Green pole leaving

This morning, I was in the kitchen doing something and the boys were in the dining room, supposedly doing their academics, when Andrew called out, “Hey, there’s a guy in our back yard.”  Now, there’s not a lot of foot traffic in general through our neighborhood, and someone walking around in our yard – especially someone we don’t know – is an unusual event.  I pulled on a sweatshirt, grabbed my cell phone and went out to say, “Howdy.”

Turns out it was a guy from our electric co-op, and he announced that they were going to replace the electric pole in our yard.  I said, “You don’t mean that pole right there, the one that my clothes line’s attached to, do you?”  And he replied, “Yes, that’s the pole, and we’ll put your clothes line back.”  I felt better already.

“However,” he continued, “There’s a problem with some tree limbs.”    Oh, great.  I could just see it now:  in addition to one kid’s braces, another kid’s college bills, and an upcoming chimney re-construction (which may fall right on the heels of the just-completed well house and playroom roof replacements) we may be facing even MORE chuh-chings to have trees trimmed – and I don’t mean with tinsel – right before Christmas!

“Ummm. . . what seems to be the problem?” I asked.  He walked with me back by the sandbox and pointed out a couple of places where two or more of the three lines traveling from the clothes line pole to the pole near the well house were being pushed down by overhanging branches leaning on them.  He then explained to me that the branches were causing pressure on the lines, wearing off insulation, and putting a drain on our electric service.  He said it wasn’t enough to cause a short that would trip a breaker, but it could, and if it did, we’d be out of water.  A lack of electricity to the pump is never a good thing.   He finished up by saying, “Those branches really need to be trimmed back,” and then looked at me.

“Well, do you guys do that?”

“Oh, yes.”

“And how much would that cost?”

“There’s no charge, but we don’t do anything about the brush.”

WHEW!!!  Was I ever relieved!  Hauling brush is one reason we have boys, so that would be no problem ay-tall.  He indicated how much they’d trim, and I said that was fine and that he could cut away.  I expected him or the other guys by the truck to whip out a chainsaw and get after it, but no.  The actual job will be done, “some other day,” at which time we’ll be powerless for about two hours.

I then asked him why White River Valley Electric Cooperative suddenly decided to replace our pole.  It just seemed a little random to me.  He explained that they check the poles from time to time and that ours is green.  That means that all the treatment is gone out of it and it is rotting, so if a car hit it (in my yard??!?!?), it might go over easily and take out a lot of other poles with it.  True confessions:   I had never noticed that it looked green, and in fact, it still looks decidedly brown to me.  In any case, my dad says it isn’t easy being green, so maybe that’s why it has to go.

Finally, I asked the guy about the pole near the well house.  As in, what if that one were to turn ‘green,’ too.  He said, “That’s not our pole.  It’s YOUR pole.  That one over there (pointing to the ‘green’ one) is ours.  And actually, your pole is okay.  It’s in pretty good shape.”  Well, that’s good to know!  Truth be told, I have plenty of things to think about without ever even remotely considering the greenness of our electric poles.

For now, we just have a spiffy new non-green pole lying in the grass beside its rotting counterpart.

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