Reporters' Blog

Find posts by keyword
Find posts by date


Watching the Lightning Storm

by Pat Dooris

Bio | Email | Follow: @PatDoorisKGW

Posted on July 13, 2007 at 11:34 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:39 PM


Watching the Lightning Storm

I love a good lightning storm and last night did not disappoint.

I know some of you are from the Midwest and Thursday night in Portland was no big deal. I hear what you're saying. I used to work at a TV station in Rapid City, South Dakota, and that part of the country has storms that woke me from a dead sleep in the middle of the night.

But there is something special about a summer lightning storm in Portland.

Maybe its that they are so rare.

Thursday night we were starting the process of putting our boys to bed in our NE Portland home. My wife Jackie, was snuggling on the couch by the big front window with my 7 year old Ryan. All the doors and windows were open, trying to cool off our old home which had sucked in as much heat as it could hold during this hot week.

I'd told the boys earlier in the night that there could be a storm but that they should not count on it.

We'd all laid out on the front lawn earlier in the evening and watched the puffy clouds fly by from South to North. We agreed they looked like Florida type clouds.

As Jackie and Ryan began reading the bedtime book by the window---Ryan glanced outside and announced excitedly "There it is! I saw a white flash---I did---I saw it".

We were not sure if he'd actually seen lightning or a reflection of something else. I told him to listen for the thunder and then we'd be sure.

I grabbed a book to read to my 9 year old Patrick as the low rumble spread out over the sky.

The boys let out a yell and we all rushed to the living room congratulating Ryan on having such keen eyes and spotting the beginning of the storm.

Patrick and I ran upstairs to the top floor window to get a better view of the flashes. We couldn't see as well so then it was back downstairs and out onto the front porch. We ooohhhhed and awed back and forth with Ryan and Jackie standing by the front window.

I noticed across the street and a few doors down, our neighbor lady, who is very pregnant with her first baby, was sitting on her front porch too. Her hubby was close behind as they took in the special moment.

I wondered how many others had turned off the TV's and put down books to pause and watch the storm around our area.

Soon it began to rain. The sweet summer smell of rain wafted through our home and I told Patrick I remembered the smell from when I was a boy.
It sounded loud falling on the big, green maple leafs held out by the trees that line our street.

That made us smile too.

Patrick slowly scanned the skies for the next flash and came up with a 9 year old bit of wisdom on watching storms.

"Makes you not want to blink---huh--Dad."

True enough.

Moments like this should be savored.