Thursday, June 9, 2011

NYSEG - Say You're Sorry

I’ve been putting off this post as I didn’t really want to re-live the misery of the past holiday weekend.

It started on Thursday night (May 26th,) with warnings of a tornado and a really bad rainstorm. Around 9pm or so, we lost power and it didn’t look like it was coming back for some time. Being that the winds were picking up and we no longer had direct news (TV) regarding actual tornados, we decided to get Makenna out of bed and bring her down to the cellar.

We went down for about a half hour when it seemed as though the storm passed. We put Makenna back to bed and went to bed ourselves hoping for power by morning. No such luck. In fact, it wasn’t until four days later, Monday Night around 9pm, that we again received power.

This made for a difficult, holiday weekend. Chris had to keep running out to take care of the generator and switch its power between keeping the refrigerator cold and giving us hot water. I kept trying to remind myself that we’re definitely more fortunate than those who’ve recently been hit by tornados.

But as time wears on with no electric, so do your nerves and patience. Even Makenna was getting upset that she couldn’t watch her shows, or play her Wii, or watch a DVD on the big TV. Although it gave us more time to play other games that she enjoys.

The frustration really set in on Sunday when there was a glimmer of hope that we would have electric. When we left for church, we saw some NYSEG crews (or those contracted by NYSEG,) looking for the problem. When we came home from church they were installing a new pole, about half a mile from our house.

By Sunday night, with nothing to do, we went out for ice cream. On our way home we were pointing to the houses that now had electricity. Then we got about 4 houses away from ours and noticed they were dark and we knew the crews had left for the night.

At one point on Saturday we thought about going up to the cottage but then realized that it may not have power either. We tried calling some random cottages but it seemed as though a cell tower was down. Then I tried having someone without a cell call but they didn’t even get through at all – just a dead line. So we figured that there was no power.

Makenna and I, along with my brother Josh and his girls, went up to the cottage on Sunday and found there was actually power. But, to add to the frustrating weekend, the pump to the well seized and we were not getting any water. I guess I knew what Monday would be like – trying to fix this new problem.

Monday morning I broke down and went to the fire house and got dry ice and water. Chris had started the chest freezer on Sunday and we transferred the frozen food down to it along with the dry ice and some bagged ice. Then off to the cottage we went.

Somehow, out of sheer luck, or determination, Chris was able to get the pump working. At least we had one thing go right. As the day went on, and the mosquitos had quite a meal on us all, I started to feel hot and achy.

Everyone left and just as I feared, our car got stuck in the mud at the bottom of the hill. I was so upset for not learning from past experience and that everyone had already left. I was in the car telling Makenna that we had to pray for God’s help to get us out. She asked why and I tried to explain to her that it was important to ask God to help us in all things.
She then told me that I needed to tell God I was sorry. I was astonished. I said, “Why do I have to tell God I’m sorry?” She just repeated that I had to tell Him I was sorry. This really got me thinking. We definitely should’ve learned from the last time and she was right, I had to say I was sorry.

We got out from our predicament with some help of a neighbor up at the cottage and got home just after nine. That’s when we saw NYSEG finishing up and that we had finally gotten power back. Even though I just wanted to crawl into bed, there was too much to do.

I wish I could say the week got better but on Tuesday I swallowed a contact and had to cover my eye for the rest of the day until I got home to replace it. Then on Wednesday Makenna came home with a high fever that continued into Thursday. I was going to take her back to school on Friday but noticed that her throat was really swollen and took her to the doctors. She ended up being fine but stayed home anyways. We think it was because she went swimming in the lake on Monday and probably caught some kind of bacteria from it.

I felt like I needed a vacation away from this past week. I guess a lot of the frustration with NYSEG came with the knowledge from a former employee that they just hire contractors who don’t know the area well.

Plus, it didn’t help that we kept calling and hearing that at the beginning of the ordeal there were 65 people in our area without power. By Sunday night they were down to 15, of which we were one of them.

Maybe NYSEG needs to say sorry to God too.

As for us, we've already changed providers.

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