Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rain storms and power outages

We've had some pretty awesome rainstorms during the past few days. In the Carter household, any form of weather is cause for giddyness, video cameras, and excitement. And yesterday was probably the most intense weather day we've had in awhile, because not only did Mother Nature rage all around us, the power went out. For an hour.

A really long hour.

When the lights first went out, we were sitting in the living room, enjoying the sound of the rain. Then without warning, the lights died and the fridge stopped humming. We all just kind of grinned at each other and then dashed to the window and stared outside like a bunch of dogs (that's Tyrel's wording, not mine). Soon we couldn't resist the temptation any longer and we all ran outside, some of us standing out in the rain, some of us standing in the protection of the garage.

Eventually the novelty of the storm wore off, and one by one we trudged back inside. Soon the rain stopped, and we found ourselves in an unusually quiet house. No buzzing computer, no monstrously loud fridge, no more rain drops. The silence was eerie.

That's when the uneasiness started. Power outages are all fun and games for a few minutes, but anything long term is cause for panic. Your life changes completely when you can't open the fridge for a cold glass or milk or heat up a burrito in the microwave, when you can't turn on the computer or the t.v. for a few hours of entertainment, or when you can't rely on your central air system to keep your house at the temperature you want. I started to think that I would starve because we had no way of cooking or preserving food, and if I didn't starve first, I probably would have died of boredom because I didn't have the option of watching a rainy-day movie, which must mean that there is nothing else to do.

Never mind the fact that I still had the convenience of cell phones, batteries, cars, and running water—not to mention my under-used imagination—but without electricity, I was pretty much hopeless.

I'm not saying that our family is woefully unprepared for any sort of crisis—we have our food supply, we have quite a camping stash, we have relatives, and we have our brains—but all of that seemed moot without the conveniences of electricity. Suddenly, it seemed the only thing I could do was take a nap and wait for the power to come back on.

I never thought that going an hour without power would be such a crisis. I tend to shy away from technological gadgets, but it's clear that I can't steer clear of technology completely. Electricity is almost as much a part of me as my beliefs are.

How sad.

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