Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Trouble with Power

I was typing away on my new computer when the lights went down hard. Had it been the routine power outage out here that is caused by a squirrel dancing on the lines or breeze blowing from an odd direction, the lights would have flickered a time or two and then faded to black. This outage was different and that usually means one thing - someone driving at a high rate of speed has hit a power pole.

My phone rang three separate times before the ceiling fan stopped spinning. My niece and two neighbors. "Is your power off," they questioned. "Yes the power is off," I reported. I'm not sure when I became the community power monitor, but I am. Everyone validates that the outage is widespread, meaning the fifteen or so houses between here and the main road are affected.

A few minutes later I heard the sound of our volunteer fire truck heading in our direction siren blaring. Our little volunteer staff has become adept and using the jaws of life to extract people from crumpled vehicles. You tend to get good when you get a lot of practice and they get a lot of practice.

We live in a rural area where the roads are long and winding…and narrow. Seldom does a day go by that you don't see a horrible wreck within a ten mile radius of our house. Almost every day when you pick up the paper, there is an obit for someone killed in an automobile accident. It has become epidemic.
I don't drive slowly; the speed limit is 45 on the main road and routinely drive around 50 but it is not uncommon for people to pass me on a curve doing 80 or so. I have to wonder, what's the hurry? One guy passed me the other morning as if he were headed to fight a fire. When I got to Jacks to pick up my sausage and biscuit, the guy that was casually walking in the restaurant to order a cup of coffee. I'm guessing he REALLY needed a cup of java.

I'm not sure what it's going to take to get people to driving more carefully. You can't police the entire countryside, it's just too big. At some point people have to take responsibility for themselves and their neighbors.

I hope ever who hit the pole this evening is OK, but I also hope they learned their lesson and slow down – for every one's sake.

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