Dave and I live in an old farm house (circa 1930) and I had noticed some weirdness with the lights and fans in our bedroom and the upstairs bathroom. Sometimes they worked and sometimes they didn’t. Even swapping out which receptacle they were plugged into didn’t fix anything. 

So, I called our insurance company and they sent us an electrician. He checked everything out and made an appointment to come back and fix everything. He said he’d be working from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and he and Dave swore they’d be religious about keeping the gate locked so our Beagle Boy Cletus would be safe. 

As paranoid as I am, of course I couldn’t trust that. I cashed in some vacation time at work and took the day off. I even planned to do some work from home so I wouldn’t be that far behind the next day. 

Like that happened. For one thing, the power was off on that side of the living room the whole day, which lasted until 6:30 p.m. because the electrician ran into some bigger problems. That’s the longest the TV has been off since the time I "forgot" to pay the cable bill. 

We didn’t have time to be watching TV anyway. As the electrician worked, he explained what he was doing and why. 

He seemed grateful that I had removed the "dust bunnies" from behind the headboard of our bed, which resembled something out of a haunted house more so than a "bunny." I actually did a lot of cleaning before he came. 

I vacuumed the bathroom, bedroom and even the steps. I thought I was way ahead of the game. Not so much. In the kitchen, he had to move some of the ceiling tiles while he looked for one elusive wire. It seems it appeared upstairs but couldn’t be traced downstairs, or something like that. 

I listened to what he said and got the jist of it, but couldn’t really repeat it back verbatim. He said one wire in the kitchen ceiling was hooked up on one end so it had power coming to it, but wasn’t hooked to anything on the other end. That was a potential fire hazard. 

So was the electrical issue we had at some point in the bathroom. I had thought the GFI receptacle was bad and needed to be replaced. In some ways I was right. It needed to be replaced now because it had done its job. 

When the issue occurred, it had kept it from going any further and causing a fire in the wiring. The burned up connection on the side of it proved that. It had saved us from a potentially devastating fire. 

Then the electrician gave us the "bad news." The wiring to all but one of our receptacles in the bedroom needed to be replaced, but our insurance won’t cover it right now because it would put us over our limit. He had to put flat cover plates on the bad receptacles so they couldn’t be used accidentally. 

We are running our bedroom with a really long extension cord stretched from the other bedroom, through the front room, down the hall, behind our dresser, along the whole length of our bedroom, to the bed at the far end of the room, in order to run the alarm clock, tap light on the headboard and fan we can’t sleep without. Luckily, the receptacle behind the TV is on a different circuit, so it still works. We can work with this. A hillbilly can survive. 

While the electrician took a lunch break, I used the time to do a little cleaning in the kitchen. I hadn’t planned on wiping down the kitchen table and chairs from top to bottom, but since they were scattered all over the downstairs if figured I might as well. 

It was also as good a time as any to move the microwave stand and sweep and mop. There was enough dog hair under there to make a whole new dog. A small one anyway. 

When the electrician got back, he installed the blank plates in the bedroom and put all new receptacles in the living room and one in the kitchen. He even swept up the mess that happened when he put the kitchen ceiling tiles back. 

Before he left, he apologized again for the "bad news." That’s not bad news. Bad news would be if the fireman told us when we returned home that the back half of our house is gone and our dog didn’t make it. That’s bad news.

I can live with a really long extension cord running our bedroom for a while. We ran our whole garage for about a year with an extension cord stretched 100 feet to the house until Dave finally got it wired for electric. Besides, I got a really big head start on my fall cleaning. 

© 2018 Laura Nethken