When we lived on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, our house had a tall power generating windmill in the yard. It had been disconnected by the previous owners yet the infrastructure connecting it to the house remained.  The area off the Atlantic coast is predisposed to beautiful, violent thunderstorms and during one of these, I watched forks of lightning drive repeatedly into the nearby dunes, then strike the windmill and travel into our house. It wasn’t long before I saw smoke coming from the wall that held the apparatus for the equipment outside. I was home alone except for our young kids and frantically called the volunteer fire department, who showed up almost immediately. The firemen were mostly older boys that I recognized from the local high school and they were as efficient and knowledgeable in dealing with the smoldering wall as they were with the woman melting down in the living room. Becoming an integral part of a community on a remote barrier island was something these kids had learned early in life.  I have never been more grateful for teenagers.

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