Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Thrill of Thunder

I feel like crap. The back of my throat is sore. I have a headache. I’ve been taking Airborne for two days so it hasn’t gotten any worse but even a little bit is too much.

The kids are on their way back from Florida. They didn’t want to come back. They plan on moving down to the Orlando area this year. The Pirate wants to be a Disney artist and The Snoogs just wants to live in Florida.

I have to go take an aspirin so I can think. Be back. I’m sucking on a Ricola, too. That always helps. And it did.

Thunder is one of my most favorite things. I love the feel of it rumbling through my chest when thunder sounds overhead. I’ve wondered where that love came from and it came to me as I was sitting here trying to think of something to write. It feels like my childhood. I spent my time until I was ten at my Oma’s apartment in Hallein, Austria. The apartment building was made out of alpine stone, walls two feet thick. It was located along side of the Salzach river and in the shadow of the Untersberg massif. When storms came through the mountains, I would sit in my little room, leaning out the window and watch the water rise in the river, white topped waves moving into whirlpools around the boulders that ancient waters had brought down from the mountains. Thunder and lightening galloped around the walls of the valley bowl and I dreamed of other people, places and times. Castles and kings and peasants played in my mind while the river rose and roared below my window.

The thunder was dragons calling to each other and the lightning was the flames they shot from the sky to toast their evening meals of long horned cattle. The caves they lived in were lined with crystal and salt. I saw the fairy tales when I looked out that window.

Hallein is more than 4,000 years old. Founded by Celts for the salt deposits in the mountains. And the only place that ever felt like home. Now, everyone that ever was is no longer so home only lives within my heart.

That little room is why I like small spaces where everything is all in one room. If I had my way, I’d live in a one room cottage. And it’s why I like it very cold at night (no heating except in the kitchen of that apartment) and lots of blankets (we slept under lots of feather blankets.) My Uroma (great-grandmother) lived in a multi-family farmhouse apartment with walls three feet thick, a shared outhouse and an actual washroom where everyone went to take baths and wash clothes. The stairs to the second floor were made of solid stone worn down by centuries of feet. Across the hall from my Uroma’s apartment was the dark attic room where my mother locked me when I annoyed her.

My Oma (grandmother) would take me to the butcher’s shop where I would get a warm Leberkäse sandwich and we would stroll through the ancient streets and strangers always said hello.