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.


  1. Some jobs I would never have, regardless of pay. And electric company lineman is definitely one of those.

    I certainly understand Cancers when they're grouchy. We love our water.

    Hope the chimney works out ok.

  2. Well, the chimney is now a pile of bricks in the back yard -- maybe it would be better if you hoped the venting in general comes out okay!

  3. Positive thoughts it all comes out well and you keep your fingers in tact.

  4. Fingers are in good shape, Shelly ... so far.

  5. As long as the power comes back on before the food in the freezer thaws out, it's all fine.

    Still, showerless is a problem....

  6. The two problems turned out to be unconnected -- the pole fire caused the power outage, but the wind (we were under a wind advisory) coming down the vent after I demolished the chimney blew out the water heater's pilot light. It happened another time since then, but I should have the new vent system in around a week.