To be Thankful For

So, I thought ahead and took this week off from work – which was actually only 3 days of annual, because we get Thanksgiving and the day after anyway, but I had time to use up and I though “Hey, this’ll be fun. I’ll take this week off, and we can play and have fun before Thanksgiving.”

Monday, it started to snow – no big deal, we had the new SUV, we’d be set.

Monday afternoon, the wind started to blow.  And I don’t mean it was breezy – I mean we had gusts up to 70mph and below freezing temps. We got home from our appointments and errands, thankfully we were hungry enough to make dinner early – just got comfy on the couch to listen to the massive gusts of wind when . . .

The power went out.

Now, it’s not that big a deal – our house runs on natural gas, so we had heat, we had hot running water, and we had a stove top to cook food. We were just a tad bored because no matter how many (battery operated) candles we turned on, it wasn’t enough to read comfortably by, and in the dark I couldn’t write, so we turned on the transistor radio until we were bored enough to just call it quits and go to bed.

The wind continued – gusting so violently it was beginning to get nerve wracking.  Then, at midnight, the power came back on !  Oh happy – BOOM!  Just as we were looking out the back window, the fuse box on the pole behind our house exploded violently (although I’m not sure an explosion can be non-violent)  I was sure I could see a tree branch on the wires coming/going from that pole, and there were sparks and cinders coming off.

So like a good (read: scared) citizen, I called the power company, waited on hold for ten minutes, then told the operator what I’d seen.  About ten minutes later, we decided we should call the fire department, since these cinders were massive and glowing and floating away on the wind.  My sister called 911 and we told them what we could see. Thirty minutes later, the power went off again, but during the night I saw a fire truck come down with a spotlight and look at the branch. Apparently they determined it was no immediate threat, because nothing was done. They drove off and the wind continued to blow.

By morning, the wind had stopped, and by the light of the day, this is what we found.

The house behind ours is a rental, and the occupant is on vacation.  We spent all day Tuesday without power, and then after dark we noticed crews pulling up with massive trucks. My sister and I pulled two dining room chairs into the kitchen in front of the large windows, got comfortable with some hot tea and munchies, and watched the men work for three and a half hours. It was entertaining, although since we couldn’t hear what they were saying, we had to make up our own dialog.

We called the kitchen windows our Flat Screen, dubbed the dialog of all the men working, even added some sound effects, a plot, a few sub plots…. after they finished, we went to bed and they drove a block down to the next tree down.

By 5 am, we had power again!

And that is my Thanksgiving Story for 2010.  Hope you have a happy one, too.

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