Renovation & Design

Lightning rods spark interest

Mustard meets a fellow current collector

There was lightning, thunder and what felt like a tsunami this past Monday at Mustard Manor — it was as memorable as they come.

It was almost as if the “powers that be,” whatever they are, sent me a bit of a premonition.

Midafternoon, an interesting man by the name of Milan Horvat dropped by my place to pick up a vacuum I was selling. Naturally, when he saw some of the old stuff in my garage, we got talking about antiques and collecting, and somehow got around to lightning rods.

Turns out Milan is one of the most avid collectors of lightning rods anywhere, and surprise surprise I just happen to have some I’m willing to sell him. Negotiations, here we come.

Ironically, later that day, as many of you ’Peggers will remember (not sure how much territory this event covered), we had one of the most intense lightning and thunder storms we’ve had in a long, long time.

I would have totally enjoyed it but for one large fact, my handsome 120-pound Great Pyrenees pooch Winston, who would fight a pack of wolves to protect his family, but is completely and totally terrified by lightning and thunder.

He pants like crazy, and glues himself to me until the storm passes.

It was at the height of the storm that night, while Winston and I and his partner Clementine (a Pyr mix) were standing in the bedroom area hallway, me in front of Winston and Clemmy behind, when Winston suddenly went quiet, got a deer in the headlights look on his face and just stood there. It was then I noticed Clementine was curiously watching Winston’s rear end, and that’s because poor terrified Winston was peeing a tsunami. Huge dogs can do that.

“Oh no no no,” I exclaimed to Mr. Peebody, but he just kept going till he was done. SURF’S UP!

Then I had to get control of him so he didn’t run through it and track it all over the house. Luckily, I did. So while you people were lying in your comfy beds, I was on hands and knees in the hallway towelling up the Golden Pond poor Winston had released when the dam broke. Not fun. Most definitely, not fun.

There’s Clementine not even noticing the brilliant flashes of light, the truly house-shaking thunder, the power flicking on and off, and poor Winston thinking fetal position in a bomb shelter would be perfect about now. Individuality.

I feel so sorry for dogs/animals in general who suffer so radically from the lightning and thunder thing, especially for those outside and alone when it’s happening. Sheer nerve-racking terror. Hope we don’t get another wicked storm like that for a while.

The positive part of the day was meeting Milan and chatting lightning rods for a bit, because his knowledge of them and collection is fascinating, so before too long, you’ll be reading a column about his rather unusual hobby.

I have a few lightning rods and the glass balls that adorned them, as well as all the copper cable from a two-and-a-half-storey house in Newdale, which I got permission to rescue the rods from.

Typical Mustard adventure. The house was abandoned, I’d just come upon it by chance while out for a cruise, no ladder of course, so I went up to the top floor inside the house, then climbed out the window and crawled up the rotting old shingles to take the rods and cable off, then carry them back down that steep old roof, backing down on hands and knees, hook my free arm through the window, and awkwardly managed to get back in.

I should polish that cable and hang lanterns from it or something!

Comments and column ideas welcome.


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