Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Low on energy

Everyone seems to be complaining about the energy crisis and how we need to conserve what we have. Crap! We have enough -- it's just not being equally distributed. Someone is hoarding!

I haven't posted here for ever so long. I didn't mean it this way. I had good intentions of posting more regularly. I had a whole series lined up.

Then LIFE happened, as it likes to do for me. Unexpected things got in the way, really messed up everything I had assumed was regular routine. Not anymore!

I've had a most horrendous month. There just has been too much. Too much of everything, and I was overloaded. I'll tell the story, one day, when I've settled down and can recall it all.

But I will tell you about one thing that happened last week. I was sitting at home in the evening, spinning and was downloading something from the net, and listening to the radio. That is the way I do things. I had just made myself a pot of some soup, and I had turned off the stove to let it sit for a few minutes. It was late, but I often have supper very late (depends on when I started it).

The sun sets very late now. It actually sets about 9:30, but stays daylight for about an hour after that. We have very long evenings... a really short night, and by 4, it's getting daylight again.

Suddenly, the lights went out, the radio went dead, and the computer shut down. Silence. Oh, damn! I blew a breaker --- but nothing was really on. And where the *** is the breaker box in this place?? I do a quick search... no, there isn't one! Maybe there is a main box in the hallway somewhere.... nope, it's all dark out there too. Ah, ha!! It wasn't me that blew it; the whole floor is out. Maybe the whole building. The whole block? I look out the window, trying to see if any place has lights. Yes, that building does, and that one, and the street lights are on. Well, okay, so maybe it's just my building.

Now, everything is dead in the place. Nothing is working. Luckily, I do have a battery operated clock. It is not even 10 pm. Now what?! I can spin a little -- it's still light enough through the window. Oh, I have some soup!

I ladle out a bowl, in the dark kitchen, and go sit by the window and enjoy it in the silence that is now my living space. That is an odd feeling when all is quiet. There is no sound inside... nothing is running. And I miss the noise! I want the radio on; I want some lights; I want to hear the fridge running; I want to make a cup of tea; there is nothing I can do.

I finish my soup. It's now too dark to spin, but not dark enough or early enough for me to go to bed. What to do? Can't listen to any music..no power. Can't read.. no lights. Can't really do anything!! So I go to bed.. and try to sleep, but that doesn't work either. And how will I get up at the proper time, if my electric clock-radio isn't working?? Now I am afraid to sleep!

In the morning, I am awake rather early since it is already bright daylight and I can't sleep. We still have no power. Good thing I still have a clock. I don't know what I would have done otherwise. I get ready for work... there is no lights in the windowless bathroom. Well, I will try for a dark shower -- that's not too hard, since I hardly open my eyes that early in the morning anyway. Can't do that either --- there is no hot water! Of course!! Nothing is working in the building!! We have cold water.. no hot. Can't even heat any up!!

Can you imagine what I had to do to shave (didn't do it over the weekend) in the dark without hot water? I do have to go to work, don't I? Maybe I don't. I find a shirt that didn't need ironing (can't do that either). I'm wondering now about things in my freezer... how long will they stay frozen, and how long will they still be cold?

So I run home at noon to check on things. Still nothing. There is a note saying they are working on it "since midnight" and will get it repaired soon. Thanks. I come home after work... still no lights!!! Now this is becoming really annoying!! The office has closed -- everyone has gone away. Of course. Still no hot water, no lights, no power to make supper. What do you do when nothing works? There is a note on the door that evening that they hope to get everything back by 8:O0 -- in the morning!! If you have any damages, contact your insurance company! What the ---?

I do go out and do a few things I needed to do outside of home, and I get a pizza. I go to bed.. still no power. There is still nothing working in the morning!! Now I'm getting quite angry. Other people in the building are crabby and grumpy. Don't talk to anyone!!

I run home at noon, and find that the power is back on, and everything is running again. The freezer has started getting cold again, but everything is sort of soft. Will it be safe to use? But it's good to be able to feel sort of normal again. And to have hot water!! It's been off for 37 hours.

We take so much for granted these days. Flip a switch, and there are lights. Turn a faucet, and there's hot water. But I don't like being at the mercy of some large company that can shut it all down whenever they like. This was a malfunction of some equipment, but the principle is the same: I have no control over my own comfort and survival. Some disaster can strike and I may not have any heat, water, or food. People in other parts of the world know this. We were fortunate that this was in the middle of summer, while there is still light, and it was warm. What would have happened in winter?

Now, I grew up on a farm, without electricity. So I know I can survive without all these things. But the fact is that I have no choice now. I don't have a large supply of food in the house -- I can run out to the store and get what I need very easily -- IF they are still open. I don't have a well for water -- I have to depend on the goodness of the municipal supply. I can't cook supper on a stove because we aren't allowed to burn wood anymore. I don't have lanterns for light because we've never needed them before. I have candles, but I don't even have matches in the house!

Sometimes I think I'd be better off living in the country or woods somewhere, without the modern conveniences, with a well, with a garden, with wood-burning stove. And someday, I fear we will have to do that!

But I would sure miss the internet!