Sunday, June 08, 2008

Safe and sound

Safe and Sound

After a full day of flying, our son and his family landed safely, late as it was last night. I was very thankful after noticing another storm moving eastward, with lightning filling the skies periodically as we waited outside for their plane to land.

Arriving for a visit

We need to watch this wee one :-)

Friday evening we had another big summer storm, the second weekend in a row in fact, with wild booming thunder directly overhead and forked lightning lighting up the sky. Gee it was close, and getting rather scary. The weekend before another scary storm visited us. It seemed like a typical storm at first complete with the usual thunder, lightning, but then sudden ferocious winds occurred, followed by large chunks of hail. Hail? Yes hail! In hindsight, looking back, it was tornado weather! A few friends have since educated and gave a great reminder that if such a thing happened again, especially when hail accompanies a storm, it won't hurt to get the family down into the basement. Tornado warnings are becoming something in many parts of the country, and very unusual in this part to say the least.

This weekend though, Friday night was gave us a regular type of storm, but one loud thunderous boom was so SCARY, accompanied by a crackling sound, we all ducked simultaneously after jumping out of our skin.

"What was that?"...everyone asked.

"That hit something." I said

Even though we all reacted in a similar way, I was met with the usual "nah" in response to my proposed thought. But, when we woke up yesterday morning and proceeded with the yard work for the weekend, our neighbor caught my hubby telling him about the forked lightning that hit the big beautiful mature willow tree.

Lightning strikes!

“Ah, how can that be, the beautiful willow tree is our favorite”, I thought...but then, I tried to suppress a smart retort like "I told you something was struck! " (smile)

A lightning bolt not only struck the tree, it continued with such force downward that it pierced down the core of a large branch, into the tree trunk, peeling back the bark to expose the inner tree. And then the immense voltage power wove its way into the ground finding our neighbor’s telephone wiring, creating a complete power surge and frying his phone line. The telephone company has been summoned to come out and repair it, and luckily none of our neighbors were on the telephone having a conversation at that moment of a lightning strike.

Lightning traveled down, surging
our neighbor's telephone wiring.

Each time we hear of situations such as this, the reminder of “safety” comes to mind. These opportunities for discussions offer a continued safety response expectations during storms, and more importantly we've been learning even more about tornadoes because of the recent unusual weather conditions.

The children know there can be no shower/bathing when lightning fills the skies. There are no longer going to be telephone conversations in progress, nor computer usages, especially touching a mouse to operate one. Additionally, standing at the window glass is discouraged because someone locally was struck by lightning while watching a storm in his window with rain pounding down on it, another lesson to think about.

Worst of all, hearing about two young people who were walking down a sidewalk in the thick of a storm, rain pelting down was drenching them, but then lightning struck the path before them, the voltage carried towards them and traveled right up into their “Ipod” earbuds, burning them both and damaging their hearing. Both were in critical condition. Very sad.

This tree was very near the house - SCARY!

Summer storms. You either love them or hate them. They are definitely exciting, somewhat entertaining, and occasionally scary for young ones and old ones alike, but oh they can be so dangerous! Take care to ensure your family discusses safety minded options during storms, and then enjoy them if you dare.

Post Note -

Tornado warnings have been in the media today, and tonight when two of our sons went to have a game of golf, a sudden HUGE storm enveloped the area, SCARY was the word from all the little children in our home this day! Everyone became frightened when lightning surrounded the house, forked bolts hitting the ground everywhere. This is so unusual for this area, but apparently we are getting the residuals from the midwest today. And newscasters are announcing this is not the end yet. *gulp*