Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Banned by the Heavens

Last Thursday evening we had a thunderstorm. The kind of mighty storm that oft happens here because west of us the river flows and east of us the river flows. According to Hub, and the neighbors say it is so, where we live, we get incredible storms because lightning plays a rousing game of touch-tag between the two bodies of water.

This last rousing lightning game started long before the rain came. And it went on and on blasting the sky with sheet lightning, bolt lightning, chain lightning, ball lightning, blue lightning, and forked lightning. Then came one of those earth-rumbling claps that tell you one of the players struck a home run. Hub saw it. A mighty wide jagged streak that struck in the ditch across the road and exploded like giant fireworks.

A minute or so later, Hub again looked out the window and commented that the hot spot was still sparking. That didn’t really surprise me. After all lightning has enough voltage and magnitude to spark a bit after a strike. So I paid little attention. I was busy cooking and didn’t take a peek until three or four minutes later. And when I finally looked, I was so amazed.

Across the road was a roaring grassfire in grass as green and lush as a lowland swamp. How could such a thing be? But there it was, a grass fire blazing as if it were in a pile of dry straw. It was obvious that, with the wind gusting and a large bluff of spruce trees nearby, and a few yards from that, our neighbor’s home, something must be done immediately.

Hub grabbed a plastic pail with a plastic handle (plastic handle important) and dashed across the road. He has had experience fire fighting and it always amazes me how much fire he can extinguish with a small amount of water by splashing it across the fire with as much force as he can muster. And so that is what he did. And with that one measly pail of water he put the fire out. And that’s when he discovered that two metal rods next to a telephone transformer-box were now melted and bent. And of course our telephone line was dead.

So after the storm, he called the phone company and managed to eventually speak to a live person. You probably know her. It was Ms. Unfortunately. And so now he might as well be listening to a recording as this verbal essay on the terms and usage of the word ‘unfortunately’.

“Unfortunately we need some turnaround time. Unfortunately we have no repair-men available until Monday. Unfortunately, we cannot temporarily put your phone on call-forward to your cell since you haven’t purchased that option. Unfortunately, we have no control over lightning.” I’ll spare you the rest of this conversation that was little more than a long laundry list of unfortunate circumstance.

And now there’s me. Working at some stupid crocheting that I don’t want to do. Trying desperately to avoid thinking about my dry throat, itchy skin, crawling scalp, leg jerking, hands twitching, and anxiety of mind. I am in rapid interchanges of sweating and shivering. My fingernails are bit to the quick and I am contemplating if I am still flexible enough in body to get my left foot with that long toenail to my lips. Even checked the cosmetic bag for artificial nails. There were none. And as if that isn’t enough I am isolated. The power of the heavens has separated me from my support group that I feel love me and believe in me.

It’s Gawd-awful, and most unfortunate, this compulsory ban for three solid days of Roberta from her blogging passion. And because I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, I grab my laptop and pound out a poem about the ‘Cry of a Loon’(posted below). About sobbing and laughing kneaded together into one unnatural lump.

But fortunately, or unfortunately, I am now back. Life returns to normal but I was in rough shape there for a while.


Dick said...

A dramatic tale, powerfully told. I'm glad you're back on line after your 3 days in the wilderness!

On a selfish note, it's comforting to reflect that such violences of nature are not a part of life in leafy Hertfordshire. Comforting to know too that long periods of godawful music punctuated by robotic voices &, very occasionally, indifferent f%+!wits are not a purely British phenomenon!

Joy Des Jardins said...

I know you felt those terrible withdrawal symptoms Roberta. Crocheting just doesn't cut it.

We're all at Mother Nature's mercy from time to time. There's no question that she pretty much rules and we are just her humble servants.

I'm so glad you're back to what we all consider to be normal.....our beloved blogging. You were VERY brave...and I'm proud of you sweetie.

Matty said...

Wow! How exciting! And I just get your normal everyday garden variety of lightning! I would have been out there with my camera.
Thank God you had Hub there. He's very brave. That would have been a great pic of him with his bucket of water. 3 days of not blogging? no computer? I don't know how you did it. I am so fortunate we have never lost our power for more than an hour, and very fortunate not to speak to Ms. Unfortunately. She sounds like a lot of fun!
No, crochet doesn't cut it...you've got to take up darts or knife-throwing or sticking pins in voodoo dolls. Something that smacks of satisfaction. Glad to see you're back.
It's global warming..I tell you! There is snow for the 1st time in Africa and the temp in Greece has been 45. Here in Canada we've been getting hot muggy rainy days for 2 weeks. Knife throwing has a certain flair, don't you think? Now, to find the right targets! lol.

Roberta S said...

Thanks for stopping in dick. Thunderstorms can be scary but I'll put up with them rather than hurricanes, snakes in the grass, hippos in the swamps. I think everyplace has heart-stoppers in one form or another. Sounds like you have a form of heart stoppers in even Hertfordshire, that one might call cultural? -- 'godawful music'.

Roberta S said...

Hi joy. I'm glad you think I'm brave, but Psst, really I'm not. I just tend to ignore what I have no control over in the hope that it is not reality.

Roberta S said...

Hi matty. Yes, I have thought about my camera but you already know I am not so brave like you. My camera has metal parts and that is too scary. Metal is not good during a thunderstorm. Golf clubs and tin pails attract lightning. And Voodoo dolls need metal pins and knives have steel blades. Unfortunately I'm stuck with crocheting -- I happen to have a plastic crochet hook.

Right now, I'm with you. It's definitely global warming. But come winter, I'll not be convinced it is when the bitter cold weather, so notable in this area, arrives. Ms Unfortunately has me thinking that unfortunately my faith in all things wavers from time to time including global warming. But that might be because I feel the same about Al Gore as an environmental God as I do about African black magic versus Christianity.

Matty said...

Haha! That's why the plastic pail! I was wondering!
When I was a child., we had a very large round oak table with lions carved into the legs..and when we had a thunderstorm my mother would make us all crawl under the table. Of course, she unplugged the few things we owned and covered the windows.
I have no fear of thunderstorms..one night I actually sat on the deck and watched the storms...I never thought to take my camera out. I will the next time. Yes it has metal parts but I like to live dangerously. A little bit of adrenaline is good for the heart.
I'm hoping we get a mild winter...it would be nice to save on the wood and oil this winter. And no, I won't whine if we don't get a white Christmas.
Have a good week!