Friday, July 26, 2013

I feel a song coming on

As we wandered through the Chambord castle, we walked out onto a balcony and noticed this temporary theater set up in the western courtyard. I thought it was amazing, so I took a picture. I guess they do concerts and such in there.

A piano just waiting. Mozart? Rachmaninoff? Bizet? Or maybe something more modern?

Summer is just churning along. I'm very happy, even though it can get a little uncomfortable at night. It's not so bad for a few nights, given that we have nice hot days and the vegetable garden is loving it. Our winter squash looks like a bumper crop is on its way.

Ken's in Paris this weekend, coming home on Sunday. I'm on animal patrol. And I'm working in the garden. I enjoy watching it all grow.

This morning around 3:30 we had thunderstorms. I got up at two and went downstairs (not an unusual thing for me to do). I noticed the moon and the stars, but also some flickering light. I thought it was something electronic in the house but it turned out to be lightning in the north. I went back upstairs for a better view.

What I saw was like something out of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." While my house was under starry skies, to the north was a huge billowing cloud, lit almost constantly from within by bright flashes of lightning. I couldn't hear any thunder, but I was mesmerized by the sight. After a few minutes I went back downstairs and turned on the computer to have a look at the internet weather site. Sure enough, a big storm was moving by to our north, headed up toward Paris.

I then noticed the radar showing two more large systems following it, coming directly toward us from the southwest. Uh-oh. I battened down the hatches, which means I turned off the computer and the modem/router, closed windows and shutters, and spread plastic in the kitchen in case the roof leaked again. I settled back into bed around three o'clock.

I could hear the thunder approaching this time and the lightning got brighter. I was up and down looking out the roof window. The lightning was both beautiful and scary. One nearby strike was so bright that I couldn't see for few seconds after. The rain started about four o'clock, but it was a much gentler rain than I expected. I realized the storm was not hitting us full-on. We were on its southeastern edge as it moved northward toward Paris.

I drifted in and out of sleep for a while. Callie barked at a particularly loud thunder clap (the house shook) before heading downstairs to hide. As the storm got farther away, I opened up the windows again to let the cooler air in. Around six I got up, after a bit more fitful sleep, to restart the electronics and check the radar again. It's all over for us for the moment, but Paris is getting it as I write this.

Luckily there had been no leak in the kitchen. So I made a pot of coffee, fed the cat, and logged on to blogger to add this to my post.


  1. Good grief, that sounds like a spectacular storm. They can be terrifying.
    Glad you survived it ok. I am a bit worried about our petunias....and the live box!

  2. It was indeed a beautiful but terrifying experience. we got up at 3:30 too, by which time it was right over us. What an amazing description. Glad to hear the roof held! Pauline

  3. Yep, I must've gotten up at about 5 to close the shutters and keep the windows open, rain out. Now it's back to beautifully sunny. Got to pack to go on vacation, though.

  4. Walt glad that you and Callie and Bertie are okay. Lightning displays can sometimes be so scary. Like Callie, my boy Brownie doesn't like loud thunder claps either.

  5. It was stupendous -- really booming and brilliant white lightning all around. A friend tells me her Rottweiler cross dog got into bed with her and cowered.

  6. Aren't we due some photos of the garden?

  7. I enjoyed reading your storm description. My parent's home had a large picture window for storm viewing and there were plenty to view since they lived in the Ohio Valley. I'm glad the roof repairs are working so far. Carry on.

  8. I hope that the storm didn't end up ruining Ken's plans for climbing the Tour Saint Jacques. Glad you were there to look after the furry kids and the house :)

  9. Yes, I was thinking about your garden, just like Sheila!
    With your words describing your night, the storm and the lightning, it was like I was right next door, experiencing the same thing! Well written, Walt!
    We have a forecast of possible thunder and lightning this morning, but it looks like that potential has past, now.

  10. Haven't been around for a bit. We're in Boston. Back to Fort Ladeda on Sunday.

  11. Judy, I did get to climb up to the top of the Tour St-Jacques this morning. Afterward, I walked for miles thru the Marais, along the Seine including the Ile St-Louis and Paris-Plages, thru the Cour Carré and by the Pyramide du Louvre, and on to St-Germain des Prés. It was a very emotional experience for me, and the weather was hot, humid, and sunny. I took 300+ photos -- one for every step I climbed to get to the top of the T S-J.

    1. I am so glad you got to go up the TSJ, Ken! One of the managers at Trader Joe's just came back from France (he gained 8 pounds). He had great fun, eating wonderful food. Even Dorie Greenspan is enjoying Brittany right now.

    2. I love the way you tossed of "Ken's in Paris this weekend." That's something that will never be said about or by me. "Ron was in Milton today." Somehow, doesn't have the same ring does it? :)

  12. jean, yes, I was worried too about my vegetable garden. But things seem to have done all right.

    pauline, and it held again last night. We're not getting the brunt of the storms; we seem to be on the edge. But what a bunch of wind we had this (Saturday) morning!

    ellen, just a little send-off excitement, I guess! Bon voyage!

    virginiac, dogs are little babies when it comes to big noises!

    susan, I enjoy nice storms, but the big violent ones, especially when it's night, make me nervous. Just like a scared dog! lol

    sheila, good idea. I went out and took some photos yesterday. Stay tuned.

    evelyn, I'm a-carryin' on!

    judy, as you know by now, they didn't! Someone has to stay with Callie, but Bert can do a day or two on his own.

    mary, garden photos on the way!

    starman, Boston's great! Have a good return.

    ron, we're only 150 miles away and sometimes we have to do administrative things up there, or visit friends/relatives who are there. It's funny, but we used to go to Paris more when we lived in San Francisco than we do now that we live so close!


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