I should have known it was building, all that hot day.
Every afternoon last week thick haze settled over us; every morning woke already hot. But Saturday took the heat a little further, threatened old records, and though we closed the curtains against the glare it was hot inside, too.
But with curtains closed I didn’t realize what was happening; how the haze turned to clouds and the wind began to rise. I saw just in time to rescue laundry out on the line, pick lettuce for dinner and by the time I was back inside it had hit.
We pulled open curtains and cracked open windows but the rain was horizontal, there was so much wind, and tried to come in whatever we opened.
Outside we lost 20 degrees, perhaps? over minutes and the rain turned to hail and the hedges whipped and bowed and a tree across the road lost half of itself, another up the street fell across the hood of a car.
Inside the temperature dropped two degrees and the air smelled cleaner.
And when the wind died away and the rain stopped oh-too-soon. Steam rose from the shining asphalt, baked hot in the sun and washed now in cool water.
Neighbors came out to collect scattered lawn furniture, asses the damage caused by falling branches.
The cool that came with that storm didn’t last – it quickly evaporated into humidity when the sun reappeared and Sunday afternoon, while slightly cooler than Saturday, was heavier with the wet air.
But it cooled the house down enough to sleep that night. And by Sunday night, when the sun set, the heat wave that gripped us here had broken and we settled out on the front porch, just glad to be able to breathe easily again.
And it was awfully fun to watch.