Lightning strikes home
Consider this a public service announcement.
It’s the kind of thing you hear about and shake your head because it always happens to someone else. It was a flashboom explosion that rattled the house and sent a blue steak firing across the room followed by a smell of ozone.
When lightning struck the side of my house, it burned the telephone line in half in three places and fried a variety of appliances. It was the first time I’d ever experienced a lightning strike on my house or even in a house where I happened to be sitting. No one was hurt and there was no fire.
Still, the suddenness of such acts can be numbing. One minute a storm is an inconvenience and annoyance and the next it has done major damage.
Lightning is inconsistent in what it damages.
The dishwasher was fried while the garbage disposal a few inches away was unscathed; the toaster oven was barbecued while an electric can opener plugged in the same outlet was unharmed and one computer (the new one of course) was cooked while another a few feet away (ancient when even compared to the pyramids) is still plugging along.
There was also some slight damage to the carpet as a result of Sadee, the high-strung Yorkshire terrier who runs the house, being terrified and having a small accident.
One of the most irritating circumstances surrounding the entire incident is not just the damage but trying to arrange for the various people who need to come in and check devices, make repairs or tell you something needs to be replaced. After fighting with a forest of phone trees, you end up with a yellow tablet full of dates and times, with the real understanding that almost none of them will arrive when they say they will.
If you get lucky enough to talk to a living person, you will end up hearing things like, “We will have a technician at you home between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. on some Thursday between June and October in the year 2017.” Then they will try to get you to purchase a new service or the latest wonder device you don’t need.
Our lives teeter on disaster each day and it takes little to push things one way or another. Despite the damage of the lightning strike it could just as easily have caused a fire, which makes a burnt-out toaster oven or having to manually open and close a garage door a minor irritant.
When bad things happen, you have to accept bad is a whole lot better than really really bad. And remember, it can happen to anyone.
Freelance writer Ric Latarski can be reached at Rlatarski@aol.com