First darkness descends in the middle of the day ... then ka-boom, deep, sounding thunder...
the sky turns green and rain begins to pour, inundating your backyard and gushing from your gutters in steams.
This is a Texas thunderstorm, it is the kind of storm which could turn into a tornado or could peter out completely by the time it sweeps over the plains West of Fort Worth and into the city center.
A beeping alarm blares from the television warning of this weather phenomenon, a phenomenon which could become alarmingly dangerous causing you to rush headlong into your bathtub, with pillows in hand or could dissipate completely giving only enough rain to feed the native plants in your garden.
Texans know a storm can shift in seconds. They realize the weatherman, with all of his technological prowess still holds little sway in the prediction of what exactly a thunderstorm in this state might become. As such, many Texans stand outside on the front porch rather than watch the weatherman. They eye the sky, watching the coloration of the clouds or straining for signs of rotation in the dark mass overhead. They run through all of the quips from family members who have survived such storms before in their head.
"Of course you will hear a tornado before it hits your house, it sounds as loud as a freight train." "The sky will grow eerily green." "Your ears will begin popping when it is time to run..." "The wind will stop gusting and all the air will become still and quiet."
And then the rain slows and thunder claps are reduced to a low, comforting, rumble so you return to your seat, pick up your needles, curl your legs underneath you and throw a warm blanket across your lap and knit - and listen...