“And I go back to the loss of a real good friend
and the 16 summers I shared with him.
Now ‘Only The Good Die Young’ stops me in my tracks.
Every time I hear that song,
I go back.”
– Kenny Chesney –
“You think Lee will say hi today?” asked Fiancé this morning while peering out the window.
He must have noticed the puzzlement on my face because he quickly continued – “It’s supposed to thunderstorm today,” he said.
Since Lee’s passing seven years ago today, Fiancé has continually calmed my nerves and thwarted my fears in regards to thunderstorms by saying thunderstorms were just Lee saying hi – similar to when I was much, much younger and my mother would tell me the angels were bowling. Since I’m not a fan of bowling, the idea of Lee saying hi has always been much more pleasant, especially on a day like today – the anniversary of his death.
Currently, it is storming – over “Celebration” by Madonna on the local radio station and the sound of my fingers striking the keyboard, I can hear thunder from my office. I can hear Lee saying hi, and it’s a sweet sound – a celebration of his life of sorts.
Rest in peace, my friend.
Melanie Rossomando of Springfield “freaked out” when her chairlift ride high above the Seaside Heights, N.J. beach stopped as a thunderstorm approached, so she jumped, according to coverage by News12 New Jersey.
Rossomando went on to say that she decided to jump rather than risk being hit by lightning as she celebrated her 17th birthday. A YouTube video shows scared Rossomando kicking off her shoes and jumping off the Sky Ride as dark clouds and heavy winds roll in.
…I’d be right there with you, Rossomando.
Before every “thunderstorm season,” I have to prepare myself. Silly, perhaps, because it is out of my control but it allows me to mentally prepare for all the memories and feelings thunderstorms (more specifically, lightning) conjure up. So, when I saw the weather report for today, I wasn’t ready to see this…
I also wasn’t ready for the rumble of thunder and the crack of lightning that occurred a short while ago.
Moral of the story: It’s time to get ready!
While it is thundering and lightning in Northern New Jersey, I was informed of an interesting story that occurred in Oregon two days ago.
Austin Melton, a 14-year-old, was struck by lightning while attempting to get a closer look of a thunderstorm that knocked out the lights at a basketball game he was attending at La Pine High School.
Within mintues, the 8th grader was struck and unconscious.
To read/hear his story, please visit The Oregonian‘s article at http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/06/whats_the_worse_that_could_hap.html.
Lightning is highly dangerous. With a little bit of common sense, you can solidify your safety. “When thunder roars, go indoors” is the mantra for The National Weather Service. It should become yours too!
Here are some safety tips:
- Keep your eyes on the skies. Thunderstorms typically develop in the spring and summer months; however, they can (and do) occur year round. Towering cumulus clouds are the first sign of a developing thunderstorm.
- 10 miles is the magic number. Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles from area where there is rain present. Thunder can be heard from 10 miles away. If you hear thunder, you are within striking distance and must seek shelter.
- Be a leader. Most lightning deaths occur in the summer months when outdoor sports are in full swing. Stop activities at the first roar of thunder to guarantee enough time to get to shelter. Develop a written plan all staff are aware of and must follow, such as The Hillsdale Football Association has done.
- When indoors, stay away from electrical equipment. Stay off corded phones and computers, which put you in direct contact with electricity. Stay away from plumbing such as pools, tubs, and showers.
- Wait 30 minutes. Waiting may be a drag but it could potentially save your life. Wait 30 minutes after the last strike before going outside again.
- Help a lightning strike victim. If a person you are with is struck by lightning, call 911 immediately. With proper treatment, most victims survive lightning strikes. Most common complications are cardiac arrest, burns, and nerve damage. You are in no danger helping/touching a lightning victim; the charge will not pass to you.
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