Something Happened Last Night, and I Cannot Explain it
"Come here, I have something to show you..."
My wife took me outside this morning to show me something which she thought might explain what we heard last night around 10:00 or 10:15 PM. As we were lying down to go to sleep, we heard a sound like something falling against the house. We got out of bed, made our way around the house, looking out the windows. I even went outside the front, looking at our neighbor who had been hammering and pounding on his car and other assorted things for several hours. He is a handyman, of sorts, always doing something in his backyard, his pallet creations, something. He had another guy over there and although I could see them in their front yard light I could not tell if they had done something to make such a noise. It sounded much closer than next door, right up against the house in fact. I actually thought our plant stand, which we use for a bird feeder and sets right outside the side window in our front room had fallen, scraping against the side of the house. But it was still upright so it was not that.
So, what was it? A tree branch, what?
When my wife took me out back this morning, what I saw was something I cannot explain; not in any way, shape, or form.
Our granite umbrella stand, broken on one corner.
Is that what we heard?
I stood and looked, completely puzzled. Our granite umbrella stand, which we have had for over a decade, broken. One corner, which contains a metal rod and a synthetic wheel there (another is on the opposite corner and a handle the opposite side from the wheels in order to make it easier for a person to move around because it is heavy) was separated from the rest of the stand by a good two inches.The handle side was right smack up against the brick wall which surrounds our patio, and the little concrete bulldog sitting quietly beside the stand, right where he was supposed to be.
The bulldog ain't talking.
Now, last night we had a pretty good storm, wind and lightning and rain with a bit of hail tossed in for good effect. However, the storm didn't come in for another three or four hours after we heard the noise so I don't see how it could be associated with the storm.
I have been in the neighborhood of very close lightning strikes several times before
Several times in my life I have been within spitting distance of lightning strikes. My first time was as a kid, camping at Stockton Lake. A storm came in so we huddled together in our camper, watching out the window. The sky lit up, and I watched in awe as a bolt of lightning stuck a nearby sailboat mast, shattering it to bits and pieces.
Several years later, I lived in a house in Webb City. A storm came up and after exercising my right to stupidity (I went up on the roof as the storm was coming in, taking pictures of the lighting as the storm moved closer. Yeah, stupid I know.) I went inside and watched out the front window at the wind, rain and hail. Then I was blinded by a lightning strike across the street as it connected with the neighbor's house gas meter. I ran outside and met the man who lived next door to the house which was struck and we went to look at the house itself. No apparent damage except for the main incoming gas line, which had a hole in it now. Gas was whistling through the tiny hole and we could smell it. I ran back inside and called the emergency number for the gas company as the owner of the home was not home at the time.
I have watched as it hit a support on my son's tree house, blowing a 4" x 4" to pieces and then running down a 50' zip line to another tree before peeling the bark of that tree off and sending it back up the zip line to the tree housing the tree house without burning the plastic coating which coated the zip line. Incidentally, the tree that lost the bark eventually died from the strike.
I been inside when it hit the concrete patio under the overhanging roof of a brand new house, blowing a piece of the concrete out of the ground and setting it down a foot away from the new crater.
No light, minimal sound
There was no light, no sound like a lightning strike. Our son's window is a mere ten feet from the umbrella stand and he was awake. As I said, the storm didn't arrive for another four hours or so, so I don't think it was associated with it. What I heard was more like something falling against the house but I have absolutely have no idea whatsoever what caused this to break.
We had another storm a couple of days ago and some wind came up unexpectedly (God I wish I had known about meteorology when I was young! That is the only job where you can be wrong more than right and still keep your job!). We had left home for a while and when we returned, the umbrella was lifted out of the stand and tossed across the yard. The upright piece of the umbrella was broken at the movable joint yet the umbrella itself was fine. Whenever a storm is coming my wife always pulls it out and lays it on the ground to protect against this; there was no advance notice of high winds so we were unprepared. Last night, we were prepared; we took the umbrella out and laid it down.
And something happens to the granite stand. Go figure.
I have done research and know that lightning can strike far in advance of a storm, but we should have experienced the bright light and deafening sound of a strike so close to our house, not a sound like something falling against the house. It doesn't make sense.
I am confused, befuddled, bewildered. As I said, a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. If anyone has any ideas, I would LOVE to hear them!
Take care, friends.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Mr Archer