The third of July turned out to be one of the most challenging days of home ownership. Grand bolts of lightning struck all around Swallowtail Cottage, leaving the power lines and step-down transformers ruptured both above and below the ground. Shards of porcelain insulators were flung over the house into the front yard. Full extent of the damage took Dominion Power nearly one week to restore.

Personally, forty-one hours without air conditioning and all other utilities, during humid 90+ degree temperatures, made for long days and nights. Food lived in 5-day coolers. Other residents on the road were without power for nearly one week, as Dominion assessed the damage, eventually bringing in specialized equipment to bore new cable under the entire area.

What was the lesson here?

  • First, I have a new regard for Mother Nature and her random doses of rage.
  • Second, I have the utmost respect for the crews of Dominion Power.

These highly trained individuals work round-the-clock, in all weather conditions, hanging in buckets, brushing close to lines that could easily jolt them to the great beyond.

Furthermore, these men were courteous to me, the concerned homeowner, who regularly appeared to ask questions whenever I noticed hard hats roaming my property.

The pole supporting the main cable into the area is located on the rear of my property, near an important tree line. As the repair strategy unfolded, there was talk of cutting down my precious trees to make way for large boring equipment. Had I not sweetly protested, perhaps they would have had their way. Instead, they found another access, through a nearby farm, where impact was minimal and days inched along.

You might think, “She had it easy! What about all the folks around the world who have it much worse?” Yes, I agree with you. I have immense compassion for those folks who survive catastrophic natural disasters and spend years recovering, if at all. Yet when “disaster” strikes so close to home, it becomes paramount, especially when reduced to survival mode.

I am grateful to live in a community where extremely dedicated professionals strive and risk their lives to bring comfort to those around them. I will never gripe about the cost of utilities again.

Copyright © 2011 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved