"Memories of shelter from rainy-day thunderstorms" by: Jessica Shepard

   It seems like I got my wish last week: rain and a slight cold front. 
   At the very least it’s helped with my allergies and I don’t have to wash green pollen off my windshield before going to work every morning. 
   It also means I can enjoy not having any air conditioning in my car and roll the windows down. 
   Well, not during rain, but the others times. 
   I’ve always been especially fond of rain. 
   Not just for its natural benefits to plants and animals, but, because if it storms late at night, I usually get better sleep. 
   Now, that wasn’t true when I was a child. 
   Growing up, whenever there was a severe thunderstorm or rainstorm, my siblings and I were always scared. 
   And being scared so easily led to us going to hide for cover and comfort in mom’s bedroom. That’s right, we took our comforters, security blankets and pillows to her room to lay on the floor. 
   I don’t know why exactly, but mom remembers it as the loud thunder scaring us and we just assumed she could protect us from a force of nature. 
   Which, granted, even now there are some mighty powerful booms, but, as long as there’s no tornado or hurricane warnings involved it’s usually the best night’s sleep I can manage. 
   I think I find the sound of rain much more relaxing now, though the thunder sometimes jars me awake. 
   Especially if it’s hard enough to shake and rattle the window panes! 
   It’s all a little nostalgia and it make me wonder what mom would do if I commandeered the loveseat in her bedroom with a pillow and blanket, just like years ago. 
   Not to mention, we’ve got more indoor animals now than what I originally grew up with. 
   Two dogs and five cats are hard to manage when the sun is even out they are a handful. 
   They’ve also been known to howl, cry, run away from loud sounds and hide in closets when they get to nervous. 
   Don’t forget mom’s chickens – those birds seem pretty stupid trying to ride out a storm in the elements. 
   But, in the end they still huddle together when things get tough or rough and I think we can all sympathize with that sentiment. 
   I just plan on enjoying the cooler weather we’ve got and try to brace myself for blistering heat that’s soon to come. 

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