Why Electricity is Good

It’s December 27th, our 7th day without benefit of a functioning furnace and a fully functional kitchen stove.It’s almost 2 pm and it’s been snowing pretty much all day. Thankfully, the temperature which started out around 37 is still hovering above freezing at 34. But, it’s going down, and the snow has started to stick.

Perhaps you’re wondering what’s going on. Since you asked, I will be happy to tell you.

Last Monday, December 21st, we experienced a very exciting wind storm that nearly blew me away while attempting to secure the portable storage thing we have. Our neighbor, Scott, was helping me because he’s not sure I should be doing anything physical  by myself, as does Diane. During the securing process, which amounted to taking all 8 legs off the sides to get it as low as possible, we heard trees snapping and falling, then there was a very loud explosion nearby. My first thought was that a transformer had exploded, but investigation revealed that it was probably an arc caused when the top half of a 50 foot pine tree snapped off and was deposited neatly, upside down, on top of all the power lines directly across the street from our house. It would have dropped all the way to the ground had not one of the top branches hooked the line to our house, bending our weather head, and parting the tension cable which also serves as the neutral side of our power from the power company. Scott figured out that we didn’t have the neutral line by applying his electrician skills.

The investigation was begun because we only had 50-100+ vac at our outlets which isn’t enough to run most anything that required electricity. Oddly, however, it was enough to charge our phones, and to keep the wifi running so we weren’t totally destitute in the technology department. We were connected, and our phone worked.

When the explosion occurred outside, Diane was in the kitchen and was subjected to an explosion of her own when the electronics in our stove blew up causing the unmistakable smell of fried electronics to fill the house. Fortunately, the stove has gas burners so the fried electronics aspect simply meant we couldn’t use the oven and the little igniters for the burners didn’t function. But, we have matches so we were able to use the stove stop.

Another loss was the furnace. It didn’t work. But, we have a gas fireplace so we were warm in the living room. Freezing in the bedrooms, but warm in the living room. As of today, the fireplace has been burning pretty much non-stop for 5 days. I’m sure NW Natural Gas will be very happy about that.

Full power was finally restored Friday around 7:30 pm. They finally responded to my third call for assistance, but with the fancy new meters we have, they could tell it was still running so deemed that we had electricity so marked us as OK. Finally, after watching Facebook for restoration updates – yes, the power company was communicating with customers via Facebook – they were down to the last 10 customers a couple hours previously and asked that those still without power to call. So I called, and explained our situation, in detail, for the third time. I had also submitted photos of the damage, and an explanation about the loss of neutral which were acknowledged. Finally, on the last call, linemen were dispatched to check us out and discovered that they couldn’t do it alone. So another bucket truck was called in to assist. Between the two of them they got the tree removed from the lines without further damage, and they spliced the neutral line which provided us with full power. Finally.

Tomorrow we’ll contact the furnace people, and someone to look at the stove so we can find out what the damages are.

During this power outage I had only  one occasion where I needed to get out of my pajamas. That was Christmas Eve when we attended the candle lite service at our church. Diane and I sang in the choir, as did Jennifer and Lydia. We all wore choir robes but Diane failed to see the logic in allowing me to attend in my PJ’s even though no one would have known. So, I wore jeans. I even shaved, and everything.

Our neighbors, Scott & Whitney, helped save our refrigerator by running an extremely long extension cord from their garage to ours so that it had full power. With that exception, we managed to eke through a couple of nights watching TV on 50-117 vac which kinda amazed me. I expected that the TV would implode any minute, but i didn’t. Seems to be just fine.

Another big deal that happened is that we got Ziva back from Jeff and family. She’s been having some issues with the other dogs in his house so we thought it would be best if we took her back to see what would happen. Turns out she’s all calmed down now, and doesn’t have the wanderlust to leave the yard. That’s really good because I’m sure it would have been really cold out there chasing her in my jammies. All is well.

This afternoon around 1:30 pm Diane deserted me to go get Jennifer so they could go to Portland to see the “So You Think You Can Dance” tour. They go whenever it comes to Portland which is a good Mother Daughter event. It was OK because I was invited to go see the new Star Wars movie with Daniel, Cedric, Larry, Lydia, Jeran, and Mason at 4:00 pm in Scappoose. I as going to pick up Jeff on the way to the Walters’ home but he was still out in the forest somewhere playing in the snow with the girls. So, it was just the seven of us.

It was a terrific movie and I can’t wait to see the next one.

Now I’m back home and must wait patiently for Diane’s return. The roads are nasty, it’s snowing, it’s freezing, and they won’t be home until 10 pm or so, 2.5 hours away.  I trust Diane’s driving, but not the driving of those with whom she must share the road. Not all of them are driving with a full awareness of how to drive in inclement weather, or that they, gee, aren’t the only ones on the road. Until she safely returns all I must do is refrain from eating a bunch of stuff I really don’t need. I already did that at the movie by ingesting the lions portion of a very large popcorn.

Now I wait.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.