I’m sitting in an unbelievably crowded Starbucks right now. We had a crashing thunderstorm yesterday that knocked out power around 3:15 in the afternoon. Our electric company is saying it could be two or three days before we get the power back. At least it’s not 103 degrees anymore, and we’re able to open the windows for fresh air.
Something like this really makes one see how dependent we are on electronics. No TV, no wi fi, no laptop (!) no lights, no A/C. On the East Coast, that is serious. We’ve been having a real heat wave lately, with high humidity.
I was able to do a few things on my iPhone, but they all drained my battery, so had to stop. As my husband, stepdaughter and I sat in the dark, I wondered, “What on earth did our ancestors do?” Mine came over from Norway and the Netherlands and Ireland, and there are stories of them living in sod homes on the prairies of the Midwest. Life was so much simpler then, right? Working the farm from sunup to sundown, then falling asleep exhausted. They probably didn’t even want to read by candlelight. My worst travail today? Having to leave my seat at Starbucks to feed the parking meter because I didn’t have enough change when I parked.
I’ll never forget a story one of my cousins related at a family reunion. He asked his great-grandmother which modern convenience she appreciated the most. Everyone thought she’d say “refrigerator” or “indoor plumbing,” etc. Her reply? “Running water.” When he told us, there was complete silence. I think we all needed a moment to wrap our brains around the fact that we actually knew someone who once went without it. I can’t help but think of all the people in the world right now who don’t have clean water, let alone running.
Last winter, we had a record-breaking amount of snow. Two storms left us with four feet of it. We lost power for thirty-six hours, then the pipes under the kitchen sink froze so we had to shut off the water. They hadn’t plowed our street, so we couldn’t even escape to a hotel. The temp inside the house was in the 30’s. We survived by sitting in front of the gas fireplace in the living room, but it was miserable. That feeling of being trapped was the worst. When the plows came through and we were able to make it to a hotel, I was overjoyed at being able to take a hot shower and make a phone call (forgot to charge my cell) and read by incandescent light.
I guess we need something like this once in a while as a reminder of all we have. I know I am truly grateful for all the modern conveniences I get to enjoy. I look forward to sitting at my own desk with my favorite music playing in the background, in the comfort of air conditioning. In the meantime, the din and line at Starbucks are increasing, so I’ll give up my coveted seat and let someone else connect.
Enjoy your day out there, everyone. If all goes well, I’ll be showing examples of cross-processed photos. What a luxury!