October 15th, 2011

Dark and Stormy Night

Storm Chaser 2: The Outage (kidding!)

Our electric company's on-call linemen were at a major house fire in a neighboring county when a utility pole caught fire behind the old video store, across the street from my house. (Ironically, I was across town at the grocery store when the page came in.) We had two fire trucks there, but couldn't put the fire itself out because of the electrical danger; we could only block off the street and stand by in case all the burning embers from the cross arm set fire to something down wind. Sparks kept falling on a garage below, but luckily it had rained (and sleeted!) earlier.

What could be a more challenging job than an electric company lineman? Almost by definition they get called out in the worst possible weather; these guys had to come from a fire that damaged two houses, then arrived in Albion just as it started to sprinkle, and worked on a bucket truck in driving rain and gusty winds. And they got the power back on in *less* time than they'd estimated. Whatever they get paid, it isn't enough.

We had a nice dinner by candlelight, which provided enough illumination for us to read for awhile until the power came back on. I didn't get whiney until this morning, when I realized the water heater pilot light went out and I couldn't get it back on; showerless Mark is grouchy Mark.

My brother is supposed to come over this afternoon to help (by which I mean, he knows what he's doing) put siding up where my chimney used to be (did I mention the chimney is finally and completely down?) I'll draft him to help me figure out the water heater, because that's what I do.