Friday, May 29, 2009

Thunderstruck By Graduation!

Tonight we'll see this:

Bo will graduate from high school after thirteen years of homeschooling. Just yesterday we were doing a "Hungry Little Caterpillar" unit study in kindergarten. Today she asked me if I ever remember not knowing how to read. I told her I don't remember not knowing but I definitely recall learning. I followed my mother around the house reading from my "Fun with Dick and Jane" book. (There's a story behind that for another post.) Bo said she remembers struggling to learn but not being unable to read. Books, reading, and writing are so much a part of her very essence now, I don't think she could delineate where she ends and they begin. They aren't what she does, they're what she is. And when that flower opened, I was there to witness it. What a gift.

With thirty-nine other homeschooled students, we will hand our kids (our young men and women) their diplomas. And we will close a chapter of our lives. What's done is done and what's undone is undone. There was never enough time, energy, or opportunity to do everything I had envisioned I would do. But I pray it is enough. I brought my lumpy loaves and a couple of fish to God and he has multiplied them beyond anything I was capable of achieving. I couldn't ask for more.

And last night we did this:

The kids and I went storm chasing. (These are stock photos but look so close to the unbelievable lightning storm we caught up with that they could be ours.) We try to storm chase every chance we get. This time we were able to drop right into the center of the cell and watch it explode all around us. Lots of strikes on the ground, great intercloud activity, a HUGE column with pink hues, a lightning ball all curlicued up into itself and bursting across our vision, as well as one strike that headed straight for the ground but veered off to the left at a sharp 90 degree angle.

At one point we saw a huge strike hit a transformer and explode into a sky full of brilliant aqua. We stayed long enough to watch repair crews arrive. The Wild Man wanted to pick their brains about exactly how much damage there was, but I doubted they would welcome inquiries in the middle of a storm so, he lost that bid.

The piece de resistance was when lightning burst forth directly on top of our SUV and made us nearly blind. We ducked, screamed, and plastered our hands to our eyes in self defense. And then, of course, the thunder was immediate and rocked the whole car and our ear drums in a blasting and long rolling percussion. WHAT A RUSH!!!!!!!! Now THAT's what I'm TALKIN' about! You can storm chase for a long time and not get THAT lucky. Oh! And the dogs were with us. They did great and loved the pelting rain that came right afterwards.

(Yes, I know this hobby is slightly dangerous but you're actually pretty safe in a car. And with all the trees in the fields and other outbuildings and poles to hit, it would be unlikely to seek us as we are fairly well insulated. And this is interesting: "The odds of being struck and killed by lightning are actually quite slim, about 350,000 to 1. You are fifty times more likely to be struck and killed by a motor vehicle." (from Starry So I guess by stopping in the middle of the storm instead of continuing the drive, our odds of living went up exponentially!)

Once the lightning moved off, the kids had to get out and stand in the wind and rain with arms splayed and faces upturned to the sky. Oh, and that smell. Is there anything that compares with the smell of a summer storm? Those of you in Big Weather Country probably get this all the time. But in California, it's much more rare. Bo says it was God celebrating grad night. I'll go with that. We are thunderstruck by thirteen years. God gave us a picture to remember the feeling forever. :-)

Please forgive me for not visiting you more this last few days. I will be back in between all the festivities and parties. And of COURSE I'll be showing you pictures!

Copyright 2009


  1. Having a kid graduate from high school must be a terribly wonderful experience [including both joyful and nostalgic sobs] least I imagine so. I can't even picture my own kidlets graduating someday, though I know they will.

    As far as storm chasing goes, you're braver than I but it sounds like a great memory making experience for you and your kids.

  2. I remember standing on a chair to watch lightning out of the window, when I was little, but it was nothing compared to those pictures! I can see the fascination with storm chasing, but pardon me if I say I think you must all be a bit batty?! Hehehe...

  3. I think you all may be addicted to nitrogen! Crazy fools!

    I wonder what the statistics are for storm chasers? I bet they are higher than 350,000 to 1.

    My husband was hit by lightning out on the golf course. I have to admit that sex was better after that. I'm just saying.

