Snow of the century
The recent snowstorm was, in many ways, a learning experience. We learned, once again, that it's foolish to trust TV weather forecasters, or, as I like to call them, the boys and girls who cry "wolf." Typically, they oversell the storms that are approaching, calling for six or eight inches when we end up with one or two. But in this case, they called for a lot of snow, and we got a LOT more than they predicted. We also learned that Allegheny Power is a pretty darned good utility company. At my house, we lost power about 10 p.m. Friday, and we didn't get it back until we got home from work Monday evening. At the time, when you're freezing your behind off INSIDE the house and have no water because the well pump runs on electricity, it seems like a ridiculously long time to be without power. But when you consider the magnitude of the job – more than 400,000 people without power just in Allegheny’s service area – you realize the great work they did, and you have to applaud the dedication of those who work for the utility company. As of today, Allegheny Power was still trying to restore service to about 30,000 people in Greene and Washington counties. I can feel the pain of those still waiting, because you really don't realize how much you depend on electricity, and how much you take it for granted, until it's not there. You're left huddling under mountains of covers in the dark, and it's not a pleasant experience. I personally learned that complacency is a very bad thing. I could have checked my generator on a warm September day, but I didn't. Heck, the power never goes out for more than a few hours at a time, right? And the generator will fire up without protest despite not running in ages, right? Wrong and wrong. When the generator doesn't work during a long power outage, that's not good. I know that now. Thanks to my Uncle Bill, one of those people who can truthfully be described as being so kind and generous that he would give you the shirt off his back, the generator is back in service. He went way beyond the call of duty. Which is another lesson. We need to be more thankful for family and friends who are there for us in tough times. I couldn't count on both hands the number of people who either lent us a hand or offered to take us into their homes. It was greatly appreciated. I also appreciated the work done by PennDOT and the local road crews. People like to gripe about PennDOT, but my trips to and from Washington were blessedly uneventful, thanks to their untiring efforts. I also gained more appreciation for my wife, who hung in there like a trouper and was everything you could hope for as a partner in a tough situation. Those city girls can be tougher than one might think. And I'm sure about one thing: From now on, when I flip a light switch, adjust the thermostat or turn on the faucet in the kitchen sink, in the back of my mind, I'll be telling myself not to take those things for granted.
Labels: Life in General