by Curt Kovener
And old—and incorrect—adage claims lightning never strikes twice in the same place.
And in 1966 Lou Christie song claims “Lightnin’ is striking again”—granted, he’s talking about matters of the teenage heart not the real thing.
I wrote that earlier in June a bolt of lightning struck the white pine tree about 60 feet from the newspaper office and how the brilliant flash of light and simultaneous KA-BOOM caused pieces of pine wood to rain down with the rain.
Last Wednesday, a similar kind of storm was blowing through the wilderness retreat where I was working. It was occupying my mind at the time but other than the usual few dead limbs falling on the lane, no damage was observed.
Then the phone rang.
Miz Mary had arrived home from work to report that the pine tree at the office had been struck by lightning…again.
“There are pieces of bark and wood scattered all over the place. Some’s even on the roof of the house,” she reported in an excited, machine-gun litany.
So when I returned home, sure enough, bark and wood are scattered all about. Pieces of rough 2×2 and 2×4 size shattered wood hung from the same wound Mother Nature opened two week’s earlier.
The first lightning strike knocked out two ports of my internet. The second one killed the remaining two. But for some reason I still had a wireless connection.
That is until I contacted Verizon to report the trouble and the tech had me do some tests to determine if, indeed, the internet modem had been terminally zapped (It had). Tests, by the way, which disabled the lone remaining wireless connection to the e-mail world.
“How do I get my wireless back,” I asked.
“Without a cabled internet connection, you can’t,” came the reply.
“And how quickly can you get me a replacement modem?” I quizzed my distant high speed techno guy.
“I’ve just shipped it overnight” was his reply.
So from Wednesday evening to late Friday afternoon when the overnight parcel arrived, I twice daily borrowed internet connectivity from Mother. (Here I am 56 years old and Mommy is still taking care of me.)
The morning downloads were generally the largest with 200+. And most of those were junk. I can’t turn up the Spam filter because then I would miss e-mails about engagements, weddings, church events, community meetings, bake sales that all come infrequently from a variety of community folks. So I just spend the time to scan and delete 95% of the malarkey that “guarantees me a loan”, “selling replica Rolex watches”, “wants me to buy designer shoes”, “discount pharmaceuticals”, “increase my ‘manliness’”, and “make money working at home” (I already do—and its too little of the former and too much of the latter).
But after limping along for all of two days (seemed like an eternity at the time) Friday finally arrived as did the UPS man the new modem. After a couple of operator headgap snafus, tech support had me back in operation modulating on all five ports.
So what now becomes of the pine tree? I don’t know. The needles all seem to be green, lush and healthy. From my woodland experience the top to near bottom wound shouldn’t affect the structural integrity of the tree planted by the home’s pervious owner in the early 1940’s. There are hollow and dead trees at the woodland retreat that I thought would have fallen 10 years ago but are still standing (or leaning) today.
So after a Mother Nature event, we’ll see if Mother Nature has plans to allow the tree to heal.
One friend told me that the Almighty was trying to send me a message and that perhaps I wasn’t living right.
I told my dogmatic friend that the Almighty and I talk every day so He doesn’t need to use theatrics to communicate. And I disagreed that I wasn’t living right. Lightning struck twice in two weeks and missed me both times. I must be living very right.
But then I read where the Empire State Building has been struck by lightning hundreds of times over the years.
If it’s all the same, twice is enough for me.