I just heard a gentle rumble of thunder. It was a quiet one though and there were no further rumbles. Just rain. It was such a pleasant surprise to me as we seldom have thunderstorms here in Stockholm. Thanks to the moderating effect of the Baltic Sea, the weather tends to stay consistently mild throughout the year.
But as I come from the Midwest where turbulent weather is common, I love a good thunderstorm every now and then. I’ve missed them. In my years here, I can count the number of times on one hand when we have had a truly big thunderstorm. That’s why it was such a surprise last summer when we had not one, but several thunderstorms. My brother and his family were in visiting from the US and I had confidently promised my beloved niece Sophie that she would not have to worry about thunderstorms. Sophie was 7 and afraid of storms. So there we were on the beach at Utö, an island in the archipelago, when a huge storm started coming our way. As we were on our bikes, we had to take shelter from the storm under the eaves of a small locked hut by the beach. Sophie was not impressed. In fact, she was downright angry and accusingly wailed to me: “You said there were no thunderstorms here.” But Robert talked to her through the storm and we all went back to the beach and played some more. Then more storms came through and buckets of rain as well. When all was said and done, we all ended up thoroughly soaked. The rain was relentless and it was quite a crazy weather afternoon, unlike any other weather I’ve ever seen in Stockholm. I felt bad for Sophie. But when I saw her the other day in Cincinnati, she remarked that this day was one of her favorite memories from the trip. And she is no longer afraid of storms.