Lightning and thunder accompanied the whole scenario...and, I figured that these were just typical summer storms.
I was awakened at 3:30 a.m. to find that the power had just gone off. (Along with the cable tv, the computer and my phones--I'm one of the "lucky" souls who bundle their services with Charter Cable!) These "typical" storms carried more punch than I had figured on!
Knowing that there wasn't much that I could do at that hour of the morning...I tried to go back to sleep. Suddenly, I heard the chirping noise that my alarm system makes when the power goes out. Usually I can punch in my code and it will stop....but, not this time.
So, I called up the alarm company and asked them to help me silence this annoying chirping noise that was occurring every few minutes.
The woman on the phone asked me the usual questions for verification: name, address, phone number, and my special "code" that I use to identify myself when the alarm goes off.
Now, I must preface this to say that I have been with this alarm company for almost 20 years and my code has always been the same all of this time. But, for some reason on this rainy night at 3:30 a.m. standing in my pajamas with a flashlight in hand....she said that was not my code.
She then began to ask me who my contact people were. These would be the people that they would get in touch with when my alarm goes off and I am not home.
I gave her the name of my neighbor, his address, and telephone number.
"Yes," she said.
But, she wasn't satisfied with just one and asked me to name another one also.
I told her that I had made the contact list so long ago that neighbors have come and gone and I really had no idea who else was on the list....and that I was very tired and cranky and could she puleeze just help me get this chirping noise turned off so that I could get back in my bed?!?!?
I was getting a teensy, tiny bit annoyed. Can you tell?
She again said that she needed me to give her another contact name...so I began to spout off any and every name that I could think of who I might have listed as one of my contacts. I named everyone but the guys who pick up the garbage each week. She said "no" to each one. I was willing to give her any other information that I could at this point to identify myself: shoe size, favorite food, reality shows that I watch, men that I have dated, hints as to where all of my beauty marks are, reason for the little scar on my upper cheek (fell downstairs as a child)...etc. etc. Ack.
She finally said that she would have to go and speak with her supervisor. So, there I stood, on hold on my cell phone (remember, my home phones were deader than a doornail!) hoping that she wouldn't be gone too long and use up all of my limited battery life on the phone.
After what seemed like an eternity, she came back and said that she got permission to help me with the chirping.
After several attempts to help me- we weren't getting anywhere. It seems that I have one of the very old keypads for my alarm system and they all don't seem to know much about it.
In desperation, she finally suggested that I disconnect the back-up battery downstairs.
With phone in hand I used the flashlight to find my way to the little box that held the magic wires that I could pull to disconnect everything. I somehow got them disconnected (and it wasn't easy, believe me, in that the box is in a little room downstairs along with the hot water heaters and the furnace and not very accessible.)
The chirping ended and I climbed back into my awaiting bed, exhausted and ready to get back to sleep...
Of course, I was so riled up that sleep was the last thing that my mind and body were going to let me do. So, I lay there in the darkened bedroom listening to the thunder and watching the light show that the lightening provided.