Power outages shouldn’t make us powerless

By Lynn Moncus

We surely become powerless in more ways than one when the electricity goes off. Actually, the outage Friday evening wasn’t very hard on those of us not involved in business because we could amble to a neighbor’s porch to watch the traffic, see the stars clearly and visit quietly. Of course, we noted the heat when we decided to return to our homes, but it didn’t last long because the electricity came on before midnight to allow us to enjoy our air-conditioning.
While people in other areas were watching man-made fireworks displays on July 4, we had more than enough fireworks in the sky and certainly had a blustery breeze.
I have been in a storm or two during this ever-lengthening lifetime, but that one landed near the top as being the worst. Just before the power left, the weather people managed to tell us we had a turbulent storm on the way, and they surely knew what they were talking about that time. We didn’t have to wait very long before that turbulence hit with a vengeance, and about all we could do was watch that brilliantly lighted sky while trying to determine whether or not the roof was going to remain in place.
As the pressure rose in the house and my ears wouldn’t work, I decided to open a door in order to get some relief and to breathe some of that cool air as it blew past. Seeing the trees whipping in all directions as lightning played around was quite an experience, but unlike Aggie, who flew to her hiding place, I moseyed around trying to see just what was happening. Besides, I’m a bit too claustrophobic to hover in a small place and need to feel plenty of space around me even in the dark.
After the storm, I continued to wander for a while and then decided to hit the shucks because my bedroom is the coolest room in the house. As I watched lights showing up in other areas, I was hoping we might be one of the lucky people to have electricity before morning. Well, it came on just in time to permit the brewing of coffee, a necessity for some of us who need a little boost in the early morning.
I later learned that many people were wandering the highway searching for a place that was serving coffee. They could find some on First Street and some on West 66 Boulevard and certainly were relieved after those first sips.
Not only have we become exceedingly dependent on electricity, but we have also become more than a little soft as we tend to notice the heat more than we used to when we didn’t have to worry about such a thing as an air-conditioner or a power outage. We just took the heat in stride and were thankful to find a bit of shade during the heat of the day and to have a comfortable porch on which to sit in the evening. If we ran out of coal oil, we were in a bind, but that was a rare occasion and didn’t happen again until the next person forgot to carry some home from the store.
We will now be skittish for a while because we don’t really trust the light switches and have a feeling that we had better keep the house as cool as possible because it surely can heat in a hurry. Some of us will also remember to keep sandwich material on hand and will try to see that the flashlights and lanterns have batteries. We might even get a little coal oil for one of the lamps, but I don’t think I would light mine as I can still remember the heat and certainly don’t want to add more degrees to an already warm house. We’ll just rely on the efforts of all those people who worked so hard to restore the power and to keep us safe. They surely are to be commended, and we should take the time to thank them when we meet them around town. By remaining calm, we can help them and help ourselves as well.