The storm

As I was driving along yesterday, I was thinking about how to tell you just how much I love Minnesota. We’re on the edge of the Prairie, so the land is flattening out and the sky is getting bigger and bigger. There are long, straight roads with generous speed limits, there are seas of corn and speckles of cows.

Dear gods, what is that?

Then we hit the storm. We saw it coming about 11 p.m., just flashes in the distance. One of the many things I like about the Prairies is being able to see storms from a thousand miles off. The problem is, of course, that you can’t see a damn thing on a nearly empty road at 11 at night. All we could do was watch the sky light up, closer and closer, and keep our eyes out for hotels. 

We smelled it before it hit us. A thick change in the air and prickle behind our ears and then SLAM we hit a wall of rain so hard I could see nothing but taillights in front of me and, once those were far ahead, the bare outline of road beside me. Lightning gave me flashes of my surroundings, of angry clouds and flooding roads.

We were in it only for about six miles, but it felt like hours till we found a service centre where I could get out and shake. And shake. And shake a little more. It took more than an hour for the adrenaline to wear off.

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