  4. Congratulations Bo! and Robynn!

    The lightning pictures are beautiful.
    and...I loved Fun with Dick and Jane, too.

    Have a great graduation and party.

  5. Graduation, enjoy Robynn, Yes I do like a great thunder storm, we get lots of lightening and shows out here by great Lake Erie.

  6. An absolutely fabulous post!!!! A wonderful analogy/metaphor!!!! A daring and delightful lady!!!!What's not to admire here???!!!??? And so, Congratulations to you ALL!!!!! I love you, and am thunderstruck by your achievements! Janine XO

  7. "The odds of being struck and killed by lightning are actually quite slim, about 350,000 to 1. You are fifty times more likely to be struck and killed by a motor vehicle."

    I am thinking your car might be grounded since its got rubber tires but I am not sure that this rule might turn on you .. and if lightening hit your car and fried you would COD be due to lightening or a motor accident?

    Just wonderin'

    Seriously congrats to Bo and the other graduates! Woot!

  8. Congratulations to YOU, Bo! What a beautiful young woman -- you have made your family proud! I'll be waiting for pictures!

  9. You went storm chasing?! I get nervous and jittery just thinking about it!

    Congratulations on tonight's graduation! I imagine that I'll still see the two year old face sitting across from me right now when I attend his graduation.

  10. OMGoodness! You ARE crazy! We went out and watched for awhile and then hightailed it in and away from the windows. Seriously thought our picture windows were going to explode! Never have I felt nature being so scary; but it was absolutely amazing. We actually talked about those crazy storm chasers while standing outside! I can just imagine your view; front row seats! It is enticing!
    Well today's the day! A little over 10 hours away! Kelsey doesn't want to cry. Do you think Bo will? What a blessing that we get to do this with our closest friends! Can't wait! love you guys

  11. AHHHH!!!!! Thats great! We went outside and watched the lightning storm for a while, when it was still quite a ways off. It was the most spectacular show I have ever seen! Sounds like you guys had the best seats (though I'm not certain I would have been brave enough to take the seat next to you guys).

    And it indeed was such a special treat on the eve of our graduation. We will remember this forever! Love you all and see you tonight!

    Kelsey Elsy Anne

  12. Congrats to Bo! Great segue into the lightning. And yes, crazy!

  13. Love, love, love a good thunderstorm!! Know I am there with you in spirit when you go :) Congratulations to Hannah Bo!! And to you as well, teach! I commend you both on your accomplishments. She will be prepared for her future. If she has a love of learning and a desire to achieve, she will be successful in college :)

  14. Oh Goodness... Congratulations BO!! Woooo Hoooo! Mom .. forget the kleenex .. take a beach towel for them tears.
    A few years ago Ashley would have had a blast with y'all chasing storms. Every since she saw the movie Twister when she was a lil thang all we ever heard was I'm gonna be a Meteorologist. But all that changed about 2 years ago when she actually got caught in a tornado with my Mom in Alabama. They had to take to the ditches with a few other motorists and even with the weight of 4 adults on her.. she could still feel her self being lifted up by the winds. Needless to say.. It skeered the mess outta her and her future career of storm chasing was sucked away in that Bama twister. Now she's decided to follow in her Dad's footsteps.. minus the military part... and be a Wildlife Biologist.
    Be watching for an announcement soon on my blog.. a lil hint..we have a new addition coming!

    Have a Blast tonight..I know you're so proud.. as well you should be. Bo is Awesome and a beautiful testimony of an equally awesome Mother.

  15. You are certifiably NUTS!

    I was actually hit by lightening, when I was pregnant with Solomon. We swear that's why he is the way he is!!! Super Smart...but very weird:-)

    Congrats to Hannah Bo AND to you - on her graduation!

  16. Congratulations to Bo...and to you!!

    I love love love thunderstorms!!

  17. Wow! Congratulations to Bo! And I love how you celebrate by chasing storms and nearly going blind... Too cool!

  18. I don't think I'll tell my husband to read this post! We as a family enjoy thunder storms but so far from the safety of our house! I can only imagine what a thrill he would get being a storm chaser!

