dead to the world, hearing nothing in her sleep. We find windows that were closed tight that have somehow leaked water through, that’s how hard the water hit tonight. We watch and wipe and wait, still listening for the pump to kick in.

Then the weather moves on as quickly as it came, calm returns and the rain slows. The streams flowing through my front yard sound like little mountain streams and the booming grows distant as the storm moves towards Camrose.

Micah is tired, so he’s off to bed. We’ve done all we can do for now to push back the watery menace. As he’s heading down the stairs we suddenly hear the sump pump go on with its comforting hum.

We should be ok tonight.


  1. That is an awesome picture. We had a dumping of rain this morning - not much for sound and light show however.

    More rain for mosquito breeding!

  2. I am losing hope that this summer will be anything other than a mosquito fest.

  3. That picture is spectacular, Randall! A little too close though!


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