We in Champaign caught the edge of a passing blizzard, last night & this morning: about four inches of snow fell, between midnight and noon.

Tuscola got seven inches; Springfield, just shy of twelve; so it could have been worse.

Our plans for the day had included lunch in Goodfield with Grandma & a few of the great-aunts, followed by an archery tournament in Peoria; all was canceled, due to the weather.

The tournament itself wasn’t canceled – Peoria didn’t get any snow, this time – but Unit 4 canceled the team bus, so most of the archers had no way to get there.

Once the snow stopped (around 11:00am), Jennifer & Sam bundled up and went out to shovel the driveway and sidewalks. I was out with them, trying to help but mostly just getting in the way. (That’s what I do.)

In the front yard, more or less on the property line, there’s a small green plastic dome: some sort of utility junction box. I’ve wondered for fifteen years what it’s for; now I know.

I was clearing the sidewalk on that side of the house, and noticed – just after chucking a shovelful of snow at it – that the mystery dome had come off. (When did that happen? I wondered.) This revealed some fairly thick wires, coming up out of the ground, their ends clamped into a metal plate.

When I reached down to brush off the snow I had just (inadvertently) dumped on the wires, I discovered they were live. Oh, yes, very live indeed, and in an ugly mood. I got a front-row seat for the sort of pyrotechnics that usually herald a dead squirrel and an afternoon’s power outage.

Jennifer – over by the front walk – was sure I had just electrocuted myself, but I was unharmed. A bit startled, perhaps, but unharmed.

Lights in the house flickered, but none of the computers lost power. (Uptime on the two Raspberry Pi machines is sixty-one days, and counting.)

I called the power company, and had a nice chat with a customer-service person; in theory, a crew will be dispatched presently to re-secure the mystery dome. Until then, neighborhood dogs – male ones, anyway – are at risk of a most painful demise.