The Wind and the Towers

If you are reading this post then our Internet has been restored. It came on a couple minutes ago–about 3:30 pm. Yay! But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Wednesday evening warm air blew in from the south with a great wind that blew and blew and blew. I’m sure it was the remains of a severe storm front that hit the Plains states. The warmth melted all our snow, and the wind knocked down some trees and caused power outages in our area. One of EJ’s co-workers said that he was driving down the road when a tree fell in front of him so suddenly that he couldn’t stop in time and he plowed into it, damaging his car.

Our lights flicked a couple times early Thursday morning, but–thankfully–our power stayed on. However, we lost our Internet. Our Internet setup is a bit weird. There are a few private individuals who have their own radio dishes mounted on towers which our Internet Service Provider uses to provide service to its customers. Our Internet comes to us through about five privately-owned towers that are between us and our ISP. The nearest tower is owned by our neighbor across the street. You can see it in the photo above–a white “dot” in roughly the center of the photo, which I took standing next to our dish. His tower is the last in the line of towers before it reaches our house. The signal goes from his tower to our dish and a cable runs from the dish to our house. If any of the individuals on our “line” has a problem, we lose our Internet. WE didn’t lose our power in the wind storm, but our neighbors with a tower a few miles away did so we lost our Internet sometime Wednesday night and haven’t had it since. Our ISP told EJ yesterday that the power company estimated that those people will have their power restored today at the earliest.

We tend to live in strange areas. Before we moved here six years ago, we lived in a little village downstate with a population of 600+. The village had one of the last privately-owned telephone companies in the USA, which is rather interesting. However, the company had to rent long-distance service from larger companies, which meant that it was very expensive to call anyone outside of the very small local area—and pretty much anyone we knew was outside the area. We actually got our first cellphones because it was much, much cheaper than having a landline.

Yesterday morning when I woke up, I discovered that the wind had put out the pilot light on our water heater, which means no hot water. Strong winds tend to do this for some reason. After we moved here and this happened a few times, I asked EJ to teach me to relight the pilot so I didn’t have to wait for him to do it. It can be inconvenient to have to wait for EJ if he is at work when the pilot light goes out. The access to the water heater is through the master bedroom closet. To access it, I move aside a wall panel that shuts it off from the closet. The closet is generous, but when we first moved here, we couldn’t find a place for an old dresser and shelves so I put them in the closet and they hold all our surplus health and beauty items—vitamins, medicines, bandages, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, toilet paper, etc.–because our bathrooms don’t have much storage. The closet also stores my vacuum cleaner so it’s a bit cramped. I lay on the floor in the closet so I could reach the panel for the pilot which is at the bottom of the water heater. Timmy (the cat) came in to join me, and then Hannah Joy came in. Our animals love to follow us around and get involved in whatever we are doing. Even the outside cats and the chickens will follow us if we are working outside.

Once I relit the pilot light, I had a horrible time getting to my feet because Hannah Joy was standing over me and she didn’t want to “Move!” Once I got to my feet, I had a difficult time getting the animals out of the closet. I couldn’t shut the door with Timmy inside, but Hannah Joy was standing guard at the entrance—and she doesn’t particularly like Timmy. She doesn’t hurt him, but it’s clear that there is no love between them. I finally picked up Timmy while shooing out Hannah, but Timmy squirmed in my arms to get away from Hannah (like Pepe Lepew’s “girlfriend” in the old cartoons). I finally got both animals out and the closet door closed. Then I got busy with the rest of my day, which turned out busier than I had originally planned. Both EJ and I were exhausted when we finally finished our tasks at the end of the day.

The temperature turned colder yesterday. It began snowing earlier this morning and the ground has a blanket of snow once again.

Hannah Update: The arthritis medication seems to be helping her. Most of the time she has no problem leaping onto the bed and she’s back to her normal quirky playfulness.

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