Grocery shopping is a weekly errand for us like it is for all other families.  We make our list, shop for the best prices through coupons, then we make the trek together to gather what we need to sustain our lives for another week of hospitality with new friends and quiet meals for two.  But, we not infrequently are greeted with a surprise.

We parked in the lot of a local grocery store.  Methodically, we ticked off the items on our shopping list.  Our basket was full.

At the check out counter, we engaged our check with some fun conversation.  I bagged our purchases.  With a friendly wave and finally cheerful note, our checker wished us a happy rest of our day.

Then, we noticed that there was a back up of customers at the exit.  We were curious as to the growing crowd.  As we drew closer we could quickly assess the hold up.

When we had entered the store, the humidity outside was remarkable.  You could feel the heavy moisture laden atmosphere that has made Houston famous.  High temperatures combined with that elevated humidity to test the human spirit’s resolve to be positive about the day.

Now, God sent us Houstonians a gift.  The weather elements forced the dew point to reach its maximum saturation point.  No, it did not just rain, it poured.

Punctuated by thunder and lightning, torrents poured down from the dark grey clouds above.  It was spectacular.  On our walk into the store, the ground was dry.

Now, the parking lot was turning into one massive shallow pool.  Huge rain drops were exploding in the newly formed puddles.  Shoppers patiently, waited under the eave of the store knowing that the storm would abate soon. 

Any attempt to hurry to our vehicles would mean fording the stream, soaking our feet and letting our groceries take a bath before we could ever stow them safely in our trunks.  In the mean time, we were entertained by the lightning strikes through the dark clouds above.  Ribbons of shattering light sizzled through the sky, punctuated by thunder seconds after the flashes of electrical currents found safe grounding below.

Almost as soon as the storm started, it ceased.  Shoppers pushed their buggies through the moistened asphalt, easily splashing through the residual standing water.  All who know Houston smiled.

Not only was the storm entertaining, there was also a side benefit of the storm.  God took away all of the humidity.  It was now squeezed out of the sky and washed down the drain.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography