That Sweet Southern Storm

Every once in a while when I’m cruising around Charleston, I get a whiff of Georgia.

This is more palpable than the random pangs I have for home and family. In fact, I’ve been able to smell South Georgia’s forest fires all week here and smother in the blown-over haze. (Yesterday morning’s run didn’t even happen; I could hardly breathe the haze+humidity was so rough, so walk I did.)

So when my co-worker did a weather check yesterday afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that we might get slapped around with a little thunderstorm. It made the after-work journey home all the more interesting:

This was irresponsible photo-taking, but isn't it cool?

One thing I miss madly about Georgia is the frequent southern thunderstorm. There’s nothing like the oncoming breeze of a big one – when you’re standing out in the grass and catch a whiff of the rain, and a rumble follows. Driving, you see the bright flash in the distance, and you lean more toward the windshield to get a better glimpse and predict where the next one will hit. 

Here, the Charleston waters somehow manage to suck our storms right out to sea. It was one of those things I noticed last summer and instantly missed: Georgia will always have the upper hand with a thunderstorm when it comes to Charleston. (Hopefully, I won’t have to ever make this comparison about hurricanes.) So when I crossed that bridge yesterday evening heading home, I had to pull a Georgia driver, crane my neck forward, and try to catch a glimpse of the coming storm. Luckily, it was hard to miss.

As I turned down Queen Street, the lightning flickered in my rearview mirror. I could see the Waterfront Park fountains splashing behind me, two blocks back. A bolt struck out at sea, illuminating the park’s flagpole that  stood erect with its Palmetto and Moon thrashing.

Jamey fought these outbursts earlier this week to leave for Chicago. I hope they’ll all have blown over for his safe return today, but last night I relished that sweet summer storm and a Southern homecoming.


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