Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Sweetest Words Ever

The day before T’day. A day to rest. A day to avoid the office. A day to read the newspapers. Enjoy the coffee, and feel warm and secure ….. *bam*

Hmmm, was that thunder? Walking to the front storm door to look outside – hmm. That’s odd, it’s cloudy and raining, but no other sounds of thunder. I guess I just imagined it.

Back to the couch, and the newspaper, and then – an international skip through the internet. Checking up on those I know and love *crash* *shudder*

What the hell? I step to the front porch – and hanging lower than the wires for my cable service are the wires for my electrical service. Of course, it’s raining – and the day before a holiday. What a brilliant time for my house to decide to exfoliate wires. In the rain I lean over the side of the porch and stare at the side of my house where the electrical enters my service box. The first thing I notice is the insulator – my house is old enough it’s is still ceramic – and it’s hanging suspended between the wire tensioner and the electric service box. I can see where it use to, but no longer, attachs to the house, just under the eve.

Great! I think to myself. Stupid home, money pit, leaf collecting, water draining, money sucking adobe. Well, I’ll just ignore it – and then I sat there – and saw the wind increase – and realized I’d better not ignore this. Not if I wanted electricity for the rest of the day. Not if I wanted to leave tomorrow and not worry every moment I was away that maybe the wire had pulled itself completely off the house – ending my service – and the preserving nature of my refrigerator and freezer. God, can you imagine being gone for 24 hours without electricity?

So I called a friend. Who gave me the name of an electrician. As I dialed Edge’s number I saw my saving account shrink. The ever so cheerful Edge told me he’d be willing to come check on my problem – TOMORROW- on Thanksgiving day. Tomorrow, but I won’t be home tomorrow I thought to myself. My internal mutterings were interrupted by him declaring he really LOVED his life and wasn’t willing to mess with my electrical wires in the rain. Somehow I didn’t have the heart to disagree with him and tell him my temporary comfort and life were more important than his long term well-being.

We chatted for a few minutes – and as I described more fully what I was seeing, Edge said, “Hey – you mean the wire it still going into your service box? After confirming where the disconnect had occurred, he said the sweetest thing a man has said to me in months. “Mit_Moi, that’s not your problem. It’s the electric company’s problem. Here, call this number xxx-xxxx and tell them, “The service entry wire is hanging from the mast cable. The support has disconnected.” They’ll come out and fix it free of charge. “Really, it’s their problem not mine?” I queried. “Yep, it sure is.” I hung up after wishing him a bountiful Thanksgiving and called PE.

We’ve all dealt with utility companies, haven’ we? I called, I waded through the endless automated menu. I prepared to wait forever for a human to arrive on the other end of the line. Much to my surprise, the auto-voice had hardly finished telling me to “Please hold” – when a real voice clicked on the line. I spewed forth my prompt from the Edge, “The service entry wire is hanging from the mast cable. The support has disconnected.”

It was if I had uttered some powerful incantation. The kind lady told me someone would be there “soon”. (Soon as hell freezes over I thought to myself). I told her I had an appointment at 11 o’clock and would I need to be at the house? Nope, they’d do the work on the outside, I could go about my day.

The morning slid by as I pursued house cleaning, clothes folding, cleaning the …. Hey … look at that! It’s a PE truck – stopping in front of my house – and – and – it’s only been an HOUR since I called. The very cute service man in his flamboyant orange jumpsuit exited the truck. He walked to the side of the house, sized up the situation, mounted my front steps, politely knocked on my door and let me know he’d fix the wiring – and he should be done in about a half-an-hour and he wouldn’t need to TURN OFF MY ELECTRICITY. He was true to his word. He was done before I’d finished dust mopping the house.

As the repair man drove off I looked at my lovely, charming little house. The house that brings me so much joy and peace. My refuge from the road, my shelter from the storm – and I gave it a little mental hug and whispered … “okay, okay, I’ll pay the mortgage for another month, and stick around a little while longer, you dear pile of asbestos.”

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