Saturday, July 18, 2015

Friday Night Musings

Gull at sunset
Upon returning to the manse of a Friday eve, I noted an overwhelming beauty all about me. I rather wished that I had my Canon with me, but it was upstairs in the computer room and the glorious light of a New England sunset was not going to wait. So out came Monsieur le Smart Phone. He was more than willing to accommodate my need to take a few photos. (I'm starting to think that the nicer camera needs to stay on or about my person for just these type of fleeting moments.)

So the pics are perhaps a might blurry, perhaps not as sharp as they could be, but I think they convey an impression of what I was looking at, upon a Friday eve.

Bumble bee and humming bird attractors.

Back before the day we lost my favorite blogger, I often reveled in the thoughts and musings of the man. He was erudite, witty and very observant of the human condition. I remember his Friday Night Musings, I've often wanted to use that title. Somehow it seemed presumptuous of me to do so. Then I realized, what finer tribute? After all, Oscar Wilde is alleged to have said, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." While that may be true, it is what is intended. So, off we go.

New England, sunset, mid-July

A storm passed through here a couple of days ago, rain came down in buckets, the flash of lightning and the rumble of thunder was constant. When I was a child I had a horrid fascination with such storms, they scared me and thrilled me all at the same time.

In Vermont we lived on the side of a hill overlooking the Black River valley (a tributary of the Connecticut) and in the summer we would often get very violent thunder storms. We would be awakened by the thunder and all head downstairs to the living room. From there we would watch the lightning flicker and flash across the hills and listen to the crash and boom of the thunder.

We would count the seconds from the flash of the lightning until the thunder came. We enjoyed figuring how far away that last strike was. Well, until the flash and the boom were nearly simultaneous. Then we kids would scurry for cover.

Under the coffee table was a favored spot.

Flowers at dusk

Just after high school, a good friend of mine's Dad bought a farm out in the boondocks (so to speak, some would argue that where we lived was already the boondocks!) The place was awesome, fields, a pond and the forest right along the boundaries of the property. It wasn't a big place but I remember it fondly.

We'd camp by the pond and drink beer around the campfire at night. During the day we usually had our rifled muskets with us and we'd do a little black powder shooting. Felt like Civil War days, only without the disease, the dying, suffering and hardship. We were young, what the Hell did we know?

Point of the story is that one day we were a few fields over from our campsite and didn't start back until nearly nightfall. As we walked along the tree line, out in the distance we could see the lightning flickering out beyond the hills.

It was night, it was calm and we seemed to be the only living beings left on Earth. We could hear the thunder, after a minute of trudging along, one of our party just stopped and said, "I don't know about you guys but I'm going to sit a spell and watch the show."

We all did. It is one of my fondest memories. Good friends, good times.

The beauty of the sky at dusk

Years later when assigned to Colorado, we had occasion to drive from Fort Collins in Colorado up to Cheyenne, Wyoming (and back of course). At night, looking out over the Plains to the east we would often see the flicker of distant lightning, almost surreal with no accompanying thunder.

The kids would go from squabbling and fussing to oohs and aahs as they watched Nature in action. One night we pulled over beside the road and just watched for a few minutes.

The wind would ebb and sigh, rustling the grass while in the distance we could hear the faint muttering of the thunder. I could almost imagine what it must have been like out on those Plains 150 years ago.

The lights come on as the sunlight gradually fades

After I retired from the Air Force, we lived with my parents for a couple of months. It really gave me the opportunity to reconnect with my parents. My grandmother, she of apple pie fame, lived in the same neighborhood so we got to see her a lot as well. My children had the opportunity to get to know her before she passed away. Something I hope they cherish.

One evening we heard the rumble of thunder in the distance. Out we went to sit on the front deck and watch the age-old show. I got to watch the lightning with my parents again, little did I know that it would be the last time I shared that with my Dad.

Grab the good times while you can.

The view to the southwest as the light fades

I guess there's no real point to this post, other than for me to share my home and my memories with you. Yesterday's post was unusual for me, I'm not much into ranting. But my inner pessimist came to visit and I had to entertain the grumpy old bastid, at least for the day.

Tossed him out on Friday. Too pretty a day to grouse about current affairs.

