Rural Power

Living in the country, and having dogs, it is not uncommon to change your clothes 2, 3 even 4 times a day.  I was in my third outfit by 11:00 AM.  If it poured yesterday, then today was a monsoon – it was coming down in buckets – overflowing the gutters, overspilling the window sills and running into the house.  So I did what you have to do – I put on my battle gear, climbed the ladder to the roof and cleaned the gutters.  I also had to drain a few inches off the pool because it was near capacity.

I would have recorded all this this morning, but one of the issues with living in the country is whenever there is any kind of bad weather you lose all connectivity… to the web, satellite tv goes out, and even though there is a cell tower 5 miles from here, I never get reception because we live in a valley.

For those with the power to dole it out, technology isn’t a priority out here.  Even the power lines are ancient – I don’t think they’ve been updated since they first ran electricity to rural areas – when was that?  The late 1930s?  1940s?  Everyone is feeding off of skinny little lines that were only intended to power a few farms.

We actually had a minor house fire back in September, 2007?  The casing around the metal wire power lines had worn thin over time and metal on metal sent twice the voltage into the house and started a fire in the wall in our living room.  LUCKILY, we were here and heard the sound of the voltage.  Scott came into the house, discovered the flames shooting out from behind the tv, he yelled “FIRE” and madness ensued.  We got the dogs out of the house, called 911, and Scott used a fire extinguisher to put it out.  At least three fire companies showed up in full gear, axes and hoses at the ready.  Our friend Tony was here to help us close the pool for the season and he said “Heather, you need to stop them because they WILL bust through your wall and they WILL flood your house… they live for this sh*t!!”  I was so grateful to have so many firemen show up, and relatively quickly, but I think much to their dismay, there was no demolition that day.  We had a fire recovery team come and scrub the house from top to bottom because there was black soot everywhere, and they set up one of those giant fans for a few days because the smell was awful.  There wasn’t much damage to the house, but because it was a voltage thing… many appliances were killed that day:

stove, microwave, wireless router, answering machine (fyi – there is also no voicemail out here), two tv’s, two satellite boxes, a vcr, two alarm clocks, a multi-function machine, the motor on the boiler, the motor on the water softener… there may be more but that’s what I can remember.

I have other funny little “life-in-jeopardy for the sake of owning an old farmhouse in the country” stories like this, but I will save those for another day.

In the meantime – here is a picture of said wire – we got National Grid to give it to us.  Crazy thin, isn’t it?!!

Rural powerline - and that's a pen for width comparison.

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