Cousin Mary loved her folks’ summer cabin in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. It was nestled between two hills and was probably a sheep’s shed in its former life. It was just three rooms, a bunkhouse-style sleeping area, a dining and kitchen area, and a bathroom and laundry room. To Mary, it was heaven on earth.
She said that summer always brought cloudbursts, when a thunderstorm appeared very quickly and there was a torrential downpour, and then moments later the sun was shining and the earth glistened with wetness, and everything smelled of wet dust.
She said that sometimes you could hear a storm approach through the pinegroves. To the uninitiated, it sounded like wind, but it was really advancing rain.
She said that one time a thunderstorm happened when the rest of her family was asleep and she sat up and watched as the lightning flared across the hilltop, accentuating the stalks of mullein, making them look like alien soldiers marching down the hill. On the radio, the eerie theme to The Good, The Bad and the Ugly came on and she hid beneath the summer quilt until morning came.