Sunday, August 3

I Got Chills....

Today we had quite the thunderstorm in East Texas. Our modem got fried, but I just spoke to a nice Indian woman who helped me get Amit's modem hooked up and working. I also fixed the dishwasher tonight. I had to use a screwdriver and everything. But that is not why I am writing; I have a story to tell.

Anytime there is any form of rain in Nac you are pretty much guaranteed to find me out on the porch enjoying the free show. I feel at peace when it is storming outside. I am comforted by the slow rumble of the thunder and the dizzying flashes of lightning. I have skipped class to stay home during a storm before. You know, I even have radar on my google homepage to keep me updated. So, needless to say, I saw today's storm coming a couple hours beforehand, and I was anticipating it's arrival. When it finally got here I abandoned the broken dishwasher and stepped outside for a while.

It felt great. It cooled from nearly 100 degrees down to 70 in just a few minutes. It lasted a good long while, the rain making it misty and cool, and the smell... Man I love that smell. There was plenty of thunder and lightning to go around as well. From what I could see from our porch (which isn't too far thanks to all the pine trees) it was just cloud to cloud lightning, very pretty and not dangerous unless you are in a plane or are a seagull.

I was sitting back in the chair Brown Bear forgot to take with him to Houston, and I remember the hair on the back of my neck standing up. I had the most distant thought that when that happened you were supposed to do something, but before I could form a rational idea of what was going on, there was a flash. It was red and white. Almost immediately came the crack, louder than just thunder, it was more of a crash. I felt heat on the left side of my body. My instinctual reaction was to curl into a ball and protect my head. My heart rate shot through the roof.

I thought maybe I had just freaked out because of the sound, but I looked to my left, to the neighboor's yard, wondering what I might see. I mean I halfway expected the entire area to be a smoldering crater, and halfway expected there to be nothing at all. It looked like someone had thrown a dozen bags of leaves into the air and they were all falling down. There is a tree about 20 feet away from the porch that is (or was) covered in ivy. The tree was struck, and it exploded, ripping a strip of bark and wood from the side facing the porch. The leaves in the air were the leaves of ivy that were blown off of the side of the trunk.

When I got up I could barely stand, there was singed bark on the porch, and even in my chair. Apparently it had hit me and I was so scared I didn't even notice. It launced pieces of wood over our house and into the driveway. A few minutes later, Amit and I were standing outside when another tree on Pearl street was hit, scaring us both back inside. I have been skydiving before, and that gives you a heck of an adrenaline rush, but after nearly getting struck by lightning I was high for a couple hours. I shook for a long time.

I. Almost. Died.

It.Was. Awesome.

The left side of my face feels hot like I got sunburned. I can't believe it actually happened. Here is the tree:
I thought I was dead.

Everyone keeps asking me if I learned my lesson.

And, No. I absolutely did not.


jenn said...

that's amazing. i'm slightly jealous. and nac thunderstorms are truely amazing.

the photoSmith said...

that's awesome! glad you're ok, now you have a cool story to tell your grandkids, lol

Birdwells said...

dude, you are freakin' crazy, i can't believe that! well, i am glad you are still here. you know it rains a lot in austin... i'm just sayin' ;)

Anonymous said...

PAAAAAAAAUL! You're my hero.

Teysha Faith said...

im glad you didn't learn your lesson.

the photoSmith said...

freakin update already