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Zoethe

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Stormy weather [May. 5th, 2010|08:16 pm]
Zoethe
"I think I'll take a bath," sez I.

"Cra-BOOOM!" sez the sky.

"I think I'll put off that bath," sez I.

While I know that the chances of lightning striking in such a way as to kill me in the tub are vanishingly small, lightning was what killed my great-great grandmother.

She was killed sitting in her own living room. Lightning struck the wires outside the house and (because nothing was grounded back then), the bolt of electricity shot out the mouthpiece of that newfangle device her husband had just gotten installed, the telephone. The bolt struck the metal knitting needles Great-Great Grandma held in her hands, killing her on the spot.

All this was well before I was born. My great grandma was a teenager when it happened. She married a year or two later and left Michigan for Oregon, glad to be away from the Midwest's tornadoes. But even 50 years later, if we were at Gramma's during a thunderstorm we kids were herded to the center of a room and told the story.

Yes, grounding is better these days, and the chance of a strike minimal. But you don't grow up with that kind of family history and approach these things casually. I like thunderstorms. I just respect the hell out of them.
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Comments:
From: wildcelticrose
2010-05-06 12:24 am (UTC)
what kind of pipes do you have? Lighting can totally conduct through metal plumbing (Copper as you well know is an excellent conductor)

A friend of mine in Moab (Utah) had lighting strike on or near his house. It shot through one side and out the other killing nothing but his computer.

I had lighting strike my apartment in Puyallup (here in Washington) and kill my answering machine
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-06 12:37 am (UTC)
Copper. I'm not taking chances, believe me.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-06 12:47 am (UTC)
I haven't actually seen that one!
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[User Picture]From: gravityslave
2010-05-06 01:52 am (UTC)
Wow, your family must be the origin of all those amazing tales we hear and grow to disbelieve! :) I like believing them better. It makes life (and death) more interesting.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-06 02:16 am (UTC)
This was, like, 1914 or so. Wiring has definitely improved. But yeah, pretty much.
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[User Picture]From: trianakvetch
2010-05-06 02:10 am (UTC)
Having been struck by lightning twice (thankfully it wasn't direct contact), I also have a healthy respect for storms :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-06 02:31 am (UTC)
Really?! Twice? Wow, scary!!
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[User Picture]From: delosd
2010-05-06 02:27 am (UTC)
We just had lightning hit one of the trees in the backyard Monday night and bring down a large limb. Blasted it right off the tree. Good thing it was at the back edge of the lot! Neat scortch marks on the tree, too.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-06 02:36 am (UTC)
Holy cow! That's scary!

It just started hailing here. No relaxing bath for me tonight.
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[User Picture]From: sacramentalist
2010-05-06 02:46 am (UTC)
Growing up in a mobile home gives one a respectful view of wind storms and tornadoes.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-06 07:49 pm (UTC)
Yes, I imagine.
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[User Picture]From: mamaursula
2010-05-06 03:01 am (UTC)
Holy crap! It would make me give up knitting too (which I won't do, but still)!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-06 07:52 pm (UTC)
Great gramma crocheted. I never saw her knit.
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[User Picture]From: phillipalden
2010-05-06 03:20 am (UTC)
What a terrible but interesting piece of family history.

I worked with a guy in Austin who was hit by lightning. Nice guy, but missing a few brain cells.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-06 07:54 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's one of those family legends that make life interesting.

I wonder if the brain cell effect was caused by the strike or already there!
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[User Picture]From: fallconsmate
2010-05-06 06:07 am (UTC)
some fucking dumbass of a lifeguard told my brother that it was still safe to swim since it wasnt RAINING just thunder in the distance. then lightning hit the water. um, no. that was the FIRST time i discovered that i could, indeed, make a male over a foot taller than i was, cringe in fear.

i'm with you. no water usage at *all* when it thunders. no bath, no shower, no washing dishes or clothing. and sit back from the windows.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-06 07:55 pm (UTC)
Glad your brother was okay!
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[User Picture]From: ba1126
2010-05-06 12:51 pm (UTC)
My grandmother used to tell of being at her cottage and seeing a 'ball' of lightning go right past her iron bedstead and across the floor. She was terrified to move for hours!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-06 07:56 pm (UTC)
Ball lightning bounced through my Uncle Slim's house and grounded into the kitchen sink, so yeah, that's scary stuff.
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[User Picture]From: kagomeshuko
2010-05-07 03:14 am (UTC)
I don't KNOW what you mean, but I do know that you need to be careful, just from common knowledge, and living in Louisiana - especially in the house where we lived before my Daddy passed away. The bathroom in that house was awful - RIGHT outside. That's all the drains did, go outside. The overflow was literally just a hole to the outside (and why possums would easily get into our house!) So, yeah, lightning could easily strike that bathroom. Our small one now isn't great, but it's not like that and the main one is actually in the middle of our house, so I don't think about it as much . . . but still do at times and think "oh, it's raining! I gotta be careful!"
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-07 09:48 pm (UTC)
Possums, huh? Yikes.
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[User Picture]From: kythsharrie
2010-05-07 10:32 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU! I keep telling my guy that showering while thunderin' and lightnin' wasn't safe. He disagreed. But seeing as we live in an OLD building, I just know it won't be safe for me!
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