Hammertime: I love thunderstorms…but only from the indoors.

This week’s feature is on two crazes - thunderstorms and pandas

I love thunderstorms, but only from the indoors.

Wowee, whiz, bang! I was a little shocked to be awoken by the first big clap of summer thunder last week during the wee hours of an early May morning.

Don’t get me wrong, since way back when I was a youngster, I have always loved thunderstorms, watching the lightning flash across the skies and then counting down for the big boomers to rumble.

My dear late mother was terrified of thunderstorms, and at the first sign of one — especially at night — she would roust us out of bed and we would gather in our tiny living room drinking tea and nibbling on cookies until it was gone.

Although I may sound quite brave about facing Mother Nature’s regular ‘shake-up’ of our pristine skies, when she starts to cloud up, I look for the nearest safe shelter and then sit back and watch the noisy light show.

Whether we may be in awe or fear of summer thunderstorms, we also need to be sure to respect the fact that a bolt of lightning can reach 54,000 degrees, is capable of inflicting a great deal of damage and injury wherever it may strike, which is usually anywhere and fast.

The experts claim that the safest place to be during a thunderstorm is inside your home or vehicle, while the worst are outside in your yard, in an open field, on a hill, on a golf course, out on a lake in your boat or standing beside a big tree or power pole.

If you happen to get caught out in a sudden thunderstorm, hide under the first big thing you can find and stay put until it blows over. We are so fortunate today to have so many ways to check the weather conditions and emergencies wherever we may be located and from there we can stay safe and plan our day.

Some of the age-old superstitions concerning thunder storms is that the first one of the season wakes up all the snakes and that lightning never strikes twice.

But then again, former famous professional golfer Lee Trevino was actually zapped twice out on the course during his career and survived. So now, like all other wise golfers, they should all head quickly to the clubhouse lounge as soon as the horn sounds.

Pandas have arrived

I was so excited to hear last week that the four famous travelling Chinese Giant Pandas have arrived at the Calgary Zoo for an extended stay.

Hopefully, we will all get the opportunity to treat our extended families to a look see.

Er Shun and Da Mao will be the guests of the Stampede city and the province for five years, while their cute and cuddly cubs Jia Pan Pan and Jia Yue Yue will be tantalizing families for a year and a half.

Apparently these Pandas munch on nothing but bamboo shoots, so two flights full of nine varieties of these tasty treats will be flown in for their dining pleasure each and every week.

Now for a little fun

*When punishing your kids, don’t take away their electronics…just take their charger, then watch the fear in their eyes as they use it less and less while the battery slowly fades away.

*If we really look like our passport photos, we probably need a holiday. As seniors we must all remember that we are still probably more valuable than the new, up and coming generations. This is simply because we have silver in our hair, gold in our teeth, rare stones in our kidneys, lead in our feet and are loaded with natural gas.

*Whoever came up with the phrase ‘the pitter-patter of little feet’ have certainly never heard a four year old walk. Whatever the case, these precious little duffers will always come up with the very best honest and instant statements right from the heart. For example — ‘Granny, how old are you? I’ll be 75 next month. Well, we’re certainly not paying for that many candles on your cake!’ As parents, we will never know our worse fears than when your two year old flushes the toilet in the hall bathroom and yells ‘bye-bye!’

Even though the dreaded dandelion — the most powerful and pesky flower of the prairies — is now out in full bloom, we should now be well into the happy ‘summer mode’ and feeling the sun’s rays and longer days. Take it all in to the fullest and have a great week, all of you.

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