Lightning Strike!

Lightning Strike!

The weather has been wonky lately, which is one reason for the light blogging. There isn’t much to talk about in the garden because, well, it’s been raining. Which is good, and up here in drought country, we’re not complaining, but it is getting just the tiniest bit boring. Summer is so short that it’s hard to lose a whole month to cold and rain, but on the other hand, maybe we won’t have fires all summer.

So anyhow, we came back from a little hike yesterday afternoon just as the clouds were gathering and took refuge in my kitchen. The dogs were asleep in their basket under the table; I was working on the book, and a thunderstorm rolled in. No big deal — I like thunderstorms and we were getting a nice rain out of it.

And then lightning struck. It was as startling as one might imagine, and the flash and bang were so simultaneous and so loud that it was clear it was a close hit. Owen came bolting out of his basket and started barking out the kitchen door. I threw on a raincoat and went outside to take a look but couldn’t see anything, so I went back to the kitchen. A few minutes later, the firetruck showed up. Turns out, it hit a house on the next block, and there was a small fire. Between the firemen and the rain that was coming down in buckets, they had it contained pretty quickly and it doesn’t seem like any lasting damage was done.

The only other time I’ve been in close proximity to lightning was up in the mountains, where you generally get a sense that it’s close. I remember coming down from a mid-summer ski race in Colorado with my friend Greg when the skis on his backpack started to hum. It was a loud hum, too. And his hair was standing on end. I yelled, and he threw down the pack and we ran for the car while the skies exploded around us. This time, there wasn’t any warning — it was just an ordinary thunderstorm, no weird energy in the air, and then, out of the blue, BAM.

Maybe I’ll investigate lightning rods ….

3 thoughts on “Lightning Strike!

  1. You bring back memories… a few years ago my computer got zapped by lightening twice in one summer, and both times we heard that buzzing/humming sound first. Very freaky. The first time I thought it was a fluke. The second time, it finally sunk in that I should probably be unplugging things when the thunderclouds roll in. (By the way, both times the lightening came through the phone line to the modem instead of through the electrical line.)

  2. Yikes! We live on top of a hill, and the few electrical storms we get in Nor.Ca. have been my personal paranoia ever since we moved here. The closest hit was to a pine tree just ten feet off the deck in front of the kitchen window out of which I was looking at the time. My son, looking out an even closer window in the other room, and I, and the dog all levitated simultaneously to a quivering whimpering huddle in the door between the two rooms. After it passed, we found evidence of exploded pine bark and cone fragments hundreds of feet away on the other side of the house. Fingers crossed that your lovely home, and ours remain unscathed in the future, and thanks to your other commenter for the excellent suggestion about unplugging things!

  3. At my mom’s house in Vermont, where I grew up, we have lightening rods — that get struck at least once a summer, if not more. Far better them than the house or the old maples in the yard, but still scary — I remember getting stuck in the barn as a teenager and my crazy thoroughbred sticking his head out the window just as a bolt went down the lightening rod by his stall. Yikes! (he was a southerner by breed and had no sense if much beauty). If this happens often, get lightening rods. . . if not, just unplug your phone lines and make sure all your electric is grounded.

Comments are closed.

Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: