Monday morning at 10:55 am, our house shook with a loud boom and the attic fan started making a horrendous screeching noise. I was home at the time with Alexandra and our close friend who had come to do yoga with me & then to take Alexandra for the afternoon (our usual routine when hubs and I are both at work - isn't she a gem??). Something had fallen on the house, but what??
Half of a huge oak tree on our neighbor's property. The base of the trunk is almost 3 feet in diameter, and about 10 feet up, it branched into 2 large sections, both about 15-20 inches across. One of those "branches" (essentially a half of a tree trunk) had fallen on the west side of our house. A quick check of the attic showed a few spots of light leaking through, but no gaping holes. (Did I mention the roof was replaced in March of 2011? And that the weather Monday morning was clear skies, calm winds, and we'd had no storms in over a week?) Another check into the study on the northwest corner of the house revealed no damage. A check into our master bedroom on the southwest corner ... well ... it looked like this:
The tree punched a hole through the side of our bedroom wall, amazingly, between 2 studs. So, really we are lucky for the following reasons:
(1) no one was hurt
(2) it could've happened at any time, so during a week in the high 80's with no precipitation is a damned sight better than 105 degree heat, pouring rain, or bitter cold.
(3) we rent, so most of the decision-making and leg-work is for our landlord to puzzle out
Once the uninvolved branches were removed, it looked like this:
Here's the parts that suck.
Because of lots of storms the weekend before July 4th, tree removal crews were backed up. We weren't too concerned, though, because hey -- ComEd (after initially saying they'd send out a crew) decided it wasn't their problem and we had power to the house. The hole was jury-rigged/patched with plastic bags, a sheet of plastic, a tarp on the outside and lots and lots of tape. Not the most weatherproof solution, and kind of freaky, but we could vacuum up the debris and resume our lives.
Until ComEd decided abruptly at 5 am to cut our power. I still fail to understand how it went from being an emergency, to being not their problem, to them physically detaching the power lines. They had the same facts from 11 am on Monday to 5 am Tuesday .... no clue why they made this choice.
With no power, and the internal temperatures on the house getting up to 95 degrees by 4 pm, we started doing some research & it turned out our renters insurance allows us to go to a hotel if there's physical damage to the property. We have to meet a $500 deductible, but at least there's a way to keep costs somewhat contained. So, after a run around with the insurance company about where we are 'authorized' to stay, we bed down about 4 miles from home for Tuesday night. We stayed there until Thursday morning. A tree removal crew got the offending limb removed by 11 am, so I called ComEd. Their representative, in response to my question "So we will definitely have power restored sometime today?" said "yes," so I saved us $120 and checked us out of the hotel in a mad dash. Go me.
Except ComEd is staffed by a bunch of irresponsible, incompetent f'ers ... so by 7:15 pm, we are sitting in our air-conditioned car, in our driveway, after many phone calls to ComEd, still with no power, and on the line waiting for an answer about what the hell their automated message delivered at 7:08 pm means: "Your service will be restored this afternoon." WTF??? It's well into evening, people. Do you mean tomorrow afternoon? We drive around looking for a hotel while on the phone with them. After finding many places full up, we find one at 7:30. I'm still on the line with ComEd, so I ask them if they have any idea when a crew will be out to fix it. Their rep says no ETA. We check in.
Poor Alexandra's so disrupted, but she's such a trooper - that being said, she cannot manage to fall asleep until 9:30, over 2 hours past her regular bedtime. At this point, I have developed a hacking cough & sore throat, probably because I've gotten about 15 hours sleep in 4 days. I just want my bed & power. That's all.
We get decent rest, but I feel like crap. We go home to drop off our gear (no availability at the hotel for Friday night, so we'll just have to punt if ComEd can't figure out a solution by the end of the day on Friday, probably heading to my parents' place downstate for the weekend), and voila -- there is power! I turn the a/c on & it fires up after a while. I try to get some more rest & Alexandra takes a whopping 3 hour nap (smart girl!). I am so brain fogged that it takes me a while to do some math about the alarm clock blinking. I realize that power must have been restored at 7:30. Weird. We were home at 7:35. Must have just missed them.
Nope. As I turn on the TV & DVR (just making sure everything in the house actually works after so many days off ... my printer is still not functional, sadly), I see that a show I'd set to record a while back did record. Thursday night. At 8 pm. In its entirety. So, power was restored Thursday night at 7:30 PM. Yup. When we were on the phone WITH ComEd, checking into a hotel, to spend another $150 of our money. If I wasn't feeling like crap, I would be so angry. As it is, I have the energy to just finally do a load of much needed laundry, upload photos, and get around to posting this on my blog. I figure at some point I'll cut and paste it as a start to that letter to ComEd.
We ran out of cold medicine this morning, so we bought more a few hours ago. The Benadryl is making me a little drowsy. Hubs is asleep, Alexandra is content in her crib and may fall asleep, so I am going to try to take a nap. Those of you who know me well know that napping is something I do only when I am horribly ill, so there ya go. I am convinced if I can just get enough sleep, I will get the resources to fight this cold. And thus we spent our only open weekend since the beginning of May. Sick & in bed. But at least we have power & air-conditioning. Good night.