stIt’s National Lineman Appreciation Day. After the recent windstorm in western New York and other states to the west of us, this day means a little more. Turning a light on, or the TV, and knowing they are going to work shouldn’t be taken for granted, though I know I am guilty of just that. We expect our power to work at all times, thinking little of how it actually gets to our homes.

“Regardless of the source, the electricity has to be transported by employing transformers and other equipment. Due to the dangerous conditions power poses, safety is of utmost importance for both the lineman and the consumer. When mother nature destroys what our linemen have built up, they are on call to build it back up again as quickly as possible. Even when there is no crisis, they work under dangerous conditions on a daily basis. Whether they are working in trenches, near water or on high towers, the risks are extreme.” (borrowed from the National Day of Calendar)

The windstorm I mentioned above was predicted to have 50 mph winds, but we had gusts over 95 mph which did more damage than expected. Lineman came to help “get the power back on” from many different states and Canada in 20 degree weather. We owe them a big thank you. It was pointed out on the news that they couldn’t work until the downed trees were moved out of their way, which they weren’t allowed to do. For some homes it was a three to five-day wait. And believe me, when the lights came back on, and the heat, people were mighty thankful. We were lucky, our power didn’t go out.

Last week a cat in our local area climbed a power pole and was sitting on top amongst all the wires. The owner called the power company to come rescue her pet and was told it was too dangerous to attempt. That should give a good indication of how dangerous a job these people do. After three days, the cat came down on his own, in the secrecy and quiet of night. It was quite the news story.

Here I sit in front of my computer thinking about the electricity that runs it. I appreciate the linemen that keep my power on.