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LIFE WITHOUT ELECTRICITY
12 December 2014
I was in my recliner at 5:04 when the power went off. Stormageddon had finally arrived and though it didn't seem to be raining all that hard outside and I couldn't hear wind blowing, I was sitting there in a darkness announced in a last gasp from our telephone answering machine letting us know that she was being disconnected, kind of like Mrs. HAL doing the death scene of the Wicked Witch of the West: I'm melting...melting...oh what a world....
I did the only logical thing. I went back to the living room, climbed on the couch under a warm blanket and a dog, and went back to sleep until a little before 8 (I had the foresight to make sure my cell phone and iPad were fully charged before I went to sleep, in anticipation of just this eventuality.)
When I was awake, I sat in my recliner thinking about all the things I couldn't do without electricity. There is no clock in this house that is not operated by something electric, whether battery or wall socket, so if my cell phone ran out of juice, I would not know what time it was (I don't wear a wristwatch).
Without electricity, I would not know the latest about the torture scandal, or what the royal couple were doing in New York or who had been nominated for a Golden Globe.
We have no emergency hand crank radio, so we could not listen to weather reports or flood warnings (though the whole state would have to flood before we were in danger of flooding).
Walt pointed out that our boom box could run on batteries -- six size D batteries, and naturally we did not have six size D batteries.
Our refrigerator would be fine for a day, but what if the power outage continued? We once had a 3 day outage. I wondered if I should think about putting food into my Wonderbag, which would keep it cold for probably the better part of a day.
At what point would that be a logical thing to do?
Without electricity, the coffee maker would not work, but Walt had ground beans last night and I have a French press. Our oven is electric, but our stovetop is gas and, with the help of a flint lighter, I can light the burners. We could have coffee!
I also had the good sense to make lots of soup last night, so we have enough soup for tonight's dinner and I could heat it without electricity.
It was still too dark to read my Kindle or a real book by natural light, but I had a fully loaded iPad, so I settled in to read my book on that.
But my thoughts turned to my sponsored children and billions of people around the world for whom electricity is not possible.
They live without electric coffee makers, televisions or radios, computers, and digital clocks. They may not have electric stoves and may cook meals on an open fire.
I realized that in the case of a real Armageddon, they would be the survivors and we would not last a week.
About then the power came back on again and I turned on the coffee maker to start the day. It had been off four whole hours. It was hell, I tell ya.
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