Gone with the wind...

We are taught to believe that lightning never strikes twice in the same place. I can attest to the fact that this old wives tale is not true.

In the April 28, 2007 issue, I wrote about the strange storm that I encountered in Rutland, Vt. at the time of my mothers funeral. Gusting winds topping 60 mph had torn through the city toppling trees, smashing houses and shutting off power to over 50,000 customers. Damage to the municipalities was over $1 million. Our family farm escaped nearly unharmed, thanks to the nearby mountain that protects it.

Once in a lifetime? Not so! I arrived again in Rutland on Aug. 24, looking forward to a fun weekend. My daughter and son-in-law were conducting an estate sale the next day at a fine old Victorian mansion in Rutland. We left for the site at 3 a.m. so that they could be ready for the first wave of customers at 7 a.m. It was a great sale and the weather was perfect.

Exhausted, I returned back to the farm at 9 a.m. to spend the rest of the day cooking for the crew party the next day. At 6 p.m., I received a call from a friend who warned me to make sure my car was protected from a bad storm he said was coming. I did as I was told, but wasnt worried as the sun was shining.

Family and crew members arrived and before anyone had the chance to sit down before the started shaking and a roaring sound could be heard like a fleet of army trucks approaching. Winds hit 70 mph, we heard later, and it was an awesome sight to see trees whipped in the gale as if they were rags before they fell to the ground with loud cracking crashes. The whole spectacle lasted 10 long minutes and suddenly everything was eerily quiet.

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