Powerless   Leave a comment

Yesterday was interesting — in the Chinese proverb sense.

The evening before, we had a broken water line.  By the time Billy rounded up the crew and got it fixed, it was late.  We didn’t get to bed until one o’clock.  Then, about three-thirty, we were awakened by a lack of sound.  The cooler was not working, which meant the power had gone off.

This is always a big problem, but even more so in the heat of the summer, because no power means no water.  We don’t want the horses to be without water for even an hour in the heat.  Luckily, we have a backup well.  It was actually the main well, before we drilled the big well on this side of the property.  Billy’s always kept it going, because its electricity comes in from a different direction than the main well.  When the big well goes down, we just start up the little one.  In over forty years, both wells have been down only twice.  Still, he had to wake up our long-suffering crew (namely son Scott) and get it going.

Of course, the house was dark and hot, and Billy’s lift chair didn’t work.  It’s such a help most of the time, lifting him to his feet now that it’s so hard for him to get up otherwise.  Still, when the power’s off, there he is; trapped in his chair.  It has a backup battery, which just barely got him halfway up, where he stuck.  He could get up and down, if I hauled on his hand, but not lie back.  Since he sleeps in his chair, he spent the rest of the night awake and uncomfortable — and so did I.

We called PG&E at dawn, but they already had a crew on the way.  I drove up to the road, where it turned out that there had been a wreck that took out the power pole up at our neighbors, Teen Challenge.  They had some power, but the lights were dimming and brightening erratically.  And, as the lady I talked to said mournfully, no coffee. PG&E showed up and started working on the problem, but the pole had been snapped right off and had to be replaced.  The power poles in Oildale seem to have an irresistible attraction for impaired drivers.

The power was back on by noon, so I was off to the bank to move some money.  There were some problems, and I wound up stuck there for two hours.  I was ready for the day to be over.

There has been another problem — an alarming smell in the air; burning, with an odd plasticky or metallic edge.  I sniffed around in the house and garage when I noticed it, then went outside.  The smell was general out there, but there was no hint of flame anywhere, and no sirens.  It turned out that we were getting smoke from the Cuesta fire a hundred miles away, strong enough for everyone in Bakersfield to have stinging eyes and scratchy throats.  Combined with the heat wave — oh, my.

The smoke was more visible as the sun went down.  It can be seen as a murky band on the western horizon.


Notice the dogs, who were waiting for me to throw the Ball.  Xena and Gena (not visible) were waiting at my feet.  Peaches is smart enough to know that she can never beat the fleet Border collies to it, so she plays outfielder; hanging back where she thinks the ball might land.  I call that pretty bright!


Posted August 19, 2015 by stablewoman in Dogs, Events

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