Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Something Winded This Way Comes

No, this isn't about out-of-shape Mrs. Hillbilly Mom trying to walk up the basement stairs.

Monday night/Tuesday morning, I left the sheet-struggle of the marital bed to make a visit to the master bathroom. I don't turn on the lights. The glow of dawn had not yet arrived. Squinting at the wall clock revealed a time of around 5:50 a.m. The clock itself was more like 5:58, but it runs fast.

I was a bit puzzled, because my bedside clock radio had reset itself to a different time. It's never accurate, but for a month now, I have been getting up at 2:30 by that clock radio time, which is actually 9:30 a.m. So I've become accustomed to telling time by that clock radio. Yet here it was, supposedly 5:50 a.m., and my clock radio said it was 1:00!

While on the throne, I heard a rumble of thunder. No rain. No wind. Just a little thunder. Totally weather-related, of course! So I thought that maybe the power had been off. I went to the kitchen to see if the microwave clock needed re-setting. That's a sure sign our power has been off. But it did not. The microwave clock said 5:55, as did my cell phone on the kitchen counter. Huh.

I went back to bed. I still had about 3.5 hours to sleep! Farmer H was up and gone before I arose. I vaguely recall him jouncing me while putting on his clothes bedside. I went about my morning routine. Called in my prescriptions. Wrote out a check for the phone bill.

I'd told Farmer H the day before that I would be taking the alternate route to town for a few days. The reason being that a semi truck had come at me on the straightaway to the low water bridge. I'd backed up into a driveway with T-Hoe's back tires, to let that semi come on up the road. It had gotten over as far as it could, and was stopped, waiting for me to pass. There wasn't enough room. I didn't want to drop two tires off the edge of the blacktop, because then we'd both be stuck there, blocking the road, until somebody could get there to tow me out.

Well! That semi driver turned on his flashing lights. Motioned me to come on. Then put on his turn signal. I guess he was going up that wide drive I was in. The owner has sewage dumped in one of his fields. I don't even want to go into that right now. Anyway, in my opinion, there was plenty of room in that driveway for this truck to make its turn. Then again, I drive T-Hoe, not a semi. In disgust, I backed all the way in, and turned to go the way I had come, back past Mailbox Row, across our own low water bridge, and towards town on the alternate route by the auto body shop.

When I came home, I again took the alternate. Good thing. Farmer H said later that he'd passed the regular sewage tanker truck, and the semi, on his way home about 30 minutes after me. Thankfully on a wider section of the blacktop road. Also, as I came up our own gravel road, I saw the ROCKERS down in the neighbor's field, a flatbed of (possibly someone's retirement nest egg) rocks already loaded, that had been mined out before and left at the treeline.

Anyhoo... Tuesday morning, I stopped for the mail, then turned left instead of right, to take the alternate route to town. I got about 1/4 mile. Then saw a flatbed semi ahead of me, blocking the blacktop road. Coming from the other direction, also stopped in the road, was another semi, with several vehicles behind it.

It wasn't their fault! In between them were two white county road trucks, with the man-lifts. They were working to clear a tree as thick as Farmer H from the road. I guess a storm had passed through! I'd seen some little limbs down in our front field, and on Farmer H and Buddy's Poorly Blacktopped Hill. I assumed that the ROCKERS had knocked down that one, with their big truck.

Once in town, I saw people buying bags of ice in Save A Lot. They lived a bit farther out, and said they'd been without power since early in the morning. They'd been told it might be restored by 2:00 p.m. I saw numerous police cars, some with sirens. More county road trucks headed out the opposite direction of town.

I am VERY HAPPY to have dodged the electricity-snapping bullet!


Kathy's Klothesline said...

I recently made the mistake of bragging that in 14 years we had only had two power outages that were cleared up in a matters of two hours. Must have forgotten to knock wood, because since then we have been plagued with outages. We have a generator, but that won't power the entire park, just us. I keep telling the man of my world to invest in some more solar panels and put them atop our main building …. We have some now that light our billboard. As soon as it becomes HIS idea, it will happen.

River said...

That's a lot of trucks and semis in just a couple of days. Having to back up and turn on narrow roads and bridges is one problem I'm glad I don't face. I don't drive and I don't live out in the country. Odd about your clocks being different though. Are they battery operated? Can you change the batteries in all of them and set them all to the same time? All of my clocks are two minutes fast so I never miss a bus.

Hillbilly Mom said...

We are the opposite. We used to have 5-10 outages a year. We have a generator in the garage (with two flat tires) that Farmer H and Genius used to wheel out and put on the porch. It will power FRIG II and my office and the TV and a couple lights. Plus the well pump. Not much more. No cooking unless we flip FRIG's breaker. Can't run the air or the heat. Enough to get by, though. It could run one of the electric fireplaces. That was the winter contingency. We'd all hole up in the master bedroom and turn on that electric fireplace. Thank the Gummi Mary, it never came to that!

I met the green-cab semi again today! I don't even want to go into it! The clocks are our own fault. I always set them a couple minutes fast on purpose, from the days of wanting to have the boys ready and get to work on time. Farmer H always sets them a couple minutes slow. I don't know why. And that bathroom clock always gains time. My nightstand clock probably needs a fresh backup battery.

Sioux Roslawski said...

A clever title, as usual.

I've found the summer outages are muuuuch harder to deal with than the winter ones. In a winter outage (and with a gas stove and gas water heater) we can (and have) heated up big soup-pots of water and put them on our bedside tables at night. (They radiate a lot more heat than you'd imagine.) We'd take hot baths or showers to warm up. We'd use camping lanterns to read by--which was also a bit warming.

In the summer? There's only so many clothes I can take off before I disgust myself (and it's not much).

Hillbilly Mom said...

You know I love my titles. The Mansion is all electric, so that trick won't work here. I'd never thought about using pots of water for heat. I, too, prefer my outages in the winter. I have my own built-in insulation, and many layers I can add. We can put the food out in the car where it will stay cold.