Summertime Storms

We had an epic thunderstorm this afternoon, the sky went black and the clouds looked like a grey ocean hanging upside down, rolling and boiling and sweeping across the sky. The wind rushed over the fields, around the rolled hay bales, and bent the young green grass sideways. When I got home, the rain was slacking off and the house was dark. Zoe was the only one to greet me at the door, and I had a good idea where everyone else was.

Sadie was stretched out in her king-sized bed with the two dogs and a cat. I said “don’t move a muscle!” Zoe followed me back downstairs, I changed clothes, poured a cup of coffee and grabbed the novel I was about 45 pages away from finishing.

I can’t think of too many other times I get home from work and head straight to bed, unless I’m sick. Or it’s snowing. I’m usually so wired from sitting inside all day, I turn right back around and head out to see what’s happening in the field, in the coop, or in the garden. But Sadie always keeps her ceiling fan on high – her room was cool and the sky was dark from the storm. It was definitely the right choice.

She dozed back off, I sipped my coffee and finished my book, snuggled way under the covers. It was fantastic, and may have to become a rainy afternoon tradition. After I finished my book, I left Sadie to her nap and went to the kitchen. The rain had stopped, and the sky was a golden yellow, streaking through the remaining clouds. The dogs yawned and stretched, I decided it was time for a little run.

We live on a dead end road, it’s not quite two lanes, and doesn’t have any paint lines. There are only half a dozen other farms, and the road ends at a locked gate leading to the mountain ridge. Down and back, it’s only about a mile and a half. I strolled down the driveway, dogs in tow, and started jogging down the road.

They couldn’t have been happier, all three of them loped along, zig-zagging across the road to smell whatever else had crossed that day. Casey ran a groundhog into it’s hole, which was so large, she could fit her whole head inside.

Just beyond our house, the road is lined by trees. I smelled mimosa and jasmine flowers, and birds crossed over my head, in search of bugs and seeds. Just passed our neighbors 5 acres, the trees give way to a field Mr. Case cuts for hay. The hills roll down into a small creek bed, before rising to a rounded mountain half covered in trees. There is a red barn near the road, which currently houses only pigeons.

Jim Hicks just finished cutting, raking and rolling hay, so the green field is dotted with hundreds of round hay bales. To the left sits our neighbors pond, surrounded by cattails, with dozens of swallows swooping above. The road rises above the creek that feeds the pond, then falls into a small valley in the shadow of the mountain ridge.

We turn around at the gate at the foot of the mountains and head back. The dogs stay just in front of me, pausing only to smell the occasional mailbox. Tongues lolling, they trot along at my pace, panting. I stopped at the creek to let them drink, Zoe went in up to her knees, sprinting out, slinging mud.

Weeds bloomed in the fence rows, delicate Queen Anne’s lace, bright purple thistles, white clover and yellow dandelions. Leftover rain dripped the trees, I knew Zoe’s paws would be clean from the wet grass by the time we got back. It felt good to run, to be outside under the sky, running with the pack, our blood pumping and feet pounding the pavement. It’s nice to read and rest, but it’s nice to be outside too. To see the mountains after it rains, watch the sun slip away. I would never have guessed that living on a dead-end road would be so amazing.



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