When my kids are home, I spend lots of time in the kitchen. I love my little cooking nook. It is very space efficient. The counter is shaped like a U. The stove is at the bottom in the curvy part of the U. The fridge is in the middle of the right line, and the double sink is in the middle of the left line. There is also a window facing the backyard just above the sink.
Like many people I know, I have magnets multiplying on the door of the fridge. Some have been there forever, mementos of places we’ve visited, while others have literally appeared out of nowhere. They are useful to keep notes that no one but me reads, and they add some color to the white door.
Some twelve years ago, we got one of those singing magnets. It was a tiny house decorated with snow on the roof and Christmas lights around the windows and door. When the kids press on its door, it sang a Christmas carol. I cannot remember which one, except to say that the lively tune drove me crazy after it played for the hundredth time. The kids being kids, they could not resist activating it every time they ventured in the kitchen. Thankfully, the battery died within a few months, and peace returned in my little nook.
In my neck of the woods, we get many snowstorms, but I can count on my fingers the number of thunderstorms we get every summer. That is sad because I love thunderstorms, I truly love them, especially at night. No comments from the peanut gallery, please…
July of last year, late afternoon, we had a major thunderstorm while my daughter Sarah and I were cooking in the kitchen. I was pulling out ingredients from the cupboards. She might have been pretending to help. She was by the sink, looking out the window and commenting on the storm. The thunder grew louder and the lapse between the light and the clash dwindled to mere seconds. The storm was quickly moving closer and closer to our location. Suddenly, I heard a deafening bang. The house shook. Music filled the kitchen… We screamed.
Lighting had stuck in our backyard, some fifteen yards away from the window, at that same moment that my daughter’s fingers were touching the rim of the stainless steel sink. Through the sink, Sarah had received an electrical charge. Her skin tingled for 30 minutes, like she was wired to some invisible outlet. But her close encounter with the deadly force of nature wasn’t our only source of bewilderment. As strange as it sounded, we were both hearing Christmas music.
A lively tune was playing loud and clear in the kitchen, a Christmas song that we had not heard in over a decade.
The lightning strike had re-energized the little fridge magnet. It sang for a few minutes, then died—for the second time.
Sidenote: Laptop’s new name -> Clio