The rain came at 3:00am. The booming started a half-hour earlier. I had been asleep, but came to consciousness slowly. With curtains closed, my hotel room was dark, but--half awake--I fumbled for my watch. And saw not the time but the date: it was early morning, September 1st.
I hadn't known a storm was forecast, so didn't immediately connect the thunder with the lightning I couldn't see or the rain that hadn't arrived. I'd hardly spoken English the previous day, and my dreams, if not exactly in German, were full of Germans. And I thought of . . . artillery, and a war that began 69 years ago today.