A Little Bolt and Jolt

We’re experiencing a little delay in our regular programming here at Bits and Breadcrumbs this week. We’ve had a hiccup in the form of a freakish storm yesterday morning and a bolt of lightning hitting a tree and then jumping to our chimney, resulting in a big mess and lots of soot.

All inhabitants of the house are okay, no fire (luckily), and we got power back on late yesterday. The damaged tree hasn’t come down so far, but we have a chimney missing up top and much of its interior wall and firebox came down into the living room. We have clean up crews for the soot and mortar all over the interior of the house, some zapped electrical systems and equipment to deal with…and so on. And did I mention clean up crews? Lots and lots of clean up and contractors, to be followed by lots of construction to rebuild the chimney, firebox and surround, then plastering and paint.

And yet, we were very, very lucky. Had the tree not taken the bolt and if the lightning had struck the chimney cap first, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing, most likely, as the top of the house would have been in flames. Or had the chimney fallen into our bedroom (which is right next to it and where we were at the time), the story would be quite different. Thank you big tree.

Since this happened (and it seems like a week has passed since yesterday morning), my reading and commenting on others’ posts has been non-existent, the cooking has been interrupted, and our days are filled with folks coming and going. But I will be back online and returning to our regular programming soon. We are thankful it wasn’t any worse and that none of us were actually hit. I will try and share some pictures in my next post once I get my main computer back online, and in the mean time, I hope you all have a pleasant and safe weekend.

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40 thoughts on “A Little Bolt and Jolt

  1. We are so glad, so very glad, you and Dave are safe. The rest is just stuff…Take care and find a safe, calm, inviting place to sit quietly and enjoy a glass of wine (or whatever you’d like best!) Next week is moving week for us but we’re looking forward to a visit from you both and Elizabeth
    when we get settled! Love, Barbara and Jim

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    • Thank you so much, Barbara. We were so very lucky…like you say, the rest is just stuff. I am glad that so far everything has gone so smoothly with your house, and I hope the move is like clockwork, too. Safe journeys and we look forward to visiting you and catching up soon!

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  2. Rather strange hitting the “like” button for the likes of this Betsy! So sorry to hear your news! Awfully fortunate that it was the dwelling only, and not the dwellers, and yet still what a set of complications this has set up for you guys!! Hoping things are soon back to smooth-running, but don’t hurry on our account! You’re ever so worth waiting for! Take care Betsy!!

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    • Hey Spree and thanks for your kind thoughts. Yes, we are so grateful, but we work from home, too, which is another complication as some of our computers aren’t functional. All in good time and at least we are here to face another day!

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    • Thank you, Norma. I’m not sure there is a schedule with these sorts of things. The cleaning crew is on their second day and I’m not sure when the insurance adjuster will get here…probably next week, and also when they can get a mason to assess the damage. We live in a historic district, so they have to get approval before they can do the work on the chimney. It’s going to be a long process, I’m afraid.

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  3. So glad to hear you are all ok. Now that the serious side is covered, here comes my need for injecting humor into serious situations. Are you providing the clean up crews with any of your yummy concoctions?

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    • Alas, no. They have to clean up all the soot (it is a bio hazard) on two levels of the house. They have just now gotten to the kitchen and they have to clean every surface and exposed pot and pan. They still haven’t made it to the main room where the majority of the clean up is, or my office. It’s a real pain. I hope I can get back in the kitchen this weekend.

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  4. Okay Betsy, So glad ya’ll are ok and so sorry for the rest. I have not called because you have enough to deal with but we’re sending best wishes and are ready if you need us to come down….

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    • Thank you so much, Jeanie. We are okay, but yes, a lot to deal with. Very long days and they have to clean everything…surfaces, artwork, upholstery, all of it. A really big mess. And we haven’t really begun to tangle, or tango, with the insurance company yet. Will be in touch.

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  5. What a shock! Your neighborhood has had more than its share of excitement lately. Sorry you are the latest to be affected by our summer storms. Hope all goes well now with your repairs. We’ll have to celebrate your health soon.

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    • Hey Judy, and yes…we seem to be in some sort of alley here lately, don’t we? I think Susanna and Warren moved just in time! Thanks again for your support and kindess. We’ll see you guys soon. šŸ™‚

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  6. Thank heavens it was only property that was affected and, even that wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. I’m relieved to read that you’re all safe and hope you’ll be rid of the contractors sooner than later. We’ll all be here when your ready to come back, no need to rush. Take care.

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    • Hi John and thanks, we are relieved to be here! Unfortunately we keep finding things that were zapped by lightning and the interior cleanup will go into next week. Kinda tough when you work from home. Then because we live in a historic district, we have to have special permits to do any exterior construction, so this will go on for months. In spite of the fact that it could have been so much worse, we still have tens of thousands of damage. But believe me, we are still very grateful.

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    • Thank you, Jed. Freakish is right. It’s been so surreal around here since Wednesday when this happened. We keep finding things that were fried by the lightning. Not to mention the ongoing mess. But being alright is the important thing. We’ll get through the rest.

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    • Hey Charles. We are okay, but it’s such an ongoing process. We both work from home and our equipment was fried. We have soot everywhere and the chimney and firebox are destroyed. Plus a tree. Lots to do and it will take some time. But we are safe, which is the important thing, as are our kitties.

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  7. Take care Betsy and THANK GOD for that wonderful, amazing life saving tree. Sounds like you have everything in perspective despite the messy, crazy aftermath. I wish you the best and hope the mess gets resolved soon and life can go back to normal.

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  8. Wow Betsy, I am so glad that everyone is OK, it’s so frightening when nature strikes like that. This is the second home that I’ve heard has been hit by lightening ā€” I have a friend in Kansas who had the same thing happen but what’s weird is that it’s happened twice on the Kansas house and once on the Florida house!
    Hope you have a great week.

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    • Thanks, Eva. I am so glad we are all okay, too. I can’t say the same for my computers and we are still in the midst of adjusters with insurance and replacing a bunch of stuff, then the long process of redoing the chimney. But all in all we were lucky. I don’t think I could emotionally survive having my house struck twice and a second house, too. Your poor friend! You have a great week, too.

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  9. Good God! You poor things, how completely terrifying.. lightening is mental.. And soot! Awful. hopefully the clean up crews are busy as I am writing and soon you can get back to some kind of normalcy.. what a thing! c

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    • Yes…mental is a good way to put it! Awakening to that kind of explosion and light, then smoke and smoke alarms and being unable to find the cats. But mercifully we did not have fire, just soot and ash. We and our animals are okay…that’s the most important. Initial cleaning crews finished yesterday, almost a week after the event, so at least we aren’t stirring up more soot as we walk. Now begins a long process of rebuilding and insurance adjusters. But, we were so incredibly lucky! šŸ™‚

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    • Yes, I feel bad for the tree but am grateful it took the brunt of the lightning, otherwise we wouldn’t be here to tell the tale. It’s icing on the cake of the last year, but we really are grateful it isn’t any worse and that we and our animals are safe.

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