Welcome to Antler Valley Farm

The Power

We were excited to do something, (anything really), in the spring of 2017!!Sooooo, we decided we might as well call the power company and start there.  Why not?  Jim made the call and asked about the process for getting power out to our Ol’ Farm.  Duke Energy called the next day and set up a time to meet us out there.  Wow, that was fast!  Were we really ready to do this?  Ready or not, here we go!  It’s just getting power, not rocket science, right?  How difficult could it be???  Well, it is me….

Bury the power or not?  Did we want power lines running through the pasture?  The problem with that is that the power company has to have access to the pastures for maintainence or repairs.  We certainly don’t want to be the cause of a neighborhood blackout simply because the power company couldn’t get to the problem pole inside our pasture.  Did we want to have to put in extra gates for convience for the power company?  What if we have crazy animals (which is extremely likely) that makes it impossible to open gates and get vehicles in or out without the animals getting out?  How much would it cost to bury power lines for a quarter of a mile?  (Yes, our driveway is just short of a quarter mile!)  Would we be able to put up fencing along the drive if we buried the power?  Would it be in the way?  Whew!  That is ALOT of questions…but that is just the way my mind works…always questions.   Anyway, we had all these questions and about a dozen more.  Ok, I had all these questions.  Jim just wanted power the fastest way possible.  You know how guys are…

The nice lady from Duke Energy listened to all our concerns, answered all our questions, walked us through all our options AND talked with us for over a hour.  She was sooo awesome and knowledgeable!  She walked with us on one of the coldest and windiest days of the year and never once complained with our questions.  I’m seriously considering adding her to my Christmas list!  She showed us where the power poles would be and where the power would be buried and went over the procedure for both.  We finally decided we wanted the power to be buried beside the driveway and kept out of the pastures as much as possible.  It seemed the easiest option for us and the power company.

Decision made.  Underground power it was.  Now, we just had to wait for her to send us an estimate of how much it was going to cost.  I couldn’t decide if I really wanted to know how much that was going to cost or not….

She called us the next day and said she was emailing the quote.  Deep breath….  The quote said it was going to cost us $1.00!  A Whole Dollar!  Could we afford that????   Ummm, YES!!!  She had somehow given us credit for the trees we had.  Apparently having trees near power lines is a problem.  Makes sense, right?  So, they were more than happy to bury the power to avoid damage from falling trees and limbs.  I’m sure being able to avoid pastures and power lines crossing creeks helped bring the price down if we buried it.  Fine by me!!

She said it would take a few weeks to get the ball rolling once we signed the papers and returned them.  It would speed up the process if we returned the papers to the office rather than mailing them.  Sure thing!  We would be glad to return them to the office.  Well, it turns out that returning the papers was easier said than done.  The address on the papers took me to a building that only had one door open.  The rest were locked and had signs that said, “No longer open to the Public”.  Shouldn’t that have been a warning or at least a clue?!?!   Probably for most people.  Well, I am not most people and I spent the next chunk of my day trying to figure this out!

We went in the open door and found a table with a phone on it, a chart that made no sense at all and a few chairs.  I tried so many times to make sense of that chart that supposedly explained how to use the phone to call someone to come pick up these papers.  I can read, but for the life of me those directions made no sense!  Or maybe the phone just wasn’t working?  Why, oh Why, didn’t we just mail the papers???  I was already there though, so I kept trying to find a way to leave the papers there.  The mail slot wasn’t big enough for me to fit the papers through it.  And it had a lock on it.  I didn’t really want to show my kids an attempt to pick a lock.  I am all about using everyday life situations to teach my kids but attempting a felony?  Yeah, not the best learning experience for them.  I think tampering with mail boxes is a federal offense and I’m pretty sure that me going to prison would be a bad thing for any future plans at the farm.  So, Nope, no touching the mail slot.

I called the nice power lady and she apologized, but no one was at that location at the time to help me and she was over an hour away.  So even if I had figured out that silly chart and phone I wouldn’t have gotten ahold of anyone!  Ugh!  The fax would take it to another facility and that would take an extra 3-4 days.  Could I mail it?  Yes, she said that was the best option.  Overnight mail would definitely speed up the process.  So, I drove to PostNet and asked about mailing 2 little papers.  $30 to get it there by the next day.  Are you kidding??  I couldn’t bring myself to spend that kind of money.  That was crazy!  She suggested that I pay for Priority shipping and drive it to the Rutherfordton Post Office.  Sure, I have nothing better to do with my days than drive from one place to another considering picking locks, and mumbling things at phones that don’t work, do I?!?!?.  The Rutherfordton Post Office was on my way home though, so I did it and it saved me over $24.  And it worked!  The power lady called the next day and said she had gotten the papers and they would get us on the schedule for the end of the week.  Is it just me or does that whole process sound like a ridiculous Carter Crazy story?  My goodness..

Just a few days later we went out to find these cute little white flags that marked where the power would be buried.

Cute little white flags….

lined the driveway..

all the way up to where the power box was going to be installed at the house site.

The next week we went out to find that they were starting already!

We pulled in one day to find that they were starting on the power.  I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw the Road Work Ahead sign.  Was our driveway really busy enough for a warning sign?  It was too funny!  Then again, maybe they had already heard stories about us Carter’s and felt we needed the warning!  HaHa!!!

The guys who installed the power were a Hoot!  One of the first things they explained was that they had knocked down a tree along the driveway and they were trying to decide if they should plant another one or pay us for it.  Considering how many trees Jim had “accidently” knocked down over the past year- it was hilarious!  We assured them not to worry, one more downed tree did not create a problem at this point!!

The guy in charge was a real talker, like Jim though.  He entertained us with funny stories and took time to explain everything to us.  And then he kept talking….and so did Jim.  So, I just walked around taking more pictures and let them talk, although I was secretly wishing he would get on with it and put in the power already!  Eventually, Jim did stop talking and so did the power guy.  I was ready to get on with the show!

The rolls of underground wire for the power.

They were able to get most of the power buried the first day.

He finished putting in the power the next morning!

The next morning he finished burying the power…

all the way to the power pole.

Ta-Dah!  We had a fully functioning power box!

We had a power box!  Then, we waited for them to come install the meter and turn the power on.  We waited a week and then another week.  What was taking so long?  (Looking back it is so funny that were were in such a hurry.  We didn’t have anything out there to hook up to the power once it was turned on!  Why were we so impatient?  No answer there…)  Finally, Jim called the power company again.  Funny thing, but they can’t put in a power meter or turn your power on until you fill out an application with them.  Hmmmm…Somehow we just thought they had everything they needed when we signed the agreement to put in the power.  Nope, different department.  We felt really silly, but we filled out the application and returned it -in the mail again.  I didn’t even attempt to try to deliver it in person this time.  Within a week they put in the meter and turned the power on!

Ta-Dah!!  We have a working temporary power pole!

Now what can we use the power for?  Well…..I’ll get back to you when I think of something.

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