>Birthday Excitement


It was my birthday yesterday. The number shall remain unmentioned. Last year may very well have been the last birthday on which I openly acknowledge my age. If that old adage about being only as old as you feel is true, there are frequently days that I feel about 86! I’m still a few decades younger than that, but it really isn’t necessary to broadcast my age.

It was quite a birthday! It began sweetly, and then things jumped into hyperdrive with a very literal bang.

I came into my office early in the morning as usual and discovered, directly beside my monitor, a beautiful bouquet of beautiful cut flowers in fall colors. A “Happy Birthday” balloon was anchored to the vase with orange ribbon. I turned on my computer and put my hands above the keyboard. Lying on the keyboard was a large white envelope containing a very meaningful birthday card from my husband.

Now if this all seems like he was being a little less than subtle, I must admit that when he left a plant and card in my office for an anniversary gift, it took me quite a while to discover it even though it was on my desk and directly on the right side of my chair. Apparently I am quite forwardly focused in the morning (or perhaps half asleep). In any case, this year he took no chances and made sure I would find his gifts first thing.

Later he brought in a cup of hot tea for me. Yes, he is a wonderful husband!

I had planned to meet my friend, Angela, for a day of power-writing in our NaNoWriMo novels, so I hopped into the shower earlier than usual. When I got out, I heard something.

“Was that thunder?” I thought. “I’d better unplug my computer,” which I immediately did.

I was drying my hair when suddenly, there was a terrific crash and flash! One of the lights in the bathroom popped off and the hair dryer smelled like it was burning. “That was close!” I thought. I decided my hair was dry enough.

I took Libby outside for her first potty break of the day and looked at the roof of the house. I didn’t see any damage. When I came back inside, I looked out the deck door, which is off the dining area next to the bathroom. I saw the tree.
One of the cottonwoods in our backyard had been struck by lightning! I saw white gashes, strips of bark hanging down, and pieces of wood littering the ground.
I went out and took pictures. A piece of white wood is hanging from the branches of the tree on the left.

The longer chunks of wood on the ground are five or six feet long.

The bark on the trunk was shredded.

Running from the top to the bottom of the tree was a large white gash where the bark had been cleanly stripped off.

When I examined the ground beside the tree, I saw what looked like trenches in the dirt running out from the base of the trunk.

It was amazing to witness first hand the power of lightning and realize that is only a small evidence of the incredible power of God.

When I finally made it to town, I was waiting to cross the street until an oncoming car passed by. Who should be driving the car, but my daughter, Ariel! What a pleasant surprise! She gave me a ride to the coffee shop and met Angela for the first time.

Angela and I had a wonderfully productive day, each of us writing about 7,000 words! In fact, I was able to reach over 50,000 words, attaining the NaNoWriMo goal! I was so engrossed in writing an exciting tornado scene that I didn’t even realize my word count until Angela asked me to check. It was great to reach that goal with my NaNoWriMo writing buddy!

Dave treated us to dinner at the new Applebee’s in Pella. What a wonderful way to celebrate a great–and at times very exciting–birthday!


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