Thursday, December 20, 2007

Home at last

This is part of the mess in our side yard. It doesn't do justice to the way things were. Whole trees snapped and fell. Lines were down all over the place.

Although it was disconcerting to be without power, and away from home for days, it was beautiful.

Below is just ordinary grass. Each single blade is coated with ice. The world was lovely.

But all is well at last. The most annoying thing about it was the electric company itself. The lack of information was a killer.

I was hearing branches crack and fall all night. It really does sound like a rifle firing. Finally the power went out for the third time, only this time it didn't come back. I called to report the outage at 4 AM, December 16th.

Automatic recording: Your call has been noted. If the power has not been restored in three hours, please call again.

I call three hours later.

Automatic recording: Are you calling to report a power outage? If so, press one. I press one. Are you calling about an outage that you reported earlier? If so, press one. I press one. If you will be reporting using your telephone number, please press two. I press two. Please enter your telephone number starting with the area code. I enter my phone number. It has been determined that your power outage is due to the weather conditions in your area. Ya think?? Gee. I shoulda looked out the window. Duh. Your power will be restored at approximately 11 AM, December 16.

Eleven AM comes and goes. No power. Repeat above "conversation" with a machine. Now it tells me that I will have power by 3 PM. At three PM I call just to hear the machine. I think I'm in love. This time it tells me I'll have power by 7 PM. Each time it tells me, sweetly, that it has been determined that the power loss is due to the weather conditions in my area. That machine.

We left the house at about 6 PM. It was dark and I felt that the machine was just playing with me. You can't trust a machine that you've never met in person.

I call that machine obsessively every three hours. It gives varying answers. On Monday the 17th after getting "three hours" 'til you get power and "six hours" 'til you get power and then "three hours" again, I started hitting the 0 for operator button when I called the electric company. And yes, I do know the number by heart. The machine got a tad nasty with me. That bitch. She sounded down right testy. She has power. What the heck does she know about doing without?

I get a real person who says, "Your power should be restored by 11 PM on Tuesday the 18th." Woe. I think I may have let a little resentment creep into my voice 'cause she was not as polite as the original machine had been. Little tart.

The next morning I called again just to check. What else have I got to do all day anyway? The machine is being all sweet to me again. Telling me that the power will be restored in approximately three hours. YEA! I'm so happy. But it was just another one of her damn lies.

I persist and get another real person. A very nice woman who says that the machine and the first real person are wrong. Power will not be restored until Wednesday, December 19th at approximately 6 PM. I thank her, 'cause she was nice and all, even though she did give me bad news. So, we drove back to the house and packed more stuff for another day and night. I also flip up the lamp post light switch so that my across-the-street neighbor can call me when the power comes back on. The other side of our street got power back in less than 24 hours. I have to hate them all of course.

My cell phone rings at about 6 PM that same evening, December 18th. It's Janet my neighbor and she tells me that my lights are on. MOST of our lights are on. We kept forgetting and hitting the switches when the electric was out and half the lights in the house were on. So in the end, not one bit of information that I got from the utility was correct.

We came home to a very cold house, but there was no damage of any kind. The electric company is being investigated by the Public Utility Commission now. Each day after the storm was a sunny day. It should not have taken so long for people to get power back, and as I write this on December 20, there are folks who still don't have power. There were lines down in populated areas that were live and on the sidewalk for three days without attention from the utility!

I'm so happy. HAPPY TO BE HOME.


Quilldancer said...

So, this means I can put the air pump for the spare bed away?

Glad you're home and safe! And consider this -- all that frustration helped keep you warm.

jan said...

What a terrible experience. It's too bad that the communication lines were so effed up.

tsduff said...

Sorry to hear of the less-than-stellar conversations with the phone machines. You can't trust them NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY. BTW, your yard is stunning - reminds me of a park I used to hang out in in Southern California - Tapia Park. I've never seen anything like those snow trees, and snow grass. Glad you got some pictures.

lime said...

egads! i did not realize how bad it was out by you guys! that's awful!

Tom & Icy said...

A real horror story. Glad you're all right now.

Doug said...

Glad you're home and safe. I just know those voice systems are designed by Fischer-Price.

PI said...

So glad all is well again. Have a happy holiday and a peaceful 2008.

AP3 said...

That really is beautiful, I must say. What a pisser about the electric company!

ariel said...

Don't you love those chatting machines? Real people are so much more rude. So much more fun, too.

Very nice pictures, even the one of the mess. At first I didn't even realize it was an after photo, it was just so chaotic and beautiful. The ice grass is great, too!

kenju said...

I know that's just pure hell to go through, since we have had the same thing. Our power company is no more forthcoming than yours, either. The last time it happaned here, mr. kenju was out of town for 5 days and missed the whole thing.Bah. I froze to death by myself.

Merry Christmas!

Libby said...

wow, tlp, beautiful pictures...but what a price to pay for them, huh??

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Ol' Hoss is feelin' so sorry for you. Hope you're warm and tingly now.

Rachel said...

Ice is beautiful but sure nasty stuff to deal with. I know you want to scream at the power company but I'm sure it's not easy getting around in all that ice to repair things. I'm just sayin!!! :)

I'm so glad you are safe and now have power again, and that you had no damage around your home.

Do have a very Merry Christmas!!

puppytoes said...

wow, that was quite the ordeal! we had a similar experience in Boston a few years ago (ice storm/no power for 4 days/stupid bitch on machine telling lies from the pits of hell...) and again 2 years ago (summer storm/no power, stupid bitch blah blah blah/neighbors NEXT DOOR got power two days before we did...)

then we got a generator, and all has been right with the world, ever since.

ah well, at least you're home now, and, with luck, that stupid machine will be fired and wind up working for a 1-900 number sometime in the near future! ; )