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S.P.A.C.E. con

   I could see the storm out on the horizon. But it was moving along in such a way that it wasn’t going to hit us, it would go right by. The wind picked up and changed directions suddenly and the waves started to pound the shore by our campsite. The trees bent over and it started to drizzle slightly.

   And then it all stopped. It was dead silent. Then lightning struck the shore across from us, setting two houses on fire instantly. The thunder broke the silence with a deafening boom. The change in the wind had altered the course of the storm. It was headed directly toward Long Point State Park. This area of the Lake Ontario coast is famous for its storms, but we thought this was just a bad thunderstorm.

   Lightning struck again, and again, and again, 20 times before we realized that this was going to be a bad one.

   It was pouring on half of Chaumont Bay and perfectly dry on our half. Then it drizzled, and then it poured. We ran to the van and reassured ourselves that that wouldn’t get hit by lightning, and if it did, the rubber wheels would protect us.

   “Want to come in the trailer?” said our neighbor, Charlie, as he walked hurriedly to our van, holding his hand over his eyes to protect them from the stinging rain.
   We glanced from one to another as if we were actually going to turn him down. “Yea” we all said in unison. I slid the side door of the van open just to be greeted by the fury of the storm. Hail, rain and, tree branches pounded at my face. I ran as fast as I could to the protection of his trailer awning.

   The thunder and lightning were simultaneous. It was close, way to close. I scurried up the stairs and into the trailer. Charlie’s wife, Betty, greeted me warmly. I sat in a chair and peered out the foggy window at the now white with hail ground. The rain had stopped and the wind had died down considerably. We thought it was over, then, as suddenly as the storm had come upon us, the wind switched again and blew the storm back over top of us. It was just as fierce as the first time. But did not last as long.

   It was raining like crazy, and my dad and Charlie and Charlie’s brother staid outside and would empty the awning so it would not collapse. They kept a little bit of rain in it so that the high winds would not rip it from the trailer.

   People lost awnings; one person lost the door of their trailer while trying to close it. There were tents lining the coastline. And more tents strewn about the park. Some people had everything that they had brought camping soaked by the rain. But there were things that remained untouched by the storm. Our propane lantern that hadn’t moved and inch during the storm. Or the deck of cards that sat on our picnic table that remained dry during the storm.

   Charlie had never seen hail in a storm in all the years he had been camping there, since he was a kid. But had only one thing to say about this storm- “Now that’s a Long Point Storm.” 

all content (c) Matt Corrigan