Monday, February 14, 2011

Speeding for Electricity and Unpotting Rings

New Living Room    05.jpg
The old electrical panel before the fire.

If you have been following the restoration of this old house, you know there have been problems. Old animal infestations, hoards of mice, missing joists and studs in the floors and walls, extra floors and ceilings, dangerous electrical wiring, illness, a hundred year old boiler buried under the driveway . . . the list seems endless.

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Uncovered dangerous, old wiring in a wall.

We had another serious problem during a violent thunderstorm this past autumn. John has been repairing and replacing the electrical wiring as he restores and rebuilds each wall. The electrical panel box containing the circuit breakers was in pretty bad shape but had been slowly improving. John was still worried about it, though. On this fall night of the story a huge surge of electricity from a nearby lightning strike not only burned half of the panel out but also started a fire. John was standing right next to the panel box because he was worried about it during the storm, so he was able to quickly stop the fire. Half of the house was then without electricity, which is a very dangerous thing. I can't remember the details or the technical reasons why, but John had some emergency electrical work to do that night to prevent another fire and he slept poorly because of worry.

After a few phone calls in the morning, we located a new electrical panel in Newport and drove off to buy it. I drove us home. Fast. I remember that we were talking and I was so focused on our conversation that I never paid attention to how quickly I was moving. A Vermont state trooper got me. This was not the first time I have been stopped for speeding. It was only the first time that I got a speeding ticket — while my husband sat in the front seat laughing and enjoying the entire process!  Read more here about my driving problems.

We got home, John replaced the electrical panel. We had to have the village electric people turn off the power at the pole on the road so that John could replace the panel box. It took awhile for them to come turn off the power because lines were down all over town. The whole day, John continued laughing about the ticket and my new criminal record. The ticket? Well, it was for going 64 in a 50 (103 kph in an 80 kph zone). The fine was $130.

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My geraniums after thriving outside in the summer.

The next day was Saturday, and it was a beautiful, cool day. It was a perfect day to repot the houseplants that had been outside during the summer. It was time to move them inside. I had so much enthusiasm for this that I repotted just about every houseplant I have — geraniums, African violets, aloe, coleus, Christmas cactus, the whole shebang.

The problem was my wedding band. It had never been properly fitted and kept falling off of my hand, especially when my hands were cold. And my hands were cold more and more often as autumn progressed. Sure enough, when I was finished repotting the plants, my new wedding band was missing from my finger. I was devastated. I was actually crying softly. John helped me look everywhere in the kitchen and outside in the gardens for the ring, but we didn't find it. We gave up and I went to my computer and played games — all the while feeling more and more miserable. I could replace the wedding band but I could never replace the sentiment and meaning it had for me.

After two hours of sulking and misery, I returned to the kitchen and began digging through the repotted plants. Within minutes, I found my ring! I was so happy that I began to cry all over again.

It had been quite an eventful two days, but all ended well. I'm driving slower, I made a trip to the city and had my wedding ring properly sized, and the house is now safely rewired. But John is still befuddled about my angst over my wedding ring.

_/\_/\_

1 comment:

  1. we're uncovering dangerous old wiring at the R'dale house too! Good luck with it!

    And Happy Valentine's Day!!!

    ReplyDelete

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