Stay off the sidewalk, or the highway, better yet just stay home.
My wheels were clean when I left this morning. This is one of my front wheels covered in black brake dust. I needed to get these...
To transport the ferals tomorrow, on loan from HOPE.ORG.
I had to drive to the city to get them. I am not a driver, nor was my mother. This apple fell directly under the tree. I get in the car, aim it, and make a serious attempt to get where I am going without inflicting injury on myself or others. These days its hard. One has to watch the rear-view constantly to avoid being hit by vehicles speeding up to the rear of my car while they nonchalantly chat on the phone at their ear, failing to notice my brake lights, which I am frantically tapping trying to trigger their brain into figuring out something different is happening before they drive over me.
Not to mention the fact that I can navigate a mountain and never get lost. Oh alright, never deal in absolutes, I have not gotten lost to this day. Yet put a car under my butt and somehow I am able to become completely disoriented three miles from my home. So yup, what was supposed to be a forty minute road trip, or thereabouts, turned into an 85 mile journey. Three postman and a kind gentleman later,on the phone, I interrupted his call with my frantic screams at a five way intersection (yes FIVE way , obviously the designer of said intersection never intended to navigate it), I landed at the place I needed to be, twenty minutes early. I failed to mention if I am headed to unfamiliar territory I give myself a two hour head start.....
Yet this is not the reason I am here today...
This is... looming on the horizon while I was finding my way out of the maze of the city.
I an directly descended from a line of human lightening rods. My grandmother had grown up with the fear, as only one who has witnessed the wrath of a killer lightening strike can manage. Official accounts of the incidents were passed down to each generation in order to forestall yet another death by dangerous electricity. She had grown up hearing the story of her mother's uncle, a peculiar character who managed to make a living carving things out of local wood. He made beautifully detailed figurines of wildlife, frames for pictures, even jewelry.
While searching for the perfect piece of fallen cedar one summer afternoon, he failed to notice an ominous cloud approaching from the north. When that cloud let go, probably just over his head, it loosed a bolt of lightening into a nearby tree. The unleashed power traveled through the tree and it's root system upon which he had been standing. They knew this because someone finally went out to get him when he failed to answer the dinner bell. What they found was his boot melted to a large, sooty, exposed root, while he lie twenty feet away, dead as a doornail.
If his death had been the only one there would be no legacy concerning my family's 'human lightening rod' status. The next would be my grandmother's father. During an attempt to dispel the curse theory that had been rolling around since the first confirmed kill, he became the second.
While the women stood on the porch nearby as instructed, a black thunder cloud rolled over the top of Mt. Belknap.
As shadows the cloud created crept over the lawn, inching nearer each minute to the barn, he stepped up the ramp, slid both barn doors open on their, ah, metal runners, and placed his rocking chair in the doorway, just under the eaves to avoid the incoming rain. Still on the runners. Lightening began to streak across the darkening sky, and as the tension in the women watching caused them to wring their cotton aprons and fidget with their jewelry, a lightening bolt struck the old, copper rooster weather vane on the peak of the barn roof. The rooster spun with wild abandon as electricity raced unchecked, sensing the barn's runners nearby, and latched on. It was all over in a matter of seconds that would seem an eternity for the women on the porch.
Their eyes widened when the bolt struck the rooster, knuckles turned white as it began it's stationary whirl. My grandmother's father sat in the rocker with his smug grin, his eyes said, "See, I told you so." The bolt shot through the runners, permanently affixing his boots to them in the form of melted blobs. While the women's jaws dropped, no sounds issuing forth, the electricity continued through him, cementing the smug grin on his face forever in the women's minds, and with a poof of gray smoke from the top of his John Deere hat, it was over.
The second confirmed kill, as well as justification for my mother instructing my sister and me to never say, "I told you so." My grandmother did her part in passing on the 'healthy fear' (yes, they had the audacity to call it that), by refusing to be alone if a storm was was approaching. The neighbors would see her scooting down the street, every so often hyper-extending her neck to peer at the sky, violet hair floofed straight behind her due to her sheer speed, on her way to our house.
VICTIM # 1
VICTIM # 2
Last but most importantly, having lightening rods installed after the second incident.
So you see, it's a darn good thing I wrote down directions before leaving after I had picked up the cages, because I really needed to get home before the absolutely wicked electrical storm that passed over two hours ago found me.
I turned on the weather channel upon arriving home to hear...
"Always remember, if you can hear thunder, you can be struck."