In mid-summer, during a time when we desperately needed rain on our dry, droughty farm, we’d be driving home from Wild Rose where Ma did her weekly grocery shopping, and we’d see the occasional streak of lightning far off to the west. “Heat lightning,” Pa called it. “Looks like it might rain but it never does.”
Now, many years later, I’m sitting on the back porch at the farm—city folks would call it a deck—watching the western sky. Hoping for rain as it is becoming dry and the grass and the garden could sure benefit from a good shower.
I hear a grumbling sound, and I assume it’s an airliner winging high overhead, on its way to the Twin Cities. But then I hear it again, a growling, rumbling sound and I know it’s thunder. I see a flash of lightning, and I keep watching, keep hoping that a shower is on its way.
The thunder booms louder, the lightning flashes brighter. I move my truck from under the big maple where I park it, in case there is wind in the storm and a limb comes crashing down.
Then an even brighter flash of lightning and an even louder thunder boom—and the first drops of rain began falling, splattering into the dust. I decide to move into the cabin and watch out the window, hoping for at least a half inch of rain with no wind, no hail, and no close lightning strikes.
But then, almost mysteriously, the thunder stops, and the lightning ceases, and there are no more rain drops. As Pa would have said, “Not enough rain to settle the dust.”
Heat lightning? But what about the thunder? Heat thunder?
The Old Timer Says: Don’t be fooled by heat lightning.
Special Announcement: July 19, 11:00 a.m., Farm Technology Days, Snudden Farms, Lake Geneva, Walworth County. Memories From a Farm Boy.
Writing From Your L ife: A second Clearing Writing Class is scheduled for Friday, October 28. Call 920-854-4088 to Register.
August 9, 6:30 p.m. Winnebago County Historical Society. Oshkosh Library. History of Wisconsin Agriculture.
August 12, 9-4, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County. (Filled)
August 20, 10:30-11:30 am. Waupaca Annual Arts on the Square. Story telling
August 22, 7:00 p.m., Twin Cities Public TV. The Land With Jerry Apps
August 30, 7:00 p.m. Milwaukee Public TV. The Land With Jerry Apps
Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
September 8, 7:00 p.m. McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids. Workshop on memoir writing. Participants should have a copy of TELLING YOUR STORY. Book will be available for sale the evening of the workshop.
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
Jerry’s newest books, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their stories—are also available.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street