Friday, January 11, 2008


It was really windy yesterday. So windy, in fact, that a rather large tree limb broke off and crashed through the jumble of electric lines and poles on our house. The wires remained intact, but pulled down the conductor and pole attached to our meter. The wires hung dangerously low to the ground, spanning the width of our street, and dangled across a portion of our lawn, rather like badly hung garland.

I discovered this amazing sight as I pulled into the driveway.

"Hmmm," I thought. "What's that over there?"

As a new homeowner, I'm ever vigilant about the front appearance of our house. The backyard can (and often does) fall into a hellish state of neglect, but I do like to keep up appearances in the front. So, it didn't take much to notice there was a big mess on my lawn. This particular mess involved live electric wires and heavy tree limbs all jumbled up together. This was clearly something I was not equipped to clean up on my own.

Naturally, I did what I do best...freak out and immediately call Monkey Sr. I stood there on the front lawn, cell phone in hand. As I tried to describe the situation to him, I noticed a man across the street, staring up at the tree, back down to the mess, and beginning to walk in my direction. I suspected it might be an irate or concerned neighbor. I lucked was the town fire marshall (retired) out for his afternoon stroll.

"This is bad. Who have you called?" He said.

"Umm...I called the police department, and I called the electric company...and you are?"

Brief introductions over, he proceeded to immediately take charge of the situation by calling the fire department, marching into my house and shutting down the electricity. Then he closed off the entire street as the town law enforcement descended upon us. I am not kidding. We live in a small town, and this was a big deal. We had firetrucks..police cars...real firefighters in full gear marching into the basement (nice eye candy by the way. I feel safer knowing our town boasts hot firefighters.)

Anyway, the initial assessment was that is was a huge deal, and the fire department wanted us to clear out of the house while they dealt with it. Naturally, the monkeys were deep in the throes of naptime, and blissfully unaware of the drama unfolding right outside their windows. All they knew was that we had a playdate scheduled after nap.

How can they sleep through this stuff, but God forbid I open my slightly creaky bedroom door, and they wake up screaming?? I was banished back into the house with stern warnings not to come outside because it was a safety hazard. I wondered how long we had till all the newly bought groceries went bad in the refrigerator.

One hour and many panicked phone calls later, the wires were removed from the limbs and temporarily secured to our house with some rope someone found in their truck. Permanent reattachment of all these wires will require a real electrician, a commodity in short supply apparently. The three we've contacted are all in various stages of getting back to us.

But, we're safe, warm..and apparently we dodged yet another bullet in our ongoing saga of homeownership disasters. Our neighbors are loving us, I know.

On a lighter note..despite resuming school this week, Little Monkey has not abandoned his passion for home style arts and crafts. Those weeks in solitary confinment, with nothing but glitter to keep him occupied, have created a monster. It's not enough that he gets plenty of arts and crafts at school. Now he's demanding it as an afternoon and post-dinner activity.

In desperation, I pulled out some crafty books donated by Grandma H, and discovered a simple project called the "Happy-Sad Doll." Real Simple. Six inch peice of paper divided in half. One half - draw a happy face. On the bottom half..draw a sad one. Split the middle with a taped tissue for a flippy skirt, and there you go. Turn it one way, she's happy! Turn it the other, and she's sad!

This intense creative output requires not one, but two beverages - milk and water.

It keeps him quiet. What more can I ask?
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