If you have read my column before you by now have noticed that I spend a lot of my time recalling the years I have spent on this planet. In those years it is safe to say that I do look back a lot at where I have been but I also give credit to all the progress and changes I have seen and feel I will see more of. Take a quick look at history and we all will see that man has only progressed as time has gone by. Some of the changes are so major it boggles the mind and is nearly impossible for me to explain. So I won’t try at this time.
However the other evening we had one of those summer pop up storms that just seem to appear and before you know it you are soaking wet or being blown away almost to the extent of Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” The sky was clear and blue one minute and then black as mid night with very high gusts of wind. A storm with the kind of winds that will topple trees and blow away such things as swimming pools and swing sets appeared out of no where. In this particular storm all of the above occurred along with the electric being knocked out of service for over 145,000 homes. This happened at 4; 15 approximately and lasted at our home until 2 am. For others it went on into the next day. This to say the least is a real inconvenience.
However we now live in the 21st century and so much has changed in the modernization over the years. The geniuses of the Silicon Valley surely had solved and improved a much easier way to wait out the electric coming back on. The thing is when I came into the house my wife ask if I could help her remove a meat loaf that she had put in the oven not more than fifteen minutes before. Now I thought about this and when we were first married we would have not given a thought about finishing cooking the meat loaf as we had a gas stove. But today we now have an electric stove. . So since about all we could do was stop and think. The house soon became dark so no reading was able to be done. Of course my first thought was to see what was on the television but I was stopped again. (No electric!) Since the central air conditioning wasn’t working as it uses electric I thought now just where did we put our fan. As it soaked in I really felt pretty dumb.
Yes it seemed that every way we turned to deal with the current outage I was stopped. About all that was left to do was find a flash light as they still are battery operated and find our way to bed. The thing was it was stuffy and it is a time when you realize just how much light stays on no matter what. Also with all the different appliances such as the central air and fan you discover just how quiet the house really is. To be honest I found all that quiet to be way too loud and it kept me from falling asleep.
So I had another great thought and that was I would go to the computer and log in and browse the web but our computer is run by yes you guessed it. Electric! Every way I turned the lack of the electric threw up a blockade that stopped me from doing just about everything. Now I am sure there is a way such as a generator or battery powered appliances but when your power stops briefly maybe once or twice a year the average person either forgets about the options or discovers that to add much of these items will become a costly matter to put it mildly. So when a pop up bad storm does come along we just hunker down and grind our way through it and after it is resolved it gives us something to talk about with friends, family and co- workers the next day.
Here is where I begin I guess and that is with all the advancements the world has introduced us to why hasn’t the electric companies who are quite possibly the largest industry around not come up with un interrupted electric? Send the current by the air waves instead of over the wires? If they can read how much electric I use by this information being sent by a device they installed at my meter and have stopped the person who drove to our homes to read that information why can’t they create something that keeps it going. I mean during bad storms or severe blizzards and all the bad weather that Mother Nature can and dies deliver.
When we bought this home thirty years ago it was a home that operated on nothing other than electric. At that time it was considered to be almost considered a status symbol. But with all that time I had to think about this subject I sure don’t feel like I was in the high class bracket at all and I’m gonna bet neither did anyone else who was left sitting in the dark. I must admit that I had one newer electronic device that I used and that was my cell phone. With that device I was able to check on my children and grandchildren and see if they were safe and text others to see if the storm bothered them and to use up a little of the extra time I had.
By the way since the meat loaf didn’t get to cook I went looking for some supper. We aren’t a family who is prepared for doomsday with stored away supplies or a storm cellar. Since the microwave or the toaster didn’t work either and there was no way to get a cup of coffee out of our Keurig I found some cold cuts and cheese and made a sandwich and along with a half of a diet Coke we staved off being hungry. The thing was that every time I reached for an appliance or what I take for granted I was shocked to find out it wasn’t to be.
So what I’m asking is all you inventors out there and geniuses out in the Silicon Valley please speed up you pace and make that next breakthrough in mankind. Give us the power all the time and every time we flip that switch. We are a spoiled society and it was folks like you who spoiled us. So please keep it up as I love being spoiled. By the way that meat loaf my wife was fixing had been in the oven long enough to smell good and she makes a great meat loaf. To smell that fragrance all evening was a cruel thing to do. So get busy!
Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and loves to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at email@example.com.