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Last summer, the trailer next to me was moved. Not an uncommon thing, they'd been trying to sell it for a while, so not entirely unexpected, though most people leave the trailers in the park and pay lot rent. Imagine our surprise when in order to disconnect their air conditioner they had to turn off our main breaker. All these years, their air-conditioner had been hooked up to our power and not their own. The following month, our electric bill dropped by about $70.
Enough to piss us off, but by that point, we were told by the trailer park and the electric company that without being able to prove anything (impossible since the trailer, the people, and the air conditioner were all gone) there was nothing anyone could do for us.

Now we come to today, if you'll join me over the jump.

We've been having some power blips lately not really unusual in a trailer park around here, the wiring is old, etc.  Today however, it was only in half of the house. We went back, threw the breaker, put it back to on, and the power came back for about two minutes, until I tried to boot up my machine, then darkness and silence in this half of the house. Thank God for Line Guard, the electrician came out and fixed it, on a Sunday for free. Our breaker box, the ones for this side of the house, had burnt out, probably due to stress from over amperage the guy said. I only had one television, the cable box, and my machine turned on when it went out today, the kids were still asleep, and my other half was laying in bed reading. So what could have caused it?

I mentioned the air conditioner issue we'd had with the neighbor a few months ago. He asked a few questions, had our power flickered at all over the summer or before this, I told him yes, we'd have some flickering when I heard the neighbor's AC come on. But again, old wiring, I didn't think anything of it at the time. It wasn't until after they'd pulled their unit that the pieces had come together.
Turns out their AC unit had been  connected to our single 20 amp (not sure I have the term right, but 20 is definitely the number) breaker. Strain over two summers since they'd put in that unit had burned the breaker out, and today it actually had scorch marks. Great. Once again, thank God for Line Guard, and thank God our house didn't burn down when it fried!

Now comes the real kicker. We get everything plugged back in (we'd unplugged everything but a few lights to tell when it came back on, in case of surges) and I go to fire up my computer, and... NOTHING. I don't know yet if the cord burned out or the whole machine (the brick was cool to the touch after being plugged in a few hours, so either is possible at this point). It was likely too much for my ancient third hand lappy. So, right now I'm on via my roomate's netbook, which I can use when she's not using it and my daughter doesn't need it for her schoolwork.
Luckily I had recently emailed my mother most of my most recent book I've been working on, though I lost a few short stories and  my file of ideas and thoughts for the future of the book. I'm sure I can remember most of those at least. I probably lost a chapter or so of my book, but once again, I can rewrite it, though I've found in the past a cold rewrite like that is almost never as good.

So, I'm apologizing ahead of time if I'm slow responding to the groups I'm editing for, and hopefully I'll be able to get the diaries I wanted to write written, but again, timeline may be slower than I wanted. I've got some catching up to do with my novel, and this tiny screen and having to scroll just to read the whole of a diary is going to get on my nerves pretty quickly LOL. But at least I have another option and am not cut adrift entirely. We're moving in another month or two, so it will be at least three months before I can even think about saving for another machine, I'm hoping to swing a universal power cord before that and at least try it (never hurts to have a spare power  cord anyway, right?).

And yes, I'm really really pissed off, because now, they've cost me more than $70/month for much of the past two years (it's Florida, we run our ac for more than three or four months of the year). They've cost me some of my writing, they've cost me one of the few belongings I have that was actually valuable to me if not to anyone else, and which it will be more expensive to replace. I suppose it could be worse, they could have shorted out the refrigerator or the water heater. Or my son's laptop we scrimped and saved for for his last birthday.

3:23 PM PT: Update:: I'm sitting here in tears now, not a half an hour posted and someone offered me a laptop they aren't using. Thank you thank you thank you! I'll pay it forward when I can and as I can.  I'm.. I'm just completely overwhelmed right now.

Originally posted to FloridaSNMOM on Sun Jan 15, 2012 at 02:53 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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