Three Cheers for PSE!
By: Jenni Sargent
January 25, 2012
I know what you are thinking, this is a sarcastic title and I am going to use the next few paragraphs to rip them apart, right? Well, while I must admit that the majority of my discussions about Puget Sound Energy do involve complaints about the high cost of electricity and their cryptic billing statement, neither of those are my topic today.
On Monday, January 16, I was hoping for a big snowstorm right along with my children and most of the other kids in Western Washington. We wanted a fun “snow day” away from work and school. That, I now understand, comes under the title of Be Careful What You Wish For! By the time the rain began on Friday, we had lost well over 50 trees, spent two days in fear that the next tree to fall would be large enough to damage our home and had been without power for almost two days. Our power outage was the result of trees that had fallen at the bottom of our hill. Those trees took down two power poles and all of the attached lines.
Now given that we had no access to news reports for several days, I have no idea what PSE was doing in other areas or who coordinated the efforts of bringing in all of the help from other states. Therefore, I am speaking from a limited source of reference: It took us just shy of 5 days to get our power back - darn, we missed our $50 refund! Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t happy about how long it took, but when I think about the fact that there were over 240,000 customers without power to begin with, I am very happy that I have power to write this today. The broken lines that caused our outage affect the power of less than 10 households. When you put everything into perspective…5 days is impressive!
While I wanted to write this to show the men and women of PSE and all the others that helped that their efforts are truly appreciated, I also wanted to thank some others as well. I want to thank our neighbors who gave selflessly of their time and abilities while we were trapped at home with trees covering our driveway. Deanna drove for over an hour to find an open gas station to fill up a can so that we could use our generator, then took our youngest daughter to her house to play with her girls for the rest of the day. Mark, Joe and Matt offered and helped clear downed-trees on our property for hours without any expectation of something in return. Thank you all very much!
The past few years have been a very difficult time in our country and everyone just seems to be at constant odds with one another. We have lost the sense of community and neighborliness that our parents and grandparents thrived on and many of us are so lost in our own troubles that we don’t even notice when others need our help. I think that it is time for us to focus on helping each other and coming out of these silos that we have created around ourselves. We need to stop expecting things to happen, we need to make them happen by hard work, giving to others and showing appreciation for all that we have and receive!
Thank you PSE, our military, our police officers, firefighters, first responders, teachers and everyone who goes out of his or her way to help another person. May God bless you all!