Friday, September 14

Chimes Restored

Lower Rivermont Avenue has been strangely quiet for the last couple of weeks. Near the end of August there was a power outage one day - which caused the church's alarm panel to make noise...which caused a member to call my father (property committee member) to check on it...which caused my father to call me to check on it. I am clearly pretty low on the chain of command. I stopped the panel from making horrible noises and then drove out Rivermont Avenue to see if I could find out how widespread the power outage was. Okay...I was going to see if I could find the destruction or mayhem that caused a power outage during a simple rainstorm. I was figuring on finding a broken utility pole attached to a car attached to a texting teenager or something. But there was no obvious cause so I headed back home. As I neared the church I actually saw a traffic light come back to life as power was restored so I stopped in front of the church and rolled down the window to see if the tower chimes would play on time (it was about 5 minutes till the hour).

6:00 came and chime. Darn, I thought...I need to go reboot the computer... So I got out of the car, stopped by the alarm panel to reset it and figured on just a quick two minute process to reboot the computer that runs the carillon chimes. But alas...the computer would not power up. The computer was indeed in a coma. The chimes would not be ringing that night...

It is funny - just a couple of days before, I received an email from the church secretary (the beautiful and talented Kathleen) letting me know that we had gotten a complaint about the chimes. Remarkably, the complaint was made by a gentleman who lives across the river in Madison Heights. At least a mile away "as the crow flies"! He had indicated that he thought the chimes were too loud and he didn't need to be reminded what hour it was. (the chimes ring from 8am to 8pm on the hour and half hour - on the weekends we don't start until 9am)  As I was trying every trick that I knew to get the computer running - I wondered how in the world that man made the chimes fail! In my mind he was like that little mouse that broke the clock chime in that Christmas cartoon!

Of course I know that it is just a case of computers sometimes break. And with our fabulous warranty from BRG Carillon Bell System - all we had to pay for was shipping the computer tower to them. Not only are we really pleased with the system that we purchased from BRG - the support team has been extremely helpful and very responsive whenever we had questions or needed troubleshooting help.

Remarkably, I heard at church council last week that the gentleman from across the river called back to ask about why the chimes has been silent. When Kathleen told him that the system was out for repair he let her know that he hadn't done anything to them! He said that he would enjoy the break...I think that he secretly missed them!!

The computer was supposed to arrive back on Thursday, but the office had closed when UPS stopped by to deliver. Today the dropoff got missed even though Kathleen stayed long past her regular hours - she has been missing the chimes, too! So I was disappointed to think that it would be Monday before delivery was made...and expressed that to the member who spearheaded the original installation (he is missing the chimes because he is currently in New Jersey!). I was promptly told to "go get it" - so I called the UPS Hub (thank God I never erase contacts from my phone) and the helpful Hub Master Carrie (I gave her the title...I think she deserves it) looked up which truck it was and estimated the time of arrival.

I was waiting in the parking lot with Carrie when the truck arrived and the driver even loaded it into my car for me. He said "I'm so sorry I missed you guys. When I saw it I KNEW you were going to need it for Sunday!" He was glad that it all worked out.

Tomorrow morning I'll go install the unit and once again, the Rivermont neighborhood will hear an hourly reminder that Centenary United Methodist is alive! Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors...come and hear the chimes in person. They have been missed!

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