Thursday, October 4, 2007

Good News, and More Good News...

First Good New... RAIN!

We had a nice little soaker here in Monteagle this afternoon, which is very desperately needed. Monteagle is located on top of the Cumberland Plateau, 1000 feet above the surrounding lakes and rivers of Tennessee. We have a few small lakes up here that act as water reservoirs, but without rain, they go dry. and we have not had much rain for a long, long, time. That "rotating low pressure system" that flooded Texas so badly a few months ago had all of our rain in it. We have been struggling to catch up since. We had a little relief right after the last tropical depression moved through, but not nearly enough. And it's been dry since.

The City of Monteagle has imposed legal sanctions on Washing Cars or Watering Gardens or Lawns. They have also closed the public Interstate Rest Areas on either side of the city due to lack of water, and have forced the town's Car Wash to shutter its doors until further notice. At the moment, to the best of my understanding, Monteagle is getting all of its water from the neighboring town of Sewanee, which is almost at crisis level itself. A clause in the co-municipal water-sharing agreement allows Sewanee to cut off water delivery to Monteagle in the event that Sewanee experiences their own water shortage, which is about to happen any minute now. We have already had one "Fish-Kill" this season, which is a situation where a body of water evaporates completely, leaving behind suffocating fish in the mud or gravel left behind. As you can imagine, a "fish kill" is not something you want to be within smelling distance of on a hot summer day.

So, even though it is not nearly enough, we did get rain today, and that's good news

Good new number 2 - Hospital Bills!

I spent March 27 through March 30 in the hospital, after suffering a compound fracture to my left elbow. It hurt... a lot.... but what added to the pain was the worry that I would eventually have to pay large, large, gigantically enormous amounts of money to the nice people who fixed all the bits I broke.

Well I received a bill the very next week or so for over 28,000 pre-insurance dollars. The bill's Amount Due was zero, as it was being billed to insurance, but I knew that successful insurance companies are mostly in the business of handing out as little money as possible, so I the fact that I had insurance gave me no assurance. Then I got the bill for the X-Ray department... And the Anesthesiologist...and the Ambulance.... and the X-ray guys, again... and The Emergency room "Attending Physican", who did absolutely NOTHING to treat me whatsoever as far as I can tell, and demanded nearly 600 dollars for doing so.... And the Surgeon, and the follow-up office visit, and the one after that....

and on, and on, and on... BUT, that initial bill, the one for the massive 28,000 bucks, lingered in insurance purgatory, like the sword of Damocles hanging over my head. (Yes, I know I just mixed Christian and ancient Greek afterlives in the same metaphor, get over it.) Due to a hang-up with my Motorcycle insurance, the very first bill that I received was the very last one to be filtered through the various insurance claims departments.

It came today, over 6 months after the accident, and thanks to the wonderful, wonderful, "maximum out-of-pocket" clause in our policy, the 28 Grand that the hospital wants will only cost Becca and me 455 simoleans. That's right, Four Hundred and Fifty Five dollars and some-odd cents. Whew! Soon, then, we will have this whole personal-injury ordeal behind us, and will be able to put our money into other things, like fixing up our fixer-upper of a house.

And you can bet that we will be very careful not to injure ourselves while doing that.

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