Growing up, my family lived in this cute little bungalow-style home. It had hardwood floors, big closets, a basement that was perfect for tornado warnings, and a big front porch. Complete with a swing.
I loved that swing. I've always wanted a home with a swing because of it. We do not have one now, but I have faith that someday we will.
I loved reading books on that swing. And pretending to take naps. (I wouldn't pretend anymore!) But the thing I loved most about that swing was sitting on it with my dad and my brother, enjoying a good thunderstorm.
I grew up in Kansas, and boy did we get a lot of thunderstorms. It's probably the thing I miss the most about Kansas, aside from my family. Those humid summers with thunderstorms every other night. I love the scent of rain on warm pavement. And hearing the rumble of thunder. I love the lightening, too. The streaky kind and the kind that lights up the entire sky because it's behind the clouds. I love seeing the dark clouds roll in. (Seeing the dark clouds turn an eerie shade of green was always bad, though -- it meant a tornado. Seriously. Green.)
But my absolute favorite part of thunderstorms was going out on the porch swing with my dad and my brother. We'd bring our blankets and curl up beside him. Sometimes we'd talk about stuff, school and whatnot. Sometimes he'd sing to us. Sometimes we'd just listen to the rain and and thunder. And sometimes he'd tell us stories.
My dad has such a fantastic imagination. He'd make up stories for us night after night. There were two sets of characters: Cowboy Dan and his horse Lightning, or the elves Geek, Peepo and Dido and Princess Leilani. It was hearing the story of Cowboy Dan encountering some Indians that I learned that Native Americans were descendents of the Lamanites. And Geek, Peepo and Dido (I have no idea where he came up with those names!) were always off getting Princess Leilani out of whatever trouble she had found herself in.
To this day, thunderstorms (even lame, short rainshowers like we get in Utah) make me want to sit on the front porch with my favorite blanket and escape into some good fiction. In fact, I'm off to do that just now.