Now, this is an exciting little sidestep to my journey into life.  This is just another great example of evidence someone or something is protecting me in my foolish acts.

I have a great respect for electrical currents and lightning.  I do not fear them, but I realize in one instant, they can change your outlook on life quite drastically.  There has been more than once, I have felt that little tingle when electricity courses through some of your body parts. Even though I have learned to keep one hand in my pocket, I still often make a small mistake and feel that familiar tingle.

One of the more dangerous times, was when I was co-owner of a maintenance crew in Alexandria Virginia.  A big rainstorm, just below hurricane level came through the area.  There was rain, rain, and more rain.  It rained so much it actually floated a forty-foot concrete swimming pool right out of the ground ten inches.

One of the shopping areas near by knew we had the equipment to unplug drains and called us to unplug a drain that was quickly filling up a stairwell and about ready to flood their lower floors.  This was not a problem for us because we had some industrial router rooter equipment just for this purpose.  We took the equipment over and set up to begin unplugging the drain.  This time it was my turn to feed the snake and brother’s turn, to run the electrical controls.   As I was standing in two feet of water, he thought it would be a great joke to start the snake turning even before I pushed it down into the drain.  I let out a big holler and threw the snake away from me.

Now remember, it had been raining for some time and everything, including both of us was totally wet. Well he took his foot off the motor pedal and waited until I picked the snake up again.  Sure enough, he wanted another laugh and stepped on the pedal as soon as I picked up the snake.  Again, I hollered and threw the snake and said some choice words to him. This just brought more laughter on his part.  He tried this one more time and I did one of those nose-to-nose conversations with him and explained every time he stepped on the pedal I was getting shocked big time. “OH,” he explains that he just thought I was afraid of the turning snake.  He waited next time until I actually had the snake into the drain before he turned the machine on.  But, you know, that could have been quite a problem for me.

Now, there were other times, I had my hand in the circuit breaker box that I got that tingle, but all ended well.  Even working on dryers at times, I got a small tingle. But another bad time was when I was working on one of the old-style televisions.

They had a high voltage wire that would arc onto any metal in the tv.  As the service person, I needed to reroute the wire. Knowing its potential, I actually turned the set off before attempting any action with this wire.  Upon turning the set off and on three times, I decided to circumvent that off and on process.  I had some non-metallic tools and made the attempt of relocating the wire while it was still on.

Well, it seems as though I had a nasty habit that a lot of people have.  I have seen a lot of people stick that little pinky finger out when they pick up a small tea cup.  For some unknow reason, I stuck that little finger out while attempting to relocate that high voltage wire.   Ka-zaap…  All remembered at that time was a low guttural groan.  It got me for sure.  But I fixed it after a couple of choice words to myself.   When I went to present the home owner a bill for my service call, she looked at me and asked what was wrong.  It seems as though a lot of the color had gone out of my face and I was whiter than usual.  “OH, I just got electrocuted”, was my simple reply.   Again, I was protected from my foolish self.

Working and playing with electricity was not as bad as lightning.  I have always been intrigued with lightning and one day would I like to tame a small one. You know, do the old Benjamin thing.  But lightning does not behave as one would wish.  It does just what it wants to.  The house I live in now has a personal relationship with lightning.  Whenever a storm would come by in good Ole Rangeley, the outlets would snap and crackle every now and then.  I had made sure everything was grounded properly and we would just unplug special electrical equipment whenever a storm was in the area.  This game became sort of exciting.  We would stand by the windows and watch the lightning strikes.  On this particular storm, one of my daughters was on the west side of the house looking out and I was on the East side.  We both were looking at the strikes and counting the time difference between the light and the sound.  Every once in a while, there was no counting.  This was getting exciting. It was then, that my daughter just hollered “it just hit the tree outside the house.”  All of the power went off and I knew this strike was close.  Sure enough, it blew pieces off the tree, traveled across the lawn, blew a piece off the porch, went through the house and popped the breakers in the shed.  When the storm went by, I cut that tree down.  That was a bit too close.  But, I left one tree because the bees just loved the Hackmatack sap. They used sap to help build their nests.  It was nice to go out there early summer and the tree would be covered with bees gathering sap.  Unfortunately, the lightning played with that tree also.  So, I cut that one down. One would think that ended the saga, but no.  Three times I have replaced the underground wire coming to the house.  It was getting blown to pieces in almost the same spot every time.   I have had to replace three televisions, one satellite system and a couple of computers because of lightning.  I am sure you are saying to yourself, why not buy a surge suppressor?   Last summer, I lost two 50 inch screen tv/monitors thanks to lightning.  One I was watching at the time and lightning did not hit the ground, but just filled the room with light and pow, there went my tv and a dvd player.   The other one, my sister got up to shut it off.  She was wearing fluffy slippers and when she touched the tv.  Kazaap, static electricity blew the mother board on that one.  She is now banned from actually touching the big televisions.  This is just another normal part of my life journey.  I am still protected.