I think most people enjoy watching a thunderstorm. I know a few who are afraid of the lightning. I love watching them. Especially at the beach. I mean, I hate it when it rains when you are on vacation, but watching heat lightning over the ocean illuminates the night sky and it is just beautiful.
We built our house on a hill on a spot where an old dairy farm stood. The guy we bought the property from told my husband that the old dead tree on the property had been struck by lightning, and a couple of cows were killed by a lightning bolt, right where the house stood. Well, isn’t that lovely? I loved being out in the country, but when storms came through, it became ugly and menacing, yet beautiful at the same time. Well, not for the cows, I imagine. I think my kitchen is right over the spot where they were struck. Or maybe not.
One storm in particular scared me to death. We had a front porch that went along the front and then turned to join our side patio. We had a pavillion/gazebo on the back side. When we built the pavillion, we had it equipped with tv cable, electric and stereo speakers. Right beside it we had a water fountain, which I loved when the kids were young. We were wired for sure.
One evening, a storm was brewing and I was watching the Weather Channel, as usual, because I am a weather dork. I love the weather and love watching a storm approach. I know all the names of the weather channel people. I’m sure that impresses so many people. It’s not like I say “Hey, guys, guess what? I know the names of all the meteorologists on the Weather Channel.” Not a good way to win friends… or keep them for that matter.
My husband was watching tv in the family room, sitting reclined in a wing back chair. I decided to go outside on the front porch and watch the storm coming. The front came through with powerful wind, and then the rain began. I wasn’t getting wet because our porch was a tad bit wide, but I stood by the front door because I was a little scared, to be honest. The lightning bolts splintered off in many directions and the thunder was right above us. My outside cats jumped into the box I made into a cat house for them under a bench by the door. I was watching the water on the pond down in front of our house, and the cars coming around the corner, heading home before a tree came crashing down on their car. Well, we have a lot of trees on our road.
The storm was getting worse, and I was just thinking I better get indoors, when all of a sudden I heard a huge, unbelievably loud crack, and this rush of light seemed to wrap around from the back of the porch right to me. Oh my God, was I just struck by lightning? My hair stood up on my arms and my head felt weird. I ran in the house, intent on telling my husband that I think I was sort of struck by lightning, when I ran into him coming out to tell me the same thing.
My husband was struck by lightning. Well, his big toe was anyways. His big toe, you ask? Yep. It appears that lightning had struck the ground right by our gazebo and the lightning traveled with the wires under the ground and into the house, through the stereo speakers in our family room and out of the speaker and the first thing near that was his big toe, with the rest of him reclined.
He met me as I flung opened the front door. We both said at the same time, “I think I was just struck by lightning.” As we were standing in the foyer, I happened to glance into our library and noticed that the desktop computer was looking pretty green. Oh Uh…The lightning had taken out our computer.
Well, lightning took out a lot of things that evening, besides zapping my husband’s big toe and enveloping me on the front porch like the smoke monster on LOST, except in white light. The storm destroyed our stereo and speakers, our phones, our tv in the family room and the speakers out under the gazebo. The green screen computer survived, but didn’t didn’t last too long afterwards. Our doorbell sounded like something you would hear on the Adams Family show or maybe that dong sound on Law and Order.
I had been through storms before out on that property. There was another time when I was standing by the kitchen window looking out and lightning exploded in our backyard, and I swore that flash of lightning got me. I bet that’s where the cows were electrocuted.
I remember the first time I watched a movie where someone was struck by lightning. The Bad Seed was one of my all time favorite movies. The lead character, Rhoda, was a child who killed people who got in her way, and she was struck by lightning at the end of the movie. She had on a yellow slicker, and plastic boots, so I now associate yellow slickers with lightning…and death…. I don’t wear yellow slickers.
I think people should really heed the “if you hear thunder, get the hell inside.”
Because lightning is truly right around the corner. Trust me.