Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Birthday I Won't Soon Forget

"Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday to me...."

(Our Backyard at 7:00 a.m. on Monday Morning)

I celebrated my birthday on Monday, but there wasn't much to celebrate. The day was more like a summary of 'Murphy's Law.' I woke up early in the morning (as usual) to take the boyz, Mugsy and Popeye, out for their morning potty. When I opened the front door, I was shocked to see snow...measurable snow! I must say, it was pretty. Everything was covered in a blanket of white, and large snowflakes were still lazily falling from the sky. The scene looked just like when you shake up a snowglobe. Everything was quiet and peaceful as the darkness began to turn into day.
My son Joe came over mid-morning to wish me a Happy Birthday, and to give me my gift. He had been bugging me for weeks as to what I'd like for my birthday, but I just couldn't think of anything in particular that I wanted. But he really came through, and gave me a generous gift card for Hobby Lobby, since he knows I love to shop there, and am probably one of their better customers! Last year he gave me a drill press for my dremmel, which was something I really wanted. I must say, both of my children are very, very thoughtful. They both always remember every one's birthdays, special occasions, etc. (I guess I must've done something right in raising them! lol)
As we were talking, all of a sudden there was a loud crack, and the lights flickered off. They then just started to come back on when another loud crack happened. This time, though, the power was off for good. That's when Mike came out of his office to see what was going on...and we could smell the odor of burning electrical looming from the inside of his office. After some careful 'sniffing,' we discovered his fax was fried. We figured with the slippery roads, someone must have hit a power pole or something. Everything was dead, including our telephones. Thank goodness for cell phones! But of course, I hadn't charged mine in quite a while and it only had 1 bar left. Anyhow, Joe finally decided to take off and go deer hunting, and Mike and I tackled the snow shoveling in front of our house. We've got a really wide driveway, so it's more of a two-person job. What else was there to do anyway??
Several hours later and still without power, we got company. My dad drove over to see if we had power. He lives in a little nearby town, in the same house I grew up in, and he was without power too. So dad spent most of the afternoon sitting at our house. At least the gas fireplace in our livingroom worked, so it was comfortable to sit in there. My daughter Jessica then stopped over to wish me a happy birthday and give me my presents. She's a great little gift-giver, and always knows exactly what I like. I got a really nice sweater and a scarf that I love, but the card she got for me meant the most. The verse was so meaningful for both of us, that we were both tearing up as I read it. Seriously, the bond between a mother and daughter is truly very special, and it seems to get stronger as the years go by.
As the afternoon wore on, Jessica decided to go back to her place (where there was electricity), and dad wanted to go home before it started getting dark out. So Mike and I sat in the livingroom with the little pugs chasing around the house as our entertainment.
By 5:00 p.m. darkness set in, and we were still without electricity. We did have 2 flashlights that actually worked, and I got a bunch of candles lit in the livingroom. I was starting to worry about the thanksgiving turkey and all the food in the refrigerator and freezer, though...
At 6:00 p.m. Mike decided to call the electric company again to see how much longer they thought it would take before the power was restored. Apparently there were several poles hit by cars, and it was a larger job than they had anticipated to fix. They thought it would be restored by 7:00 p.m. And you know what??? At 7:00, the power finally did come back on...sort of. It was really weird. Some of the light switches worked, while others on the same switchplate didn't. Thank goodness the freezer, refrigerator, stove, and microwave were all working again. The cable was still out, so the phones didn't work yet, but at least the furnace was back on, so we went to bed.
(Another view of our backyard on Monday)

So yesterday morning we started checking the computers, etc. to see if we lost anything else besides the fax machine. We were very, very lucky. Both of our computers were on a battery backup, so Mike shut them down as soon as the power went off, and they were fine. We've got really good surge protectors on our computers, televisions, etc., which saved our electronics. Mike went out and bought 3 new surge protectors yesterday, because 2 of them took smelled cooked. But they saved the televisions!! Our cable finally came back on yesterday morning, so we had phone service again, but we still had the strange issue with only partial current with our switches. Nothing was tripped on our breaker box in the basement. So we got a hold of an electrician to come and see what was wrong. Wow...and were all the electrician's in this area busy!!! Fortunately the one we called was already working at several other houses on our street, so they came over to assess the situation while they were at a house across the road. They checked the box in the basement to again see if anything was tripped, which nothing was. But we didn't realize we have another emergency circuit box in the basement too, and when they checked that box, they found several were tripped. Once they reset them, all our power again worked in the house. They checked all the outlets throughout all the house to make sure they, too, were working properly, and then they told us how lucky we were!!! The 2 neighbor homes that they were also working at were not so lucky!! The outlets in those houses were black and melted!!!!! The electrician said he has never seen anything like it! They were really busy at those homes!!!!!! He was actually going to keep one of the fried outlets because of how bad it looked.

So anyhow, that's how I spent my birthday. It was certainly quite memorable in an odd sort of way!!!


Jen Crossley said...

Happy Belated Birthday,boy what a day you had!! There is nothing like a bit of exictement to add to the day

burntofferings said...

Boy, you never do anything easy do you...lol! happy birthday mini-me. you need a relaxing bubble bath with your chocolate chip cookie dough soap. hope you liked it... it's my fav - miss you tons!