Wednesday, May 23, 2012

my recent brush with death

I was getting ready to go run some errands one day, home by myself, and stopped blow drying my hair to take Macon out.  I literally had half wet hair and he came in my room begging to go out.  So, I stopped what I was doing and took him outside.  My backyard is kind of confusing, so let me paint a picture for you (no, seriously): 

As you can see, I am standing on my drive way next to the basketball goal.  The little red square in the corner is our detached garage that my dad built in the backyard.  My house backs up to the woods (the white space) with a ditch separating the woods from my yard.  There is a mammoth of a pine tree sitting right on the edge of the woods.  I mean, the sucker is huge.  Huge enough to make my dad force us to pack up and leave for every possible hurricane.  So you can get a real idea, I was no more than 30 feet from this pine tree at the moment. 

I bet you already know what is going to happen, but I am going to tell you anyways.  At this point, it is important for you to know that it was not raining.  It was barely even stormy.  I am talking one grey cloud that was no where near above me.  All of a sudden, I heard the loudest noise I have ever heard in my life.  I literally looked down at my chest to make sure that I hadn't been shot point blank from 2 feet away.  Macon simultaneously yelped and ran into the house, yanking his leash and therefore pulling me over.  I thought I was dying.  

This is where the Jesus star comes into play.  Yes, I said Jesus star.  Every year at Christmas time, my dad puts up a gigantic star made of lights into our friend the mammoth pine tree.  Its a pain in the butt to get up there, and every year my family dreads being beckoned from outside by my dear father to come and lug the thing up the tree.  Long story short, there is a metal wire that affixes the star in the tree with a pulley system (my dad is an engineer so everything must have a pulley), and the metal wire attaches to a hook on the ground during the off season.  

Ok, back to dying.  Literally, one second has gone by sense the loud bang and I whip around just in time to see the metal Jesus wire illuminated with sparks and filling the air with smoke.  Suddenly, a light bulb.  The dang tree had gotten struck by lightning.  

For some reason, this was not enough evidence for me.  I was convinced that I was about to die, and my dog had left me there to do it.  Nevertheless, I ran inside and I faintly remember ducking.  I was basically doing a half-assed army crawl to my room because I thought the mammoth pine tree was coming down any minute on my house.  I grabbed my phone and dialed my moms number, which took about 30 tries because my hands were shaking so bad.  To me, I made perfect sense.  To my mom however, all she could hear is my hysterical sobs and whines.  

Eventually, I got it out and all my mom could say is "wow." Wow? Not a thank God you're alive or OMG call an ambulance.  Suddenly, I felt stupid.  Was this not a big deal?  It sure as heck felt like one. I could still feel the hair standing up on the back of my neck.  That is literally the most terrified I have been in a long time. I think she could sense that I felt she wasn't taking me seriously, because she told me to call the fire department to come check out the tree.  

Within minutes, sirens were blaring and lights were flashing.  I do remember telling the fire chief that it was not an emergency, but he brought out the big guns anyways.  At least someone was coming to my rescue.  Three guys piled out of the truck and into my backyard.  The first thing out of one of their mouths was "damn." 

Damn right, damn! The guys proceeded to tell me that we needed to check the electricity inside and in the garage out back.  They explained that the wire actually helped because the lightning would have traveled all the way down the tree into its roots.  Pine trees have very large roots that spread out in very wide and long distances.  Apparently, I could have easily been electrocuted being so close to the tree because lightning can jump.  Turns out, the Jesus wire saved me.  

In the end, all we lost was our cable and surround sound for a couple days.  Plus, we have to get the mammoth cut down because its all dead now and will eventually fall down on our house.  Dad says he is going to hang out around me from now on during storms because lightning never strikes the same place twice.  I just laugh and say "well lets not see if its aim improves." 


  1. That is an amazing, Jena. God had an angel watching over you. You should submit the story to a magazine...I love the term, Jesus wire.

  2. Thanks Jeane! It was definitely an interesting day!


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