The Night the Lights Went Out (ms)

We go through life, generally speaking, in cruise mode. There are always bad things that need our attention, things we would rather never deal with if we could but we can’t. Such is life. Through it all though we take an approach that keeps us going straight ahead, seldom looking right or left. We have our plan and we’re sticking to it but then one day the lights go out and comes the dawning.

I don’t mean this figuratively. I mean to say the lights did go out here at the ranch, for a good many of my neighbors as well and maybe for you. About the time we think we have beaten Mother Nature she retaliates and slaps us upside the head just to make sure we know she is still very much in charge.

What happened the other day was a classic case. High winds followed heavy rains so even trees that were straight and tall and healthy simply pulled out of the wet ground and fell over. On the way down they managed to make a few extra casualties namely wires, power lines, the providers of juice for our thirsty homes. Then came the rude awakening.

In the early going not having electricity doesn’t seem so bad; no real problems, if you are lucky, just no television. Supper becomes an adventure for there is no choice but to go out even if only for burgers. As the evening settles in the candles come out and that is very pleasant. A soft light here and there, time for quiet conversation, the aroma from each candle mixes with all the others making something of a bouquet of pleasant scents in the front room. By and by though this all begins to wear thin.

My first thought was that according to what I’ve read Lincoln spent a lot of time reading by candle light. I concluded he was lucky to make president given the work involved in reading like that. It takes forever to get through a single page. I then began to think of all the ways we use electricity in our house, how many things were powered by it or depended on it and now could not work because Mother Nature pulled the plug. I even went so far as to make a list which I won’t bore you with here but suffice it to say there were more than a dozen.

Now some of them are inconveniences. I can use a regular toothbrush instead of a rechargeable battery unit. I needn’t shave for a day and I can do without a computer and the phones not working, no problem there. Ah, but when do we cook on our electric range or the microwave and what about all that food thawing in the freezer? Cold water showers, they’re mighty refreshing.

Somewhere into the second day the power company fixed the problem and things electrical came back to life. The whole experience made me appreciate what I have and what it would be like if there were no electricity for several days. One more thing: I also promise to never ever even imagine the thought that Mother Nature has been conquered. I’m afraid of what she’ll do if she really gets mad!

–Mike Stevens

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~ by admin on May 4, 2011.

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