Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Help from Afar: Wilmette Gets Back on the (Power) Grid

I was driving West on Lake yesterday, day five of living off the power grid in Wilmette. I was beginning to ease into life without electricity following last Thursday’s wind and rain storm, when I spotted a convey of 10 trucks which had just exited the southbound Eden’s. All ten turned right on Lake, and right again, directly into Eden’s Plaza. The trucks had a red shield on them, and a name I didn’t recognize, but I couldn’t fail to notice that the majority were trucks with cherry pickers, just what is needed to work on electric wires. Could it be that help was on the way?

I was learning how to live without electricity in a manner that would have done my pioneer ancestors proud. I learned to place fresh candles in the holders well before sunset, and I was becoming more careful to replace flashlights, and butane match back in the basket where I was keeping them. Quality of life had become dependent on the table cleared and candles in place before 7:30 pm. Living by candlelight requires organizational skills that aren’t necessary when living by electric light.

By midafternoon, the neighborhood was filled with excitement. Truck after truck lined the streets surrounding my home, and activity was everywhere. Men in hard hats and vests with day-glo orange reflective stripes were down the street, up the street, across the street, and in the air, moving about in cherry pickers attached to long hydraulic arms. They were pulling wires as if they were hoisting circus tents, busy attending to wires strung on poles high above, talking in groups.

It felt as if the Allies had finally landed, and I think that’s exactly what happened. These trucks bore strange foreign names of electric companies of which I had never heard from far away places. In less than three hours, the lights came on, and as quickly as the men came, they were gone.


Blogger El Rider said...

Glad to hear that the juice is back on! That must mean that all of Wilmette is back on. I heard that the Florabama was open lat year, what a great place.

Aug 28, 2007, 9:47:00 PM  
Blogger Publia said...

Thanks! We are so happy to have power. It was getting so bad that dew was forming on our first floor in the morning. Now all that is left is lots of cleaning up.

Aug 29, 2007, 5:48:00 PM  

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