Blackout highlights needs
Published: Sunday, May 30th, 2004
Through the years, we have visited about our dependence upon utilities and how we didn’t have to worry about them when we had no running water, electricity, or natural gas. We just went on about our business as long as we had carried in enough water, had plenty of coal oil, and had chopped enough wood. Now, we tend to come to a stop when any of the utilities do the same. At least, we have the opportunity to become resourceful as we did when parts of a foam roof put those of us east of First Street in the dark last week. Once the report about the cause of the outage came in, I ambled to the garage to do as the rest of the citizens were doing and intended to drive around to see what was happening. Electric garage door openers are major conveniences until the power goes off! Yes, I could have operated the door manually but might have derailed it. Back to the house I came and called Cousin Tink, who has a nice carport and can move her vehicles any time. She drove to the rescue, and we wandered around the village for a while in the high wind and blowing dirt. After she returned me to this corner, I considered cooking supper but stared at the electric stove and decided a cold meal would most definitely stave off starvation. Cans that have the tab openers are ideal when the electric can opener stands silent. Rapid opening and closing of the refrigerator was indicated as I didn’t know how long it might need to hold the cool air. By then, darkness was setting in, and the television screen wasn’t very interesting. Not to be out done by the mere lack of electricity, I hauled out the battery operated lantern, found the battery operated radio, and turned on the battery operated computer. I had to laugh as I turned on the computer because I was thinking of the past when we didn’t have such gadgets and just created our own entertainment. After playing with the radio before total darkness set in and finding very few stations, I recalled that we always had our best reception in the canyons after dark. That was still true on this corner, and I had many choices as time passed. Since writing is my major outlet, I just rambled at length on the computer even though I knew I couldn’t do any printing until the electricity showed up again. Free writing is most relaxing and just lets the mind wander in all directions. Of course, the recipients of those letters are probably wondering about the mental state of the writer, but I had several hours of calming entertainment, even longer than many in the neighborhood because our side of Adams was the last to come back to life. We tend to forget just how dependent we are until we have to exert our own independence and consider ways to proceed without having to rely on the utilities. Flipping light switches is such a habit that we do so automatically when we know nothing will happen. Punching the microwave in order to heat a cup of coffee is another automatic motion as so many of our usual activities. Some of us feel very fortunate to have lived in areas in which we had none of these luxuries, but we feel even more fortunate when we can turn on the oven in order to bake biscuits or turn on the air conditioner in order to enjoy a little cool air. Some luxuries have become necessities!
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