Sunday, July 22, 2007

What's a little lightning?


Computer is back - kiss, kiss! I woke up this morning with my answer. It was the computer cord. I was sure - the message was saying the cable was bad and it hadn't registered with my brain - I was thinking it surely was something more complicated. My daughter's computer came back on after the storm. I figured it HAD to be the cord. So I went to Walmart and the new one works fine. Ya! I always try to make sure the electronics are shut down when storms come up because we have bad experiences.

BAD Experiences

The first bad experience was a lightning strike to the kitchen - it blew the sheet rock off the walls and the appliances and electronics stopped working. Luckily, we were able to have all repaired except for my computer which was two computers previous to this one and one TV.

We did not repair the lightning damaged sheet rock, dreading the expense.

In the meantime I decided I was finally going to adopt a greyhound. I've long admired these sweet and intelligent dogs, with sleek bodies and affectionate personalities. The adoption society did tell me he was afraid of storms, especially lightning and thunder.

"That's ok, he can sleep with me," I foolishly said.

The dog was perfect - he was gentle with the boy and the cats. He was a constant companion to the boy. One day, the boy put the dog's leash under the coffee table leg, while he went to get the dog a treat. A jet flew over the house - it flew low and the dog, thinking the sky was falling, took off running through the house with the coffee table flying behind him - banging big holes in the sheet rock.

"Oh, well," I thought, "We already have holes in the sheet rock, now we have more."

So I calmed the fellow down and we settled in, one big happy family. Except - ya know when you've been married a long time, you can tell your spouse is pretty upset because they have "that look?" I was getting a lot of "those looks."

A couple of days later, I put the grey in his kennel in the living room and went to pick up the boy from a party. I came home and neighbors were standing in my yard, telling me that dog had eaten the blinds off my front windows. I gingerly opened the front door and - ZOOM - ever try to catch a frightened greyhound?

Greyhounds are also very smart - this guy had not only chewed off the whole corner of a wall in THIS incident, he had managed to unlock his kennel, which had two complicated lifts on two closures. He had peed the floor in the study, and covered it with a throw pillow.

With the help of the neighborhood, grey was located and sheepishly came home with us. Twas another jet! Wanna see the Blue Angels fly? Come visit me in my yard on practice mornings! Well, now we knew the grey was afraid of: sonic booms, loud jets, thunder, AND lightning. "H" came home from work and all H broke loose - at midnight I was waiting at a meeting point to transfer grey back to the foster home, crying my heart out. I whimpered something about being an abused wife, but after the grief left, I realized keeping grey in a household where jets constantly fly overhead, lightning strikes, and...........(see next paragraph) would be entirely too cruel and abusive to the grey.

Two weeks later, I drove to 'Bama to see my other daughter and had little boy with me. My other daughter was working nights - she called me late afternoon and said the house had been hit by a tornado. Ok! At first I thought it was a joke.

I am very calm in disasters. I was calm. I drove home, a tree had gone through the outer window in the boy's room, our roof had been lifted off and slammed back down driving all the nails out of the sheet rock, cracking a wall, knocked some of the brick off the house, our trim was all gone, and the garage door looked like a horse had kicked it. A window in the bathroom had shattered and cut the vinyl on the floor. Our above ground pool was GONE, gone, gone. Missing. The swing set was a pile of sticks.

By this time, the house looked a bit like it could have been bombed.

So, homeowners insurance may not cover hurricanes, but it did cover the tornado! That was way back when deductibles were $500.00 instead of $15,000, hooray! All damage was fixed eventually - seemed like it took a long time to put things back together.

If "H" had known what kind of luck I had, I think he would have turned and ran, and ran fast. My poor children suffer because of these disasters. Just think of a life long tour with me.

Poor little boy could not go into any room in the house for months without one of us holding his hand, standing by while he pottied, staying with him when he slept.

Anyway, we got the house put back together and, THEN.........

THEN - THEN came THE hurricane. This was a time a person (not us, thank God!) could say, "Well, the car was in the pool, the tree crushed a corner of the house, part of the roof is gone, and the carpet and walls were ruined, but, hey, we were really, really lucky!" (We were relatively in good shape, compared to others.)

Another story to be told later. Now, I bet ya'll understand why I have a paranoid snit when computer won't start after a storm!


Candy Minx said...

These are an incredible series of run-ins it because you grew up in Wyoming? What a lot of weather you have experienced. I"ve got to read this post again, it's so intense. You must get shaky when the weather changes, no? What a "history of storm"!

Wandering Coyote said...

Oh, man, what a story! That poor dog! I've always wanted a greyhound, too; I hear they make smashing pets. Anyhow...yeah, that is one horrendous series of events. Do you have a power bar with a switch and surge protection? That's what I have and it's great.

Gardenia said...

Naw, this was all in Florida within a period of 3 years. Yes, I have a power strip, however they just handle surges, rather than direct or very close strikes. When I had the computer in Wyo - the power would blink on and off on a regular basis which probably didn't help either.

candy, I think Wyo and Florida both claim the highest death rate from lightning strikes. I don't know which state is really the "winner."

tweetey30 said...

Wow they are beautiful animals arent they. I saw some at our mall once. They had them there for adoption and it was cool to see them. This one walked up and kissed my oldest and she was like 18 months and didnt know what to do about it. she was in the stroller. But that weather down in Florida I wouldnt live no thank you. I mean we have bad storms here in WI but I would rather have those than hurricanes.

mister anchovy said...

I was once caught in a lightning storm at the Silver Creek Preserve in central Idaho. The storm came so fast, I didn't have a chance to get back to the car and lightning was striking everywhere it seemed. I tossed my flyrod away and made myself as small as I could and hunkered down to take the brunt of the storm. It was very scary, and very, very wet.