Thinking today about the amazing event of the C-130s going over us while we were haying that I wrote about earlier made me think of other things that have happened while we’ve been in the hay field. This has led me to share another story of hay hauling from years back that taught me a valuable lesson.

We were hauling hay down in the bottom (which is the second area on the place that is level enough to attempt baling on). I had been helping position the hay once it was up on the trailer. I was young and small enough that this and driving was about all I was good for. We were trying to beat a thunderstorm and were almost finished with a load when it was bearing down on us. I think Mama was pulling the trailer with Mama’s truck (a ’95 F-150 that we still have) and Papa and Chad were loading bales onto the trailer.

As the storm got closer, we could feel and see it brewing back over the hill. Papa told me to get in the truck while he and Chad finished loading up. Next thing I knew there was a terrible pop and deafening boom and Chad dove from the trailer to the ground. Lightning had struck a tree not thirty to fifty feet away. Of course, it could have been further away, but when you’re little and something scary happens, you think it’s right beside you! Needless to say after that we all loaded up and headed to the barn. It started pouring soon after and ended up being a good gully washer. And there were certainly a lot of thankful prayers that none of us got hit by lightning.

Afterwards, Papa said it seemed almost simultaneous that Chad jumped down at the same time the tree was struck. If I remember right, Chad said he could feel the electricity build in the air and was going down before he really realized why he was jumping down. I still think his guardian angle probably shoved him off the trailer.

What did I learn from this? Don’t stand on a metal trailer in a hayfield as a thunderstorm is hitting. I also learned that sometimes you have to go with your instinct or listen to your little voice because thinking may take too long to avoid the coming disaster…. And that my bother can move a lot faster than I realized!