Power

Power

June 5, 2020

As I sat at my computer on the kitchen table this morning, I heard a loud bang near my house.  Then the power went out for the entire neighborhood.  I know transformers can blow when they get struck by lightning, but there were no clouds in the sky.  I have also known them to blow when it gets hot and everyone decides to kick on the air conditioning at once, but this was 9:00 am.  I guess it just blew because it was its time.

I checked the outage map and it assured me the power would be restored by 1:00 pm.  One pm!  That was four hours, what was I supposed to do without power for four hours?  I read my paper and worked the crossword as I sipped my coffee.   I went back to the Keurig for my usual second cup, and it was dead.  No problem.  Since I had a charged battery on my computer, I could surf the internet.  I fired up the laptop and tried to get online.  Whoops, the router ran off electricity so the WiFi was down.  I loaded the dishwasher with the plates from last night’s dinner and turned it on.  No power.  I went outside and checked my garden.  We had a big rain last night so there was no need to water.  I came back inside and checked the clock.  It was 9:30. Only three and a half hours to go.

In my despair I realized my iPhone was a hotspot.  I went to settings and turned it on and tried to connect.  It immediately told me I needed to update some software which I did.   The phone still would not connect.  “Trouble finding server.”  I got the USB cable and plugged my phone into the computer.  It worked!  I surfed for another 30 minutes and then figured I should get to work.  I went into my office, connected my phone to the office computer and this time it automatically detected and brought up the hotspot.  I could not believe how hot and stuffy it was in the office without the air on.  As I began to work my printer came on.  Unbelievably, I had survived a whole hour without power.

THOUGHTS:  Electricity is something we take for granted, yet our lives revolve around the gadgets for which it provides power.  When it went out, I initially continued to do what I normally do.  I found that one task after another was unavailable without this power.  Before I realized my batteries allowed me to circumvent the electrical grid, I became anxious wondering what to do for four hours without any “connections.”  It is hard to believe but 940 million people, or 13% of the world, do not have access to electricity.  Perhaps I should reevaluate how privileged I am.  If you venture out, stay safe.

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