Out of the dark

By Carol / January 21, 2010 /

We lost power last night, just as we were finishing supper. Fortunately for me, my husband always knows where the flashlights are. We rummaged up candles and turned on the gas fireplace. You never know how long a power outage will last, but the impact of losing electricity sets in right away.

No TV. No radio. No computer unless you have a laptop. No Internet access. No dishwasher. No clothes washer. No lights, no matter how many times you walk to another room and unconsciously flip the switch. No reading books in weak candle light. Thank goodness it wasn’t in the morning – No hair dryer! Life as we are so used to living it just comes to a stop without electricity.

My 90-year-old uncle who grew up on a Wisconsin farm in the early 20th Century says electricity was the most important invention in his lifetime. When my parents moved to our Iowa farm in 1945 there was no electricity. They milked cows by hand. Separated cream by hand. Washed clothes by hand. Dad worked to have the Rural Electric Cooperative get electricity to the farm as fast as possible.

There have been so many great inventions. The internal combustion engine. The cotton gin. Airplanes. Computers. But I’ll add my vote to my uncle’s. Electricity makes our way of life possible.

We were grateful and relieved when the lights came back on only four hours later. Once we turned everything off and went to bed, I laid there in the dark enjoying the inaudible hum of electricity waiting for me to turn it on again.

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