It's been a warm couple of days here on the Eastern shore of Lower Michigan. The kind of warmth I look forward to all year. Days that make me want to open up the house and let the gentle summer breezes flow through, stirring up memories of my childhood, spending summers in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Memories of lazy days pool side with fighter jets zipping overhead from the nearby Air force base, whose runway lined up perfectly with our otherwise quiet farm.
My husband would be happy if the temperature never got above 68 Fahrenheit. So after one day of above 90, he'd had enough. With the windows tightly closed and the air conditioner running, we compromised and set the thermostat to 79.
Since we typically will have funerals on Mondays and I have to stay up most of the day (after working Sunday night), I don't work at the store over Monday night. Since my husband works every night Sunday through Thursday, this leaves me home alone on Monday night. After a long hot day in my black suit, standing in the parking lot and cemetery, it was nice to sleep in a bit. I awoke at about 1:30am. Everything was quiet outside and Pugsley was enjoying sitting on the porch in the cool night air. Feeling a bit naughty, I clicked the air conditioner to the off position and opened up the windows. It was 70 degrees and there was a wonderful breeze. You could smell summer drifting through the rooms.
Minutes later, the wind chime that hangs in the sun room window started to clang a bit louder than I was comfortable with. I went to move it so it wasn't in the air current as much. In doing so, I managed to drop a decorative element that my husband had hanging in the window, breaking it into three pieces. As I was searching in the darkness for the third piece, I began to notice I was being soaked by the rain that was suddenly pouring down and steaming into the open windows. A scratch came at the front door and I remembered that Pugsley was still outside. Since he takes great pride in it, he doesn't like to get his tail wet. I rushed to the door to let him in. As he ran past me, I remembered that I had opened all the windows in the house. I ran to each window closing them, starting with the west and north side of the house and eventually the east.
Knowing that myself and Pugsley were fine and my house seemed to be intact, I stayed out of the way of the trained emergency response men. But the light of day revealed something that no one could have foreseen. My friend and neighbor's house was struck by that flash of lightning. Just a couple of hundred feet from my own home. They were jarred from their sleep at 2:05am to a horrible sound of their house exploding with the violence of uncontrolled electricity. And then the sounds of the instant flames that followed. Dan, his wife and their son all got out of the house and are as fine as can be expected. But I don't think they will be moving back into this house any time soon. The bathroom in the master bedroom was destroyed instantly and the fire rushed through the rafters. As you can see, the whole back of the house was torn off in a second.
This morning, we are left amazed at what mother nature can do at any given time. And we are reminded that as long as we are OK, everything else can be replaced. To reference my previous post Two Cups of Coffee we need to take care of what matters most. The rest is just sand.
Take care my friends.