Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Thank a Lineman

So, did you hear about all the storms that ripped across the east coast Monday?  Thankfully, they skipped over us.  We were under a tornado watch most of the day and night and at one point, the sky turned an ugly purple then cleared & went back to sunny and blue 30 minutes later.  Just before midnight, we got a little bit of rain & it was breezy.  But it was just breezy and the rain was regular rain, nothing like that monsoon from the previous day.

So, late Monday night or this early Tuesday morning, depending on what you want to call 12:45 a.m., I was sitting at my desk watching Netflix on the computer and knitting the first few rows of a new lacy project.

lacy fishnet scarf or shawl by
All of a sudden, I was in total darkness.  Total, unprepared-for darkness.  And let me tell you, you don't know what dark is until you've experienced an unexpected powerless, rainy night in the boondocks.

Sadly, my laptop has no battery.  It's a long story.  But, when the power goes out, or the dogs get so tangled in the cord that they pull it out of the computer, the laptop shuts down.  Instantly.  So there I was, in sudden total darkness.  And I mean TOTAL darkness.  I screeched a little as I attempted to set the knitting down without pulling the needles out of the stitches.  And I instantly started worrying about spiders being in the room with me.  I began the awkward fumble as I looked for my phone, my tablet or a book of matches, all the while screeching just a little each time I bumped into anything soft & furry (yarn, hats, mittens, shawls, the dogs....) as I felt my way around.  (I just knew that visiting spider from the other day had relatives.  Big relatives.  Maybe even big enough to cut the power so they could attack me in the dark.)

Anyway.... My phone was there on the desk just to the right of me but then, so was about a thousand other items.  A thousand soft, fuzzy, spiderish feeling items.  Remember the disaster zone that is my desk??  I finally felt my tablet but struggled to find the On button.  Eventually I was able to begin the long & arduous task of getting it turned on and lit up.  That's a long story too.  While the tablet was taking it's sweet time coming to life, I searched my desk drawer for matches.  I finally found them.  The box contained one match.  One match that broke in half when I tried to light it.

One broken match.  Story of my freaking life.

About the time my tablet finally came to life, the girl child stumbled in complaining that the lightbulb in her room had blown.  No, sweetie.... the power's out.

With the combination of light from my tablet & Sarah's cell phone, I was able to find my own phone in the mess on my desk.  I called the power company to report the outage. (I take pride in always calling within seconds of the power going out.  No way I'm going to depend on the neighbors to make the call.)  The power company's outage reporting recording thing acted a little strangely and I said a few choice words & hung up.  Meanwhile, Sarah had gone in search of more matches.

We lit tons of candles and got the place fairly well lit.  Then I got the bright idea of reporting the power outage online.  What I discovered on Rappahannock Electric Co-op's website was amazing.  I typed in my phone number and the website responded with my address, the fact that there was in fact an outage in my area and the fact that there were 19 houses without power.  In all of Virginia, there were only 19 houses in the dark.  The website further stated that the power would be back on by 3:18 a.m. but I highly doubted that.  Would they really send out a repair crew at 1:00 a.m. for just 19 houses?

As it turns out, yes, they would!  Our power came back on at 2:48.  A whole 30 minutes earlier than they said it would be.  Thank you REC for being the best power company!  I shouldn't have ever doubted them.  REC has always been fantastic about getting our power restored quickly no matter what the weather conditions are or the time of night.  Thankfully it's been many years since I've had to deal with the big power company (i.e. uncaring mega corporation) that services Richmond, but I'd bet my life savings Richmond's power company would have left us in the dark until the regular daytime crew came to work.  I may not always sound it, specially when the bill comes, but I am truly thankful to receive our power from such a caring company as REC.  And since it's #ThankALineman month, I'm shouting out a big Thank You! to REC and their linemen.  Specially the linemen willing to work in the rain at night.

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