Tuesday, October 25, 2005


More Memories from the past

just received an e-mail from a dear friend. In it she mentioned they had moved into a new home where they could see the lake across the street. She mentioned that the thunderstorms seemed much louder there but she thought she would get used to it.
It brought back memories of another bad storm while we were renting the Farm House from my Aunt.
Here is part of the letter I wrote to her explaining why i now have more respect for what can happen during a thunderstorm.
I never cared for thunderstorms either. Never bothered me until the time when the twins were little babies and we had the two oldest girls spending their days on a bed under mosquito netting to keep their burns clean. They got burned with a bottle holding mercuric acid and battery acid combined. it had been used on the farm for dehorning bulls. We cleaned out all the buildings, but this tiny bottle had fallen down behind a board out of view, but somehow the step daughter found it. When she spilled some on her arm, she threw it which smashed the bottle spraying the liquid all over her and the 2 1/2 yr old Daughter. The boys were just 2 months old when it happened.
Well, to get back to the thunderstorm, I was out hanging up diapers on a line when suddenly I couldn`t see. Then I heard the thunder. Was quite a while before I could see again and by then there was fire burning in two fields a short distance from the house. I screamed so my Mother heard me next door ( about 350 feet from where I was living). My Mother called the fire co. and my brother and I started using a shovel and a broom to keep the fire from getting any closer to the house property. I grew up near woods and almost every year we needed the fire co as seems someone was always starting a fire out in back of our home. They figured might be from someone tossing ciggs as they walked thru the woods. I got used to that, but when I lost my eyesight that time, I started taking thunderstorms more seriously. Where I live now, we also own the house next door and they say lightning never strikes the same place twice. Well, don`t believe it as it hit the roof of the house next door twice over the years- in the same place where it was repaired the first time. Last time was about 20 years ago.
My Dr asked me if I was still using the C-PAP machine all the time. Told him yes unless there is a thunderstorm. He asked why I didn`t use it then. Told him it won`t work if the power goes off. he said he never thought of that. I read on line where they are coming out with a machine that has a battery backup, but not sure when it will be out. Bet that being new will make it much more expensive , probably out of reach for the average family.

Ever wonder if lightning hit your home, since we know water is a good conductor, would the water in the plugged in machine try to draw it? They connect wires for telephones to inside water pipes for that reason. Mine is connected to the pipes that go down into my well. Been that way every since we first got the phone put into this house- back in about 1955. Wonder if they still ground the phones that way today. Ever wonder how safe our cell phones are? What are they grounded with since it goes thru the air? Mother always told us to never use the phone in a thunderstorm, never get into the tub or shower either and to never stand under a tree to get out of the rain. Wonder how many other mothers gave out the same rules-- know many of my friends parents did. I saw what happened when the lightning hit the tree on the farm. It bounced off the tree in both directions and did a dancing jig on the ground setting loads of small fires all over both the night pasture on one side of the tree and in the open field on the other side of the tree and fence. Then those little spots soon joined into two big fires to be put out. Oh Yes. it did split that tree down a ways, leaving both sections still connected to the base below the split. Eventually that tree was cut down.
This is just one of my fire experiences.
We had a great fire in our area back about 1963 that claimed many houses, some horses and other animals. At one time it jumped the road on the street corner above our street. That fire was burning so high that it jumped the high Northway a short distance from our street. That northway was high enough for vehicles to drive on the road under it under- so those flames were mighty high. I was working running our store thru it and helping to supply the fire fighters with coffee and doughnuts and whatever I had like that. Most of my kids were real small at that time, but the step children were teenagers and my step son was also helping to fight that fire. At that time our well water was low, but every few hours the step son would rush back and using out hose- he would wet down the house until the water stopped. Walt was working thru it and kept calling to see if we were alright. He asked if I wanted him to come home, but our expenses were so great we realy couldn`t afford to lose the days pay. So, I just kept telling him we were doing ok. My sister had been spending the summer helping watch the baby for me, but when the fire started down across the road from our area , she got scarred -- called my Dad and he came after her. Wish he had taken my kids home with them. Guess he didn`t think of that and figured if I wanted him to i would have said so. I was so busy I didn`t even think to ask. There was one section off the second road across the wooded area that was called bennetville where mostly poorer people lived. There was one large beautiful building in that ares. The fire burned out all the poorer looking homes and went right around that house. Funny the way it came just a short ways from that house, wind changed, it burned the back yard, then after passing the house the wind changed again-- never doing a speck of damage to that one house, but clearing out every other place as it went on. Took all day to get that fire under control and all the next day searching thru the woods for smoldering places that were still burning. I think of that fire whenever i see those huge fires burning in Cal. and other places. It sure was scarry to live thru. Luckily most of the able bodied people of our small town hurried out to help fight that fire. We were like in the old days where you knew most everyone. Not so today since the older generation has mostly passed on and our town has grown to about 4 times its size when we first moved here. Most of the large wooded areas have been cut down and homes built there, plus two of the wooded areas are now trailer parks. Plus today we are no longer named the same small Town name, but have been added to the larger town we connect to. Our address has been changed three times since we first moved here back in 1956. People are forever thinking we have moved again, but we stayed put, just our address kept changing.
Still raining, but might snow tonight into tomorrow. I think it`s too early to think of shoveling yet. But Mother nature might not agree with me. I can remember years when we thought we wouldn`t have snow for Christmas, now we worry about having it before thanksgiving. my, how the world keeps changing. Now states much further south are getting what used to be our winter weather.
Guess I`ll sign off and let Sassy out. She is laying as close to the side door as she can get. She doesn`t like the heat yet i guess.

hello dot. i see you changed walkers letters to blue. good for you. we had lighting hit our house one day and it actually blew up our alarm clock that was plugged in and blew off some of the outside bricks. people do not realize how dangerous it is.
Thanks to you, as I never would have noticed that "." where it didn`t belong. One little . caused all my trouble.
That thunder storm also broke my mother`s new record player that my Dad had just given her for her Birthday the month before. One of Walt`s nieces had come to spend the summer and help me out. She was playing some of my youngest sisters kiddy records for the girls when it happened. Mother thought it would help amuse the girls since they had to stay all summer on the bed under the netting. Got out of bed just three days before school started in Sept.. Niece got so scared she called her dad to come get her. There went my help after just 2 days. It took me over 2 hours to fix the record player. Sure was a relief off my mind when I managed to get it playing again. My parents never knew it had been ruined when the lightning hit till after I told them later on. My Mother told me it played just as good as when she first got it, so they wouldn`t ever have known if I hadn`t told them. That was the only thing in the house that got wrecked. Lucky there was nothing else running at the time.
We get some big thunder storms here. I can't tell you if they are like yours but we had one this fall that streaked across the sky for miles without a drop of rain for hours.
There were lightning bolts slicing trees down the center of the trunk. The tree on my corner which must have been 1000 years old abd 100 feet high was destroyed.
then the rain came in bucket sized drops.
I respect thunder but you have to love the light show also.
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