I used to be terrified of thunder. One time, around my 10th birthday, I was trapped at my Aunt’s house during a thunderstorm. I was staying with my grandparents just down the way, and had gone up the street to visit my cousins. In my youth, I was almost always staying with my grandparents for clips at a time. It’s where I first learned the word staycation.
I remember there being this urgent need to return to my grandmother. Perhaps I was an anxious kid. Or my Dad was coming to get me. Either way, I knew I had to run from house to house in the rain, and it had to happen right then.
I was pretty overweight back then, so the entire thing was pretty daunting. I remember running as fast my body could move me. I lost a shoe to mud, and I didn’t look back. I continued running, my white sock turning a dark brown by the end. I never saw that shoe again. When my grandmother saw me, she told me to take those muddy clothes off. I spent the night washing my socks on a scrub board until they were at least an off-white.
Last night, we had a powerful rain in Pittsburgh. But I didn’t run anywhere. Instead, I spent the evening in the kitchen, baking one giant loaf and one mini loaf of zucchini bread.
I’m not as scared of thunder anymore. In fact, I usually find myself on the front porch. Maybe the patience thing is working. Maybe I’m settling into it. I don’t feel as afraid of the unknown as I used to feel. For once, I feel confident.