I haven’t felt static electricity run through me in years. When I first learned about it as a kid, I was amazed and did everything in my power to bring on a shock. I discovered that department stores were the best places to make it happen. We would go to Hudson Belk and while my mother was looking at clothes, I would slide my feet on the carpeted floor, almost like cross-country skiing indoors, then touch a metal clothes rack or the metal trim on a display case. How the sparks would fly, with a flash of light and electric crackle, but more importantly, an electric current that would run up my arm. I thought it was so very cool to create electricity that I skied across the carpet over and over again.

I apparently was an easily entertained child.

Like I said, though, I had not created a spark for years until a recent trip to Montana to visit my daughter and her family. While at a park with my son-in-law and grandchildren, I found myself behaving like the children, climbing jungle gyms and going down slides. (This old granny isn’t dead yet!)

It must have been the slide that built up the charge, even though it had been five or ten minutes since I had been on it. I was waiting at the bottom for two-year-old Hannah and when she came to the end, I touched her arm.

Zzzzzzttttt…..came that electric sound and I saw the spark. Unfortunately, Hannah saw and felt it, as well. She jerked her arm away from me as if she had been stung, and a shadow of fear passed through her eyes.

Oh, no!

Hannah kept her distance from me for the next few minutes, then, thankfully, she seemed to forget about it.

Will Hannah ever ski across carpet to create shocks of her own? I don’t know. I just hope she won’t remember it was Granny who gave her a first jolt.

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