Monday, July 13, 2009

It was a dark night. . .

A half hour after I finished baking a batch of cookies in the afternoon, and just after cleaning up the kitchen, I went to my cottage to watch a little TV. I was settled into my comfortable chair with a glass of milk and a few cookies and the TV was on, when my lamp began to fade off and on. The TV went off, then on, then off, then on. I got up from my chair, turned the power strip off for the TV and made my call to the electric company. Once again (4th time in the past 6 weeks or so) my power was off - at least part of it was off.

After calling and reporting it to the automated system, I went to my patio and proceeded to phone a friend on my cell phone. All of a sudden, I heard a loud siren coming closer and closer to my building. Sure enough, it was a fire chief's vehicle. The siren abruptly stopped after passing my building. Then I heard another siren. I hung up with my friend and dashed out the front door to see what was happening. On my street, there was a big hook and ladder fire truck and three fire squad vehicles, with another hook and ladder truck out on our adjoining street. Neighbors were pouring out of several buildings to have a look. Two of the neighbors in my building reported their TVs had blown up - smoke was coming from them. Also, their circuit boards were smelling hot. Oh my!

I crossed the street to get a better look at the transformer just to the south of my garage building, and saw a fire at the bottom of it. The exposed wires were popping. Cables not yet buried from the transformer leading to our building (this is another whole story - it goes back to the first time our power was out which I mentioned in my first paragraph) were on fire. Thankfully, our lawn irrigation system had just run an hour earlier for the second time of the day, so the grass was really wet and the ground moist. No grass caught on fire, leading to who knows what! The firemen and woman went to each unit in our building to check our circuit breaker boxes. Mine was fine. Later I took a plate of cookies outside for the firemen. Only a few of them took some. The rest seemed shy.

When the electric company vehicles finally showed up, the firemen left the scene. I heard one of the electricians say our power would be out at least a couple more hours. As the sun was getting low, I went back into my home. I lit a few candles and sat in my Amish rocker inside my living room, looking out into the back yard. With not enough light to read, I sang a few songs to Peppi and myself, and then got ready for bed. At 9:30 I turned in. My power was restored at 10:40 - the lamp beside my bed comes on when the power returns. I reached up, turned it off, and went back to sleep.

Everything seemed normal this morning. I got ready for work and headed out to my garage. Guess what? There is no power to my garage, so I couldn't get the door open. Luckily my next door garage neighbor was just pulling out of her garage and she gave me a ride to work. She told me our problem is not solved and that the power company is to return today. Fun and games!

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