Golden Lucy's Spiral Journal

Going on 87...Savoring and Surviving the Senior Years

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Flash From Lucy

It was a stormy day here yesterday. I like occasional days like that because it puts me in the mood to make cozy "comfort foods." My favorite is beef stew, which is unseasonable in August---except when it's dank, dark and windy, which it was here yesterday.

I was standing, day-dreaming at the sink, peeling carrots and potatoes for the stew when I was startled by a violent clap of thunder and blinding flash of lighting near the kitchen window. For just a moment it looked like the mountains were on fire. It certainly scared the stuffing out of me!

After I regained my breath I thought about the last time lighting struck so up-close and personal. It was around 1940 and I was riding the streetcar (if some of you remember, it cost all of 17 cents!) from work. I had just finished my shift at the Plotnik Mens' Sock Company---sorting and tagging the toes of socks at the PMSC was one in a line of menial jobs I held to help support my family before I was married.

It was Wednesday and work was over. My friend Freida and I were looking forward to our weekly treat at Putnam's Ice Cream Parlor. Every Wednesday Putnam's had a 10 cent special on ice cream sundaes---3 scoops smothered with sauces, nuts and whipped cream. That sundae was the highlight of my week---even though I felt guilty for eating it.
I remember we had to run to catch the streetcar. This wasn't easy (for us or the folks looking at us) since we both weighed over 180 pounds. But Freida and I had to get to the ice cream parlor! Panting, we dropped into the wooden streetcar seat and leaned back to catch our breath.

However, our relaxation was short-lived. Within moments a cataclysmic lightning bolt ripped through my side of the car and out the other side. I was shocked and terrified beyond belief. But then I started to think.

I wondered if the lightning could be a divine message. Perhaps I shouldn't be rushing to devour a monstrous ice cream sundae when I couldn't sedately run for the streetcar...But no, I decided. Lightning was bad but ice cream was good---especially with chocolate, caramel, whipped cream and cherries. Running with grace for the streetcar was going to have to wait. And it did, but thankfully not forever.