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Gabe's gripes

Super storms

July 11, 2012 - A couple months back I wrote on why I like winter, particularly over summer.

They called me mad!

And judging from popular opinion, I'm about to share another dark, stormy secret in that I, truly enjoy and derive happiness from dark, stormy weather.

Remember last Tuesday? The sky stayed clear for hours at a time in-between massive thunderheads rolling in and delivering punishing amounts of rain (and hail) unto the tiny hamlet of downtown Lake Orion. Winds rushed, water spouts gushed and the sky cracked asunder as titanic thunder shook the roof.

This happened at least four times, if memory serves and it was a royal pain for most the day. The small moments when one finds himself outside the car trying to get to work with precious electronic equipment only to have the sky open up, threatening one's belongings. Or in my particular case, taking photos on the golf course when the ominous clouds hung over the links like executioner's blade, ready to fall and ruin my camera.

Then there's the dark - it fools a person into thinking it's night time and for some, this is a very serious issue. Without the proper amount of sunlight, a person with the hilariously named but very serious SAD (seasonal affective disorder) can become depressed and ineffective. Even I find myself become less active during the darker spells, though I equate the feeling with one of comfort.

Still, being comfortable at work is not always conducive to a healthy work day.

Overall these storms set to the task of turning Orion into a gloomy, wet, hole for the entire day of July 3, but I don't see it this way.

I've been mocked many times for this but I believe one of the most accessible and consistently breathtaking elements in our lives are clouds. They come in so many different sizes, consistencies and colors, particularly during a sunset (those interested in the best sunset in Lake Orion should go to the Lake Orion High School soccer pitch and look west.)

So when I drove into work towards the massive thunderheads, I had a hard time keeping my eyes on the road. They almost, with a touch of imagination, could have been distant mountains. Yet musings aside, denying the beauty in this phenomena of nature (remember kids, this is floating water) in unimaginable and it figuratively brightened my morning to see such a sight.

Then came the rain, like a sheet of wet. It hit my car and driving instantly became more interesting. I won't deny driving in heavy rain can be treacherous - it once drove me to the side of the road in 2007 - but the sound of rain hitting a rooftop is one of my all time favorite sounds. I have never slept better than when it is raining, and even though sleep was not a wise option while driving, the sound was still quite comforting.

The thunder, awe-inspiring in it's sheer loudness and the lightning, is beautiful as one of the few natural light sources outside of the sun. Watching people scurry for cover is comedic, the slight splash you get when sitting on a porch is refreshing and the warm afterglow as the storm finally passes is mesmerizing.

Sometimes I think too much about simple things, but storms are one of life's little pleasures and for me, the bigger the storm the better.

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