    I have an award waiting for you over at my blog.

  19. I will be thinking of you and Bo tonight...What a gift you and your daughter have received. What a pleasure it is to home school...((well, most of the time :-) ))
    I know you will be full of pride tonight for your daughter and she for you...... As a home school mom myself...I will be full of pride for your whole family. I know the Love and dedication it took to get your daughter to this point. She is a very lucky young woman.

    Can't wait to see the pictures!!

    The lighting is amazing! YOUR ALL NUTS!! Sit on the beach and watch :-)

  20. Congrats to both of you upon this graduation. I was going to suggest how smart you both are, but after reading the entire post, I think you all are NUTS!
    Have a good grad night!

  21. Congratulations to Bo!!

    (hun, feeling right sickish this morning, so more later, k?)

  22. Hi Robynn, Haven't seen you for ages - hope you are feeling better.
    Congratulations to Bo.
    My what thunderstorms - what an experience! But remember, every Cloud has a Silvery Lining!
    Your ambulance buddy from little old England. Mr Darcy would like a word with you! ~ Eddie

  23. Well I know I'd be chasing in the opposite direction as I hate storms!
    The photos are dramatic though!

    Your home schooling has really paid off & congratulations to you and your offspring! Great!

  24. OMHoly Cow! ... the lightening so close over you!?! ...and what a perspective (Bo had with God celebrating Graduation). Love the getting out and BEING in it- the smell... love that earthy distinct smell of rain. Have a fun PM!
    Congrats to Bo!

  25. I'm sure your kids are going to have such delightful memories of being educated by their fun mom.

    Many congratulations to Bo. Enjoy the festivities!

  26. A BIG "HOMESCHOOL" Congratulations!
    And Congrats to you Robynn for sticking it out all the way through. We did....K-12 all six kiddos.
    YOU ARE ALL NUTZ.......I repeat your all NUTZ! Storm chasing!! We recently had 2 storm chasers from a TV station chase a storm and get caught right in the middle of a tornado touch down 1 mile from us. Then a week later a motorcyclist was struck by lightening and killed, and rider next to him injured. Stay inside where its dry girl!

  27. Congrats to Bo... way to go!

    Storm chasing is fun, can't believe you actually got hit! That's amazing. I think they did a mythbusters on getting struck by lightening in the car... I can't remember how it turned out, but if I recall correctly, you might not have liked it. :-)

  28. Graduation is an amazing feat, but probably better appreciated if you're not killed by lightening.

    Just sayin...


  29. Congrats to Hannah Bo and to mom, too. The lightening show is way more exciting than a fireworks show to celebrate Bo's graduation, but let me throw a caution your way. If you ever come visit in Oklahoma you may want to think twice about storm chasing...

    Just sayin'


    w.v. - melfele I know you can come up with something for that...

  30. Storm chasing? Wow! You surprise me! There is a scripture verse somewhere--is it Psalms or Proverbs--that says God speaks in the thunder. So whenever I hear thunder, I figure it is God talking to us.
    Congrats to Bo--and you too, for 13 years of homeschooling! I think that really is the best way to educate.

  31. Congrats on graduation AND on surviving storm chasing. What will you do for an encore?

    You might enjoy some of our beautiful May flowers (Butterfly has a green thumb like no other):

  32. Love the pictures. I've always liked watching lightning, especially when I see it over the sea. As a child I witnessed a huge thunderbolt spinning over the house before crashing in the next road. I wonder if that was my influence.

  33. Storm chasing does sound dangerous, but what a cool thing to do with your kids. Congrats on your 13 yrs. of homeschooling.

  34. wow! Those pictures are awesome and what a cool experience too. You guys sure are brave!

  35. Um, is it wrong that I want to go storm chasing? Here in Oregon, we get perpetual drizzle most of the year; then it's Tarzan hot for a couple months before the rain returns. I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen lightening and heard thunder since moving here. Growing up in Indiana ... different story. Flashy thunderstorms and crazy tornadoes. Ah, the good old days.

    Love your analogy in the title of your post!

  36. Wow, those storms are incredible!!
    Great photos too