Stephenson Tales


Our family has always loved thunderstorms. When the kids were growing up during the summers at Interlochen, when the atmospheric pressure would drop and we could feel that ominous calm-before-the-storm in the air we would watch the lake for the storm to come down from the north. When the sky darkened and we could see the front of rain coming, we would go out to the top of the old steps that I had built and watch it come down the lake. It was a perfect curtain of rain, clearly approaching from the north. We would wait and wait and wait---and as the curtain of rain got to just in front of the Barr's house we would rush in, get on the front porch and watch it stream down--often accompanied by rolling thunder and blinding flashes of light.
2101 Devonshire When I was working on my PhD we were living with the Slossons at 2101 Devonshire in Ann Arbor. Now Ann Arbor is famous for its violent thunderstorms. Lucy Chase and I had the little bedroom at the top of the back stairs and Lucky was in what had been Mother May's Room--through a closet connecting with our room--at the front of the house. We always had told Lucky that we should be thankful for the changes in the weather--for it was the rain that made the beautiful flowers (the row of peonies along the driveway, for example). One night we had one of those storms that has made Ann Arbor famous. The rain was coming down in buckets, the lightning was illuminating the entire town and the thunder was shaking the foundation of the house. We clutched each other in the hope that Lucky would not be terrified in that big room all alone with this ruckus (as Grandmother used to say). After one shuddering blast of thunder and the accompanying flash there was a long pause and we hard this tiny voice from the next room, "Thank You, God."

© Jim Bob Stephenson 2008

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