Last night was a very enjoyable evening. My wife looked beautiful and I actually cleaned up nice. The country club was swanky — it was originally a huge mansion from the 1880’s or something like that. A very long two lane drive flanked by two rows of trees 60 ft tall ushered us into the golf course area, across an aged stone bridge with lots of character and to the parking area by the club house.

Right off the bat I could begin introducing my wife to people from work she had heard about but only had a name of. Now she could put names to faces. The drinks and chat time before the dinner flew by and we enjoyed talking with some of the better halves of all the people I work with (I brought my better half and I am assuming they all did too).

The awards presentation was nice too. I really like that my company believes in their values and walks the talk. Programs like this that give back to the community are great examples of that. I found out that in the 14 years they have been doing this program, they have given over $1 million dollars in money to teachers. In the last 9 years of doing the program in Kentucky, they have given over $100,000 in money to Kentucky teachers. I am proud to be a part of a company that not only improves patients’ lives but also improves the communities I work in.

During dinner the lights flickered a few times. The banquet room reminded me of the Disneyland Haunted Mansion entrance. It was a much larger room, but had dark wood paneling, fresco-ed ceiling and the electric candelabras on the walls. The booms resonating from outside informed us that the 2nd of 3 storms had arrived. The first blew through around 3pm. This one was making it’s presence felt. It looked even more like the Disneyland Haunted Mansion when the lightning flashes came through the window.

After about three hours things started winding down and we said our goodbyes. We had our kids to return to and the storm was getting quite nasty. Many people had the same idea but were bottlenecked at the front entrance canopy. It seems not many people brought an umbrella and the sheets of rain were flooding the parking lot. In fact, I don’t think an umbrella would even help in this situation. I guess I’m a gentleman seeing as I was one of the first to dash to the truck so I could bring it around for my wife. I ran the 50 yards or so but might have well had walked. I could not have gotten wetter if I had stood in the shower with all my clothes on. I swung the truck around and my wife jumped in making a statement about how wet she got in the 2 feet she had to travel from the overhang. Then she looked over at me, soaking like a drenched poodle. She was half in amazement, half laughing. I pulled to the side of the parking lot and took my shirt off.

I switched the wipers to warp speed mode which allowed me a full 1/4 second of good visibility for driving. As we crossed the aged stone bridge with character, I caught a glimpse of the small brook below. It had transformed to a massive watershed bulging with white water. It reminded me of a time I was caught 4x4ing in the Mojave desert and got caught in a flash flood. The power of that surging water was incredible and I was wondering if in a few minutes people were gonna have to stay at the club house because the stone bridge would become impassable.

Between the 1/4 second clear windshield I got from the wipers and the 1/2 second of quick, random daylight I got from the lightning, I was able to slowly make our way home. You couldn’t count one one thousand, two one thou—-BOOM!—–between lightning strikes. I hadn’t ever seen this much lightning activity. In fact, while driving down one of the main roads, we had a clear view forward for about a mile because of the city lights and BAM!, down came a lightning bolt immediately followed by a explosion crackboom sound. It scared the crap outta my wife and she actually jumped in the truck. The touchdown point was probably only 1/2 mile up ahead. We both happened to mention that the strike was the most intense one we had ever seen. Then, while waiting for a red light to change, another one hit about 300 yards away. We saw the strike point and the explosion sparks from it as the energy was dissipated to the ground. WOW!!! That was incredible! Now, that lightning bolt was the most intense one we had ever seen. I sure hope we don’t keep upping the stakes.

Hundreds of lightning flashes more, buckets of rain, a few washed out creeks and bridges later, we were finally home safe. I put on a shirt (remember, I took the soaking thing off after we got in the truck) and I went over to pick up the kids. They had a good time but were glad we were home. With the flashes and thunder it took a while to calm them down and get them to bed but we finally did it.

What an exciting evening all the way around.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net