Friday, October 30, 2009

Pre-Halloween Spooks

Our big news this week is that our house got struck by lightning. ZAP, BOOM, BANG. Loudly struck by lightning. It raised the hair on our arms and made our hearts beat fast. Seriously, we could feel the electricity jetting around in our bodies.

At first it was kind of exciting, especially since we hadn't figured out that it hit the house. The power went out and we lit zillions of candles and sat around in the dark talking. It's so quiet when the electricity is out.
Aidan finished his homework and did his foot exercises by candlelight. We watched it snowing out the window and marvelled when it is October in Western Washington after all. And then, after all that excitement we went to bed.

About two o'clock in the morning, the power came on (just like the lineman who arrived within an hour of the lightning strike said it would). The blown transformer was replaced and we thought all was well. We went back to sleep happily thinking "Ah, that's done." No eight days without power again (like what happened last year). Six hours, esp when you are asleep for three of them, is a breeze. It was odd though that there was a LOUD cracking noise when the power came on. That had never happened to us before. But we ignored that and went blissfully back to sleep.

We woke up to the battery powered alarms we had set the night before and headed downstairs, thinking to reset the clocks and then start our day like normal. Not.

First clue something was off, the toaster wasn't working, and neither were most of the plugs in the kitchen. Hmm. Wandering a little bit deeper into the house we find that the office computer is fried, as is the surge protector and the modem. Hmm, no internet, no computer, no toast. What about the phones? Nope, no phones.

Then we think, what about the outbuildings. So we bundle up and troup out into the snow to see. The freezers are dead but half the electricity is on in the shop so Steve rigs power to the freezers and they are up again. Phew, I won't be having to run the generator on and off all day to keep all our meat frozen. And I won't be having to figure out what to do with three freezers worth of food because the freezers got fried in the surge. That's a relief.

Next stop, the barn. Whoops, the box that is the mastermind for the electric fences is literally BLOWN APART with pieces of plastic laying all the way around the barn. Luckily, all the animals are okay. They are standing awfully close to the fence though. I wonder if they know.

We then check out the 'mother-in-law'--don't ask how that weird building got named, I have NO idea. Hmm, the lights work but the extra fridge is shot and half the plugs don't work. On to the chicken coop.
There the light is blown and a socket destroyed but what is most amazing is the 2 X 4 that the light was mounted on was blown off the wall. This is a 2 X 4 that the mighty man attached--the one whose mythical construction firm I lovingly call Fred Flintsone's Designs because everything he makes is overbuilt. You can bet that there were many nails holding that board on, and guess what they were all bent! Wish I had a picture of that.

The power in the woodshed is gone and in the original (uninsured) cabin behind the basketball court.

We still keep discovering things that are broken. Our insurance adjuster said this was normal for a lightning strike. All in all, we have a lot to fix or replace; but we SO happy that is all we are doing. Things could have been much, much worse.

ps here's some proof of the pre-halloween SNOW!

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