As I was on the phone with mom at 4:39 this afternoon, I was staring at my open refrigerator and freezer doors and said, “I’ve been keeping the fridge doors open so it won’t stink, but I need to remember to close them tomorrow when we go to school in case the power comes on. . .” and BAM!!! The lights in my fridge came on and we had power. Just like that. There should have been confetti cannons–or a balloon drop–or someone striking up a band. Instead, it. Just. Was.
Power. . .Power. . .POWER.
I still stand by my statement that power is a luxury–but it is a luxury that I, personally, enjoy. Beyond my love of reading all of your blogs, I love–EVEN MORE–air conditioning, washers and dryers, dish-washers, and vacuum cleaners. Yesterday I attended the funeral of an older friend, and I had to blow dry my bangs in the car, then go to my in-laws in town to iron clothes. Not only do I enjoy it, but my 8 days, 13 hours, and 9 minutes without power have given me time to think of several things.
1.) There is a REASON people used to go to bed really early–’cause when it gets dark, it is WAY too much work to try and have enough light by which to do anything at all. Candles are wonderful for ambience and/or scent, but they are NOT such a good source of light. Same for flashlights–a lot of work to hold–same for battery operated Coleman lanterns (we got one on loan from a friend on Friday night) because the light is very, very bright but also very, very obnoxious.
2.) Multi-tasking is a modern day, appliance driven phenomena. I am not trying to take away any respect from the women of yester-year. They were hard-working, thrifty, strong women–but multi-tasking as we know it in the modern world is totally dependent on appliances that are run my power. For example: I will throw a load of clothes in the washer, a load of dishes in the OTHER washer, and some sort of food in the microwave while I cook even more food on my gas stove WHILE I talk on my cordless phone. The only one of those things I can do without power is cook on my gas stove. And, without power, if I need to wash dishes–I have BOTH of my hands washing dishes. If I need to cook–I have both of my hands busy with the business of cooking. Thankfully, I did not have to wash any clothing by hand in the sink as a friend let me come and does some laundry at her house on Thursday AND we had done laundry before the storm hit.
3.) It is a little thing–and one that is like riding a bike evidently–but I had to reheat things in pots on the stove or covered in foil in the oven. I cannot tell you the last time I re-heated left-overs thusly. I know how. I grew up watching my mom and Granny do it. We didn’t get our first microwave until I was 12 or 13, and my Granny NEVER owned a microwave. It is something I am SO glad I don’t have to do anymore. It is just ONE MORE THING to add to your list of things to do. . .reheating food by oven takes a long time y’all.
4.) You, most certainly, can survive–even thrive without electricity. I, personally, don’t recommend a 200+ mile wide hurricane to take your power from you, but I challenge all of you to do without power for a night. Come home from school and work, but don’t turn on anything electric until the following day. You will find ways to be creative with your family–a lot more reading goes on–a lot more card games get played–a lot more bikes get ridden–a lot more knees get scraped.
For our 8 days without power, I am so thankful to God that our family and friends made it safely through this storm–the damages to our homes and to us were MINIMAL, and it gave us another memory to weave into the fabric of our lives. Now, I have every ceiling fan in my home on–several completely unnecessary lights, AND the t.v. A little indulgence never hurt anyone. 🙂