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Saturday, March 14, 2015

stroked by the lightning - Ese

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #77, Ese's "stroked by the lightning"

Midwestern electrical storms are literally hair raising when a strike is near.  Our second home was at the top of a hill in former lead mining country.  Add to the location an amateur radio station's antenna farm and one has the perfect storm.  No pun intended.  Our home was struck by lightning 7 times.  Two of the strikes were serious enough to require the fire department to come check the situation.

One came in on the phone lines and managed to get in electrical lines causing a small fire. One of the lamp tables still has the scorch marks to prove the fact.  The second strike was much more damaging.  That strike vaporized an antenna wire as it sought ground.  It jumped to a tree then a thermometer probe (also vaporized) hanging outside.  Then jumped to the metal strap in the window.  From the window to a heating vent, blowing a small hole (2 ft. square) in the inside wall of the house on the way.  Once in the heating vent the electricity continued looking for ground as it coursed through the heating vents.

The power of the electricity scorched carpeting as it jumped from heating vents to the nearest metal.  All the time it is searching for ground.  The power found a nail in the subflooring near a vent in the kitchen.  The subflooring was splintered in a triangular shape and the floor covering was split.

Though electronics were unplugged from power sources, cable and antennas, the workings were damaged beyond repair by the charge present in the house.  None of us were injured though my husband was about 2 steps from being in the room when the wall blew apart.  Our hair was standing out on our necks and arms.  The smell of ozone permeated the house.

And there we stood in our young people night attire - nothing.  It was 2 AM and we just knew the attic was likely on fire.  Neither can remember how the fire department got there but we were dressed enough to meet them at the door.  A through search showed no fire in the attic or walls.  To thank them, I cooked the whole bunch of firemen breakfast.

Eventually we moved from that home.  Not before a couple more small lightning hits that took out phones, doorbells and small items.  Even in a new house in a different city approaching storms left us feeling unsettled.  It has been 35 years since that night.  Still a respecter of the power from the beautiful lightning shows.


stroked by the lightning
delicate peaks of sand dunes
-silence before the storm                                        (Ese)

the sweet scent of fresh rain rides
in on thunder's crashing waves.                              

bright morning sunlight
reveals the lightning footprints

glassy tubes formed in the heat
of lightning's impassioned stroke.                           (Janice)

Thanks to Chèvrefeuille for daily prompts on 


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