We had seen the lightning in the distance and figured that it was just heat lightning. Little did we know what was about to happen.
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Story is below...
When I faintly heard thunder I decided to take an early shower. The wind was just starting to pickup when I had stripped down to my boxer shorts and t-shirt. Suddenly a gust of wind came by and pulled open our front storm door and slammed it against it’s stopper. I looked outside and I could see all the trees and bushes blowing like crazy.
At that moment, I realized that our umbrella out back was still up and with wind like that it could either tear or get blown over. It was a new one and I didn’t want to see it get damaged. So I put on my slippers and ran out the back door to face debris flying around.
I started the process of taking down the umbrella and removing it from it’s stand as the winds whipped around me. I was being pelted by twigs, brush and small limbs when I heard the first crack and a large tree limb fell to the ground just about twenty feet from me. From that point on the winds were howling like crazy and the sound was like a freight train going by at high speed. I’ve never heard that sound or felt that much wind before and the force of it was like someone trying to push me over.
As I finished getting the umbrella down and out of it’s base, trees and large limbs were being ripped away and slammed to the ground all around my neighborhood. The wind was whipping at the large tree in my neighbors yard and I could just barely make it out in the light of my back porch and from the lightning that was flashing. And as limbs came off of the tree I prayed that it would not fall onto their house.
I found myself standing there, in my boxers and holding my umbrella, fascinated with what was happening all around me. Even in the Navy, in a large storm at sea that I experienced, I had never seen, heard nor felt such ferocious winds before. As the rain started to come down in the midst of the wind I found myself greatly excited by what was happening. It was an experience that I had never felt before and I wanted to just stand there and watch it all.
My wife was calling for me to come in out of the storm, and as the limbs and other debris kept flying, with the lightning flashing and the winds tearing everything up and blowing the rain sideways, I gave in and made my way back to the door just a few steps away.
It was then that I realized what it was that I was wearing. I could just see the headlines now, “Man hit by tree while out walking around in his underwear.” Yeah, my family would have loved that.
In thinking back to the moment, the wind making all the damage and the lightning with the rain, I now know that I had put myself in somewhat of a dangerous position by trying to save my outdoor umbrella. The thing is, however, considering the excitement, the exhilarating feelings that I had being in the midst of something I had never experienced before, I would do it all over again.
It was fantastic…
Up until yesterday evening we have been without home phone, cell phone (in our local area) and Internet connection. Kinda' peaceful in a way. Reminded me of when I was growing up back in the 50's... :-)