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Many times in my life I have been surprised at how things can change in an instant. Usually that moment is completely unexpected. Disbelief and shock paralyze, numb, or both, depending on the person. Sometimes these events rock your world, leaving you rebuilding everything you believed you had. Sometimes they just devastate a slice of your life, leaving most intact. And sometimes, though the event is powerful, the effects materialize over time like slow-moving cancer. No matter the pattern, change is the inevitable result. For our lightning strike, the pattern was more the latter.
Sitting around the table a friend of mine, her daughter, and my son were talking during yet another storm that was becoming increasingly, and worryingly, more common. Suddenly, a BOOM—so loud and strong I felt it pulsate through my chest—filled our kitchen and even pushed me slightly backward into my chair. This was instantly followed by an intense flash of light so bright my eyes were forced to shut. The lights around us increased their shine beyond anything I thought possible then popped out. A whining noise moved through the houses speakers with some popping in undetermined locations.
My first thought was “North Korea bombed us!” My second was “Can’t be. If it was a nuke I wouldn’t be alive thinking this.” That took about .001 seconds. Running through the options in my mind, I realized it was a lightning strike—and it had to be either a direct hit on my house or very close.
As I thought about “what do I do now” it dawned upon me that I had not thought of this possibility in any way whatsoever. Our security system along with the internet was immediately gone so Googling the answer was not going to happen. My choice was to do nothing or to try and “common sense” it. Seemed reasonable to me that a lightning strike to a house could cause a fire so I grabbed my fire extinguishers and walked the interior. Fortunately, nothing was burning.
Have you ever dealt with a lightning strike?