FRIDAY interestingly, after a particularly fierce round of storms had gone through, the huge old elm tree in Kent's back yard fell over. We knew that tree had issues, but we think now that it must have been deteriorating worse than we realized, and between that, the ground getting saturated with rain, and probably a post-storm burst of wind, it just fell smooth over, smashing the fence, wrecking the neighbor's above-ground pool and trampoline, and landing on top of the power line from the pole to Kent's house. This left most of Kent's house without power, but he still had power in some parts of the house. He called the number he could find for the power company, but all he could get was one of those computers that pretends it's a person, with the "press one for this," and "press two for that." None of the options really fit his situation, but he left a message as best he could. The machine said, "Your power will be restored in 24 hours," which would have been a neat trick, since the line was physically down.
SATURDAY, I went over to see how he was doing. He'd moved his coffee pot to one of the plugs that was still working and he was sort of "camping out." He had put in a call to Kyle, his lawn guy for the last five years to come over to either see about getting started on clearing the tree and debris out, or suggest someone who could. Kyle came on Saturday to look things over, but of course couldn't start on anything until the downed electrical line was addressed. Nothing could move forward at all until that electrical line was addressed.
SUNDAY we found another number to call the power company to report to a live human that we had a downed electrical line. The good news is that they sent someone right out, within an hour! The bad news is that they had to disconnect the line from the pole and the house. The ONCOR guy advised that we'd have to get an electrician to make some repairs to the connection and apparatus on the house before they could come back out and reconnect the electricity. So even though it was Sunday, we put in a call to an electrician we'd both used before and liked, only to learn that he's backed up for at least two weeks. Now totally without power, Kent packed up a few things and came to stay at my house until he can get put back together at his house.
MONDAY Kent got an early morning call from the neighbor into whose yard the tree had fallen, saying that there was a huge swarm of bees in his back yard. Apparently there had been a hive of bees in that tree, even though we had never seen even one bee. There was some discussion about spraying, but with that many bees, you wouldn't get them all right away, it would make them mad, and then there'd really be hell to pay, totally aside from the fact that bees are dying too much anyway. We brainstormed our options and located a beekeeper who was able to come right out. The Bee Charmer, very nice lady. She collected a five gallon bucket of bees and finished up just before the next wave of thunderstorms came through. We were able to locate an electrician who was able to make the repairs necessary to get reconnected.
TUESDAY the electrician made his repairs; then the city was supposed to make their inspection (which they were supposed to do the next day, but we can't tell if they did or not), and then we get on the list for when ever ONCOR can come out and hook the electricity back up. Kyle started work clearing the tree. We cleaned out the refrigerator and had to throw almost everything away, except for what Kent brought to my house when he came over. Jeez, a whole refrigerator full of food.
THURSDAY - Because of all the storms and storm damage recently, the insurance adjuster couldn't meet with Kent until Thursday, almost a week after the tree fell. He came out, and we went over all the information we had thus far.
FRIDAY Kyle called - he had started work clearing the tree earlier in the week, but is now unable to finish the job due to an elaborate series of circumstances, much to our great dismay.
SATURDAY hopefully we've found someone else who will be able to tackle that job, but it will likely be in bits and pieces. That tree is amazingly huge - even as it lays on the ground, it's about waist-high to me.
So Kent is my houseguest until he has power again. I am so happy to have him here, but I know all this has really thrown him way out of his routine. My part of the neighborhood is a little bit noisier than over where he lives, and along with being in a strange place, basically living out of a suitcase, and with everything else that's going on, It's sort of turned his life topsy turvy. All things considered, he's taking things pretty well.
I guess we'll see what the coming week brings!