Monday, October 16, 2006

Electricity (Or The Absence Thereof)


How amazing it felt to get our power restored to our house last night at 10:00 p.m.! We'd already gone to bed and were asleep, but I'd purposely left a lamp switched on just in case electricity was restored , a little fan, too--both as a sign of faith and so that I could run down to the basement and take Lennon's insulin out of the chest freezer which we'd been using as a refrigerator during this emergency (worked out great... Tom would just bring home a bag of ice from his ice maker at work each night and I'd stick it on top of everything in the freezer).

Anywayyyy.......The lights came back on and well, it felt like a miracle! We felt such joy. I thought, "Oh! I will never complain again for the rest of my life!" (Yeah, right.) Tom ran and turned on the heater and after I got the insulin out, I ran to the computer...heh... And suddenly we were both wide awake. Tom watched the football game, I read emails and comments at my blog and we both celebrated in our hearts that we had electricity again. I even remember thinking, "Hooray! Tomorrow I'll be able to do the laundry and vacuum the carpet!"

Oh, to always be that grateful for something so simple.

As Elizabeth mentioned in the comments of my last post, this kind of thing is a good reminder for people to check that they, themselves, are prepared for such emergencies. Sometimes the emergency preparedness lists you read are so huge and daunting, they discourage you from even trying to gather anything at all. But here is my simple list of the things we were most grateful we had on hand:

Flashlights and batteries. Both the regular type of flashlights and two which are shaped like a D and stand alone.

A radio and batteries. (I want to tape the number of our local news station onto the radio so I'll find the station right away next time.)

Boxes and boxes of candles (years ago Tom found around a hundred pastel candles on the curb, probably leftover from a wedding) and lots and lots of matches. Also, lots of candle holders, though you can make makeshift ones if you use foil to hold them straight up inside a short glass, etc. Also, thick round candles last a long time--I use unscented candles since we have pets. (Scented candles have been known to kill pet birds.)

Cash.

A tank full of gas.

Canned and boxed food, juice and coffee. (One guy on the radio said he used his coffee maker to make coffee even without electricity, so I tried it. Worked great! I just heated it up a little more on the stove afterward.)

Insulin for our cat and syringes. Food for our cats. Vitamins for us and Tom's meds.

We also had bottled water, but we didn't need it this time.

If you have nothing else set aside, I'd have at least these things. We have lots of other stuff in our emergency kit, but those things are the ones we used most often and found the most necessary.

And oh... I want to buy a little cassette player so I can play my oldtime radio show cassettes next time. Those surely would have helped time fly, especially when it became too dark to read.

And again, I am so grateful for wonderful, wonderful electricity... I stood at my dream room windows after 11 p.m. last night and saw lights in the windows across the landscape of houses where there'd been just eerie blackness the last four nights.

Suddenly we were all connected.
Suddenly we were all celebrating the light.



***
This is just a piece of the awfulness which I wrote about in my previous post...

Photo by Alison Hudson as found here

And this, also...

Photo by Bradley Neaderhiser as found here.

And this... a typical street scene last Friday everywhere in my area.

Found here. (If you go there, click on 'next' on top of the photo for more photos.)

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