Three weekends out of five I've been hunkered down in the barn because of either potent storms or arctic weather. Stress cracks are starting to show.
This particular weekend has been one of the deadliest Januaries for tornado deaths: 20 dead in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.
Mother Nature had our attention from 4 AM Saturday morning to Monday morning.
Four rounds of storms filled with lightning. I live in the Lightning Belt, Central Florida is the worst, we come third! Not a prize to covet.
Horses are tall lightning rods that congregate in bands under trees. Perfect recipe for losing multiple animals.
Any animal living outside is at risk.
You could lose your whole herd in an instant.
Fear storms. I was hit by stray lightning when I was 13, while washing dishes, my mother next to me, the lightning came through the open window and shot me to the ground. 25 years later, Cole and I were huddled in our utility room when lightning struck my house and blew up the breaker box 5' from our faces. When Mother nature is PMSing, get out of the way.
Added problem with horses is that only 1% survive a lightning strike.
Herding them in, then out when the weather breaks, then back in, over and over again in one weekend had us all confused.
"Am I coming, or going?"
By Monday, I had no idea either! 48 hours of living in the barn office...
...watching for lightning and tornadoes on the radar and feeding the horses 5 small meals a day, then hay snacks at night to keep them calm and busy; it took it's toll.
Was it worth it?
Take a wild guess.
The catch is to be on alert for tornadoes and be able to throw open all the stall doors to run the horses out beyond the building. Then grab the dogs who already have their life preservers on (protects them from flying debris) and make a run for it ourselves. Hence the long sieges in the barn.
Considering how unlucky many people in our community were this past weekend...
Smiths station high school.
Even closer in Crawford.
Makes me thankful the worst we had was a runaway 16' trampoline,
and some damaged fencing.
The single irreversible consequence is that I want to move into the barn permanently. With the sliding barn doors shut and the office door open, the barn aisle becomes our living room. It's a blast when all 13 kids are in the house!