Wednesday, January 17, 2007

So what do you do when the lights just pulse?

Here in North Texas we're in the middle of a very cold week. We've had sleet and ice and a tad of snow. The thermometer is just now above 32 for the first time since Sunday. This doesn't happen every year; last year we squeaked by with a particularly mild winter. We didn't even run the heat for 3 weeks in January. Alas, that is not the case in 2007.

Being particularly cold out this morning and with sleet falling, I wasn't planning any major expeditions. But when I went to turn on the lights in the pantry and they pulsed, I knew my morning had not changed for the better.

The lights were fine in the kitchen. I tried the lights in my husband's office and they pulsed. Perhaps we'd thrown a breaker. No, breaker box looked fine. The light in the upstairs hall came on, but everything downstairs, exept the kitchen, was out of power.

My study was fine upstairs and my computer's power cord showed electricity. Being of a suspicious nature, I immediately put it on battery power. The TV I have hooked up to the vhs-dvd was merrily being recorded.

My husband chose this propitious moment to call and we quickly sorted this out to being like a problem we'd had before where something had burned out on the power pole. I put in a call to the "energy delivery" service.

Our hot water not being affected, I bathed and dressed in two sweaters, jeans, and two pair of socks. The cats were snuggled together on our bed and as the temperature in the room dropped into the 50s, they stayed under the blanket I put over them.

I figured the best move was to keep moving. Otherwise, I was going to be very cold in short order. I swept the downstairs, decided not to be foolhardy and mop (as if!), gathered the trash for tomorrow, changed the cats' litter box, pulled an ice chest to the refrigerator with the caveat that I would move perishables to the outside (where it was 29 degrees) by noon, put all the Christmas porch candelaria in a box, and ascertained from the electrician that I had made the right call. His diagnosis: one leg of our power was down which was why we had some electricity, but none of the big ticket items: heat, dryer, refrigerator, cooktop.

The mail comes and I read the Wall Street Journal. I formulate a plan to rig the modem and the airport through the kitchen electricity and get online. I pay bills. I take the book I'm reading downstairs.

I stop just short of dusting.

And then I hear noise in the backyard. Voices coming to my rescue! They check the meter, go up the pole in a bucket and twenty minutes later, three and a half hours after I notice we have a problem, I'm back up and in business.

Whew!

And to think I was slightly envious of my friends who chose--months ago--to go on a cruise this week. They knew when to get out of Dodge, even if they didn't know they were doing it. I mean, when we leave town mid-winter, there's usually a warm spell. This comes under the heading: no justice.

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