When I climbed the stairs out of the subway, the first thing I noticed was the flashing light. It looked like a Hollywood premiere.
I had my umbrella, but the rain hadn't started, so I was fine. But the lightning. It was like a sci-fi movie. Jagged spears everywhere, immediate booms of thunder. People were stopped on the sidewalks looking at the clouds. A couple of people had cameras out.
By the time I'd reached my street, the lightning and thunder had me rattled. Too close, too loud. A block away from my house, the rain started. Fat, heavy drops. By the time I had my umbrella opened, it was pouring. The wind whipped the rain sideways, catching my umbrella and rendering it useless. I ran the half-block down to my apartment. When I reached the scaffolding, I was dripping wet and my shoes were filled with water.
Once safely indoors, I looked out and marveled at the rain and the wind. The streets were filled with water and leaves. The wind tore at the branches and awnings. I could hear the pings as small hailstones bounced off my air conditioner.
Needless to say, I didn't make it to the gym.
This morning I noticed that the Lutheran church across the street had been cordoned off. Safety tape around the building, wooden barriers blocking the sidewalk and part of the street. My first thought was a bomb scare. Then I noticed the twin spires at the front of the church were no longer twins. One was now shorter than the other. And large pieces of carved stone had gouged chunks out of the pavement, ripped limbs from the surrounding trees and crushed the wrought-iron fence. I don't know if it was the wind or the lightning, but it's amazing what one relatively quick storm can do.