It had to happen. Got word from Oklahoma the other day that lightning struck the Dear Old Homeplace on Monday; it didn’t burn down but much of the wiring and some of the electronics have been fried extra-crispy. We’ll know the full extent when we get back there in two or so weeks, when our New England sojourn comes to an end. I couldn’t be sorrier to leave this place, but it’s been a good run and it’s time to go home. I’m just glad we have a home to go home to.
Our housesitter has been steadfast and stoic through a great deal of tough stuff this spring and summer. Being in a house struck by lightning and not going gibbering mad with fright (as I would have) earns her the medal of honor in my book.
It’s been unusually stormy here this spring in Massachusetts. I was out walking today around Harvard Pond (in the Harvard Forest) and saw what must have been a recent hit in a stand of tall white pines. One tree had been broken in half like a pencil and the top flung across the trail, and the one next to it had been gouged out vertically all the way to the ground. There were “splinters” of 20 feet in length and sharp as swords lying all about the trunk. I was scared just looking at them.
One time in Costa Rica I sat casually on the steps of a field station near San Vito, and as folks chatted and waited for the dinner bell a great lightning bolt exploded into the water tower right behind the building not fifty feet in front of me. I beheld the vision of the tower changing into what looked like a blueish-white tree with writhing branches. Sparks and jagged packets of light blasted in our direction, caroming off the metal gutters of the station and zipping in between people, who were frozen in attitudes of convivial conversation (time slowed down dramatically). Was anyone hit? Yes. One older gentleman became confused when he pulled his handkerchief from his back pocket to find it riddled with lacy holes all the way through. He thought an elaborate prank had been pulled on him until later when he undressed for bed. He discovered long tracings of burn marks down the back of one leg, having been hit directly in the butt. He confessed he’d been hit before. Some folks are, apparently, lightning rods. They come in handy in storms, no doubt.
As I said, our New England sojourn is winding down. It’s gone by in a flash. We got here in the snow, and now the first maples are turning red, due, I’m told, to the unusually cool, wet weather here this summer. It’s been a weird one. Sorry I’ve neglected to write more often. I’ll just post some pictures for tonight. Stay safe and dry, y’all.