But the more I think on it, the evildoers who would destroy our way of life better be careful. I will fight for this land and for my fellow Americans.

I know I'm not alone.

Ignore us at your peril.

Enjoy your weekend, may God shower His Blessings upon you.

May He watch o'er us all in these perilous times.


  1. Nice, Sarge--both the photos and the comments..

  2. Glad you're feeling better Sarge. I was a tad worried about you yesterday. Sick and grumpy is not a fun place to be. Well, grumpy can be fun, for a while, but there's always a price to pay.

    Like your pictures a lot. The world is a magical place at dusk and dawn.

    When you and your family paused to watch the storms there on the eastern slope your eyes almost certainly (and unknowingly) danced across a spot on the horizon behind which lay the EJE. Seems kinda cool for some reason.

    BTW, did you ever get a contractor lined out for your lawn or has that chore reappeared on your to-do list? I'll be mowing my place in town today if the Lord doesn't have a better idea.

    1. Agreed on the dawn and dusk magic, except I'm seldom awake for the former. Or if I am I'm getting ready for work.

      To think I lived only about a 120 road miles from Kimball while living in Fort Collins. It is kinda cool.

      I did find someone to cut the lawn here at Chez Sarge. I felt guilty about it at first. Then I realized that the weekends were mine now, I was no longer chained to the mower and weed-whacker for three hours every Saturday.

      You have a place in town? Cool.

  3. " needs to stay on or about my person..."

    I think so, too.
    But I always forget.

  4. My favourite dates with my girl was watching thunderstorms at night. Over near Reese AFB, you can see tomorrow, there are so few obstructions to the horizon. Thunderstorms a 100 miles away are visible at times (if they grow tall enough). We'd sit on the Fury and watch the show. I miss those times. Simple, quiet, beautiful. A full grown thunderhead with it's top in the jet stream is a beautiful, amazing, awe inspiring (awful) thing to watch.

    1. I couldn't agree more. There's just something about that building storm that thrills.

  5. Beautiful post Sarge, thank you. Though I will say my fear of thunderstorms that started as a child has never really left me. I cringe, flinch and cower with each one that passes by. I have watched a spectacular lightning storm over Long Island Sound from the CT Shoreline - that was truly a magical evening. But 3 days later Hurricane Irene, literally, swept away the house we had been in. So, my fear of t-storms - stands.

    1. Oh believe me, while I enjoy the show I never forget the destruction those storms can mete out.

      A bit of fear can be very healthy!

  6. Well done, and I think we all have those 'little' memories of thunder and lightning! As far as the plainsmen, I read a book years ago and I remember they were afraid of the lightning and the fires they could cause, especially when they were driving a herd of cattle to market. That and the stampedes caused a lot of losses of good beeves during a drive.

    1. A stampede in a thunder storm, that would be terrifying.

    2. My great uncle was killed by lightning near Childress Texas in the mid 30's tending cows. I remember my dad telling me his dad went to claim the body. Took him to Tarrant county for burial.

    3. Dang. It's dangerous out there when the lightning comes.

  7. Been lucky in my relationship with stormy weather. Sandy had little actual impact where I live. (Although we were expecting the worst.)
    My very first "storm memory" comes from when I was, maybe, six years old. I was at the baby-sitter's house. It was (our) dinnertime.
    The street was filled with kids playing. I was stuck inside until I ate my lima beans. I was reluctant to do so. I finally managed to hide
    them in the space between the counter and the wall. Freed, I joined the others running around outside. At about this time the hot, humid
    air seemed to turn a greenish hue . . . it became very still. There was an electric smell. Then . . . KaBoom! Thunder and a deluge.
    That memory has remained with me all these years.

    1. You never forget that smell in the air.

      There were times out in Omaha when we could see the types of storms which caused tornadoes. That greenish hue is scary.

  8. What a timely post for we are experiencing a strange happening here in SoCal....a true summer thunderstorm. Started some time after 4am, when I went to bed and is continuing even now. I just remarked to MiLady that this is just like a rainy summer's day I remember as a kid in The Old North State. Can't wait to experience them again.
    (Had the first of several movers come by to give us an estimate of the cost of moving 40 years of stuff. The pace of the move will start picking up.)

    1. Get you back here on the East Coast we'll have to meet up somewhere!


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