Wednesday, April 29, 2009


On Thursday, the 23rd, Reader Wil had an interesting post that can be seen here. It reminded me of what happened to me on the same subject. Lightning. Florida is known as the lightning capital of the country. I have no doubt. We have thunder storms in Florida that are not surpassed by any other state. They are spectacular to watch and can make you whimper for your Momma even as a graying adult.

People always told me NOT to buy property with tall pine trees as they just attract lightning. So naturally, I bought a heavily wooded property. Duh. It took a lot of clearing to provide a pasture for my animals but I left a hedge about 75 feet thick across the front of the property of nice tall pines and shrubs for privacy.

It had been a hard day and I was really tired. The rain was coming down in sheets and the lightning was snapping close by, lighting up the rain darkened sky. It was afternoon but it could easily have been dusk. My mother used to say that lightning was just God taking our picture. He was taking a lot of candid shots that day.

I had a double set of gates leading into my property. I would open one, drive in, close the first one behind me, then open the next gate and drive up to the home. This arrangement was to keep my dogs from possibly leaking out into traffic as I drove in. However, this day, I was really tired and dreaded the gauntlet of gates. Besides, the weather was awful and the lightning fierce. So I sat in the car and waited and then I waited some more.

I really just wanted to get home and take a nice long soak in a steaming tub. So I decided to be really dumb. I got out in the rain and reached over the gate to unlock it. I had locked it behind me and reached over the second gate to unlatch it. I was pushing the second gate open when my world turned blue and I felt the earth reach up thru my feet and slap my entire body, hard. My muscles spasmed violently and I felt everything inside my skin shake.

"You fool," I thought," You just killed yourself."

I did not leave my feet and was glued to the gate. My ability to think or focus was gone. I stumbled around in the rain, unable to make it back to my car. I would try to aim my feet in one direction but they would spasmodically flop in another. I don't know how long I floundered about bouncing off the fence and my vehicle till I finally made it into my car. I was alive.

For a long time I just sat and stared at the walls when I made it inside my home. As sense returned, I sent some serious gratitude sky ward. Should not have been alive but I was and I was desperately grateful for this second chance. God was not done with me.

Then a strange thing happened. I started feeling like I had way too much coffee. I was restless and needed to move about. A wonderful feeling of well being washed over me. It was a feeling that drug addicts would kill for. Along with this marvelous feeling of well being came pure energy.

The rain had stopped so I ran out to the gates to see what had happened to me. Not walked but ran, almost feeling if I ran fast enough, I could fly. I saw no apparent strikes on the trees. No burn marks anywhere. I was pretty sure I did not get a direct hit but may have taken a charge that traveled the fence line or struck near by. Still today, I don't not know what really happened.

What I do know is that I didn't sleep for over 2 days. I felt good, no WONDERFUL, and was full of energy. My friends kidded me that I had gotten my battery charged. I do know that the after effects were great and if I weren't such a sissy, I would stick my finger in a light socket daily to try and recreate that feeling. I understand addiction.

You may think I am a terribly unlucky person to have had such things happen. I really don't feel I have had more trauma than most people and contrarily, I feel very lucky, for I lived each time and have grown with every experience.

Also, today when I do something really stupid, I just attribute it to my lightning strike. It is neat having an excuse for not having good sense.


  1. Patti, I need to feel like that for the next 4 days while I work. Can you arrange for me to have that happen???

    Good Lord, woman, what haven't you done? LOL

  2. Wow! You have been struck by lightning and survived (thank goodness)! There is hope for me yet (I am referring to the comment that people say to me about women over 40 being more likely to be stuck by lightening than to find a man).

    How wonderful that you have chosen to take life’s lightening strikes with resilience and insight. It is what makes you such a beautiful person and a joy to know. : )

  3. Good gracious, Gloria!! What a tale. You are a lucky woman.

    When I was about 5 years old, our family rented an apartment from an old woman who would stand on a chair and stick her finger into an open socket (back in the days when there were only "drop lights" hanging from the ceiling.) I saw her do this with my own eyes. Mama said our landlady "had a few problems." We moved not long after the episode I observed.

  4. Wow Patti... You did get your battery charged for sure. What a story... You are right: God was not finished with you!!!

    That's interesting that you had so much energy... Do you think you had any real ill-effects from that lightning strike???? I know you have a good excuse now when you do crazy things---but did you notice any other changes after it happened???? That's interesting... Lightning can be deadly. You are a lucky woman, Patti!!!!


  5. kenju
    Just wrap your hand around a hot bare wire once a day and call me in the morning. DON'T YOU DARE.
    Sure wish I knew how to repeat the end result though. It was grand.

    It only seems like a lot has happened because you are reading about it in a relatively short amount of time. There were many years between adventures with lots of dull inbetween. Have no idea how to post those times.


    How funny. Anything I can do to help the odds is a good thing. Guess that means I am a shoo in for finding a guy since I was the one fried.
    My rule when something happens is to look at what the worst case senerio could have been and if that didn't happen, then you can consider yourself "lucky."
    Patti "101."


    My you had strange neighors. Would have loved to have seen that. Actually she may have found the secret to "energy and well being" and was mearly an addict. Hum
    Love that your Mom had such a delicate way of putting it.

  6. Betsy
    Fortunately, I am sure it was not a direct hit or there would have been burns and more serious consequences and I am grateful for that.
    Don't know it there were any changes I could attribute to the event but it is a handy excuse for about anything.
    "Hay, don't yell at me. It is not my fault,I was struck by lightning." He he

  7. When I lived in Boulder, Co many years ago, I met a young man there once who had been struck by lightning. He had been hiking up in the Rockies with two other friends and their dogs. They were all from New Jersey, and had been seriously misinformed how to handle themselves during a lightning storm. They all ran to hide under trees, a disastrously fatal decision. The young man was the only survivor. The look on his face, the still shell-shocked look in his eyes (years after the incident) makes me think he had a far different experience from yours. You were lucky, patti, very lucky.

  8. robin
    That unfortunately is how most encounters with lightning end.He was indeed lucky to survive and yet being the only survivor could have its own set of problems. He had to some how adjust to having been present at his friends deaths and to suffer the loss.

    I know a lawyer who was struck on a golf course and while he survived, he was brain damaged and could no longer practice law.
    As I stated, I am sure I did not get a direct hit. It could have traveled along the fence line or struck near by. I sometimes make light of it now as most things pale in retrospect, but I am very, very grateful to have survived with no apparent long term effects.

  9. Stumbled on your blog via Arkansas Stamper. Happy to see I'm not the only above 60....hmmm 70 blogger, I too claim N. Cent. Ark as home (Bull Shoals).

    The lightning sounds scary to me.

    It is raining off and on now. Hope the rough stuff stays away.

  10. Nitwit
    Welcome to TNS. You came from a good place. Unfortunatley, our age group is not an exclusive club. More the merrier I say. I will check out your blog. Thank you for stopping by.

  11. Talk about a close encounter. That's a lesson to be learned there -- and sometimes its just dumb luck, not necessarily being dumb.

  12. Robert,
    The dumb part was hanging on to a metal gate in a thunder storm. The luck I will take in any form. Just glad to be here.

  13. What a story, Patti! This is really a frightening experience and a miracle that you were still alive!