The lightning seemed much nearer than the thunder which was a sort of growling underpoint to the whirring of the fan that moved and cooled the air near my head. The decibel level of the thunder slowly increased until suddenly it was a rumbling boom accompanied by sharp flashes of light that seemed to be coming from right outside the window. One of them suddenly illuminated the shadowy form of my daughter standing motionless and shaking at the end of the bed. "Come on and climb in," I said. Anders wasn't in the room at all; I assumed he was either on the computer or conked out on the couch in the living room. Karin climbed in and nestled up against me, trembling and tensing each time the thunder banged its fists together. The window was open wide and the glass lit up with each stab of brilliant lightning, though it was silent, only flashing. I figured it had to be about 2 a.m. but my head was turned away from my clock, so I couldn't be sure. Karin was a warm presence beside me and her hair brushed my nose, smelling clean and fresh from the shampooing she'd had earlier in the evening.
Some time passed, punctuated by the gradually decreasing noise and light-flashes from outside. After awhile, I shifted and softly shook Karin. "Go on back to bed, honey," I told her, and she did, without a word. I fell asleep again only to be re-awakened not too long after by swiftly increasing thunder-rumbles and more lightning and the sudden pounding downpour of rain. Anders swore and leapt around the house shutting windows. I stayed in bed and drifted back off to sleep.
This morning I was the only one that stirred when my alarm announced it was time for someone to get up and go to work. Since everyone else in the house is on vacation, that someone was me, but happily there was no headache, no grumpy fatigue and no eeyore cloud of gloom hanging about my head. The sun was already shining in a clear-blue sky and the birds were cheerily welcoming a beautiful summer day. I've been worried about not having enough to do these weeks at work when the rest of the country is on vacation, but so far my days have been filled and today was no exception. I happily noodled around with a couple of different layout projects, feeling as if I had accomplished rather a lot for the middle of July by the time I flipped the light off, lifted my purse from the desk and slid the glass door closed behind me.
I stopped on the way home and bought paintbrushes for my porch-furniture painting project, and after dinner I went for a walk. I startled two elderly ladies who were ahead of me on the snail trail; their walkers crunching in the gravel masked the sounds of my approach. I counted up the summer sounds that I could hear as I made my way around the village: lawnmower, doves, blackbirds, crows, a creek burbling, cars going by and the distance sound of traffic. Somewhere a baby screamed a crimson screech of dissatisfaction with life; elsewhere the voices and laughter of a group of unseen children drifted down from an open second-story window. 3 blonde teenage girls came toward me from around the corner, all tanned summer skin and loose in their easy, youthful confidence. The pear trees that were so white with blossom this spring are burgeoning green with small hard mottled pears, high above my head as I walk down the allé; it'll take a ladder to reach any of them, they're so high.
This week has filled up with things to do: I'm picking up new glasses tomorrow and having sushi for lunch with a colleague, then going to WW after work. The glass doors for the porch arrived today so Anders is hard at work hammering on the deck. He wants to get it finished for Karin's family birthday party on Wednesday when his parents and sister and her family are coming over for dinner. Thursday I have a massage, which I'll need as Friday Anders is leaving for a long weekend: driving down to Brno in the Czech Republic for a motorcycle event, so I'll be home from work on Friday and taking the kids to swimming classes in the afternoon, and then for sushi in the evening. Busy, busy, even in the summer, and thankfully that eeyore day is behind me!