The Coming Storm

“Grandpa!” Beth shouted as she raced for the barn. Her brother, Tommy, was right behind her. There was a storm coming, and it seemed that everything on the farm was heading for shelter. Feathers flew as the chickens scurried for the hen house. Even Molly, the collie, sensed that a change was coming because she barked and leaped down the lane toward the barn.

“Hurry, kids, or you’re going to get wet!” called Grandpa from the barn door, “I’ve set some hay bales in the doorway so that we can sit and watch the storm.” Lightning crackled as they made the safety of the barn.

As they sat down, their Grandpa put his arm around each and gave them a hug knowing that his presence would calm any fear that they might have. As they sat and watched the storm, their Grandpa started pointing out how the wind preceded the rain, and how the corn bent before the wind. He pointed out the forming of a rainbow in the distance.

As he talked, Beth snuggled closer and started thinking about her Grandpa and the farm. Their Grandmother had gone to be with the Lord a couple of years ago, so they started spending their summer vacations with him. It was nice to leave Chicago and come to southern Indiana for a couple of months. Grandpa needed help around the farm and each was assigned chores. Tommy mowed the grass, helped feed the animals, and cut the weeds along the fence rows. Beth helped with the meals, gathered the eggs, and worked in the garden. Her favorite place was the strawberry patch. Until she made herself sick, it was one for the pail and one for her mouth!

She thought of lazy afternoons spent in the hammock under the elm trees. Butterflies and hummingbirds would be flitting about, and honey bees would be making round trips from the clover to the hive. Kittens would be playing in the irises, and Molly would be sound asleep on the porch. Grandma’s favorite lilac bush would be emitting a wonderful fragrance in the warm, humid air. Grandpa would take an afternoon break and serve iced tea in tall glasses brimming with ice. And there was the pond for afternoon swims. Evenings would be spent with each taking a turn with the crank making homemade ice cream.

All of these thoughts crossed her mind as she sat beside Grandpa and watched the rain nourish the thirsty corn and beans. It had been a while since it had rained, and it seemed like everything was turning greener by the moment the rain fell.

Grandpa interrupted her thoughts with a statement, “You know something, kids. I so look forward to you coming each summer. It gets awfully lonely around here from time to time. I miss your Grandma very much,” he murmured.

Beth held him closer and looked up to see a tear trickling down his cheek. Suddenly she realized that this was where she was supposed to be. Her Grandpa needed her and Tommy. With eyes glistening with tears, she held him closer and said the first thing that came to her mind. “I love you, Grandpa, and will forever and ever. I will always come to visit during the summer.”

Summer vacations suddenly took on a new meaning in Beth’s life, and she knew that she would be back next year.

June 17, 2021

Picture courtesy of Pixabay