Down Time

At 9:30 yesterday morning I got a call from our electric company informing me of a planned power outage which was to begin at 10:30 and last for a couple hours.  In 2009 style, I immediately felt like my world was coming to a halt, and I had only an hour to make preparations.  I quickly accomplished the things I absolutely had to do before losing our electricity and began brainstorming what tasks I could tackle during the two hours “down time.”  I could catch up on my ironing!… No, that requires electricity…. Do I have any laundry to do?… Nope, and I guess I couldn’t do that even if I did…. Maybe I could blog… or not.  It seemed that every little thing I decided I should do in the absence of electricity required electricity.  It’s funny how this convenience is so a part of our lives that such absurd thoughts could even arise.  During past power outages I’ve been known to do things like flip on the bathroom light switch just before turning on the faucet to wash my hands. :-)

The power ended up going out at about 10:15.  By that time I had gotten the house warmed up to 73 in preparation for having no heat on a frigid, windy day.  With house quiet and nothing I could really do in my technology dependent state, I finally had a novel idea:  I could just spend time playing with my kids!  Why didn’t I think of that to begin with?!  We played on the living room floor for about an hour (during which time the house had already cooled to 68 degrees), and then I loaded the kids up for a quick trip to McDonald’s for a hot lunch.  Thankfully, Wednesdays in Ankeny are cheap Happy Meal day–I got two Happy Meals for $4.12!

On the way back home from McDonald’s I got to thinking.  What would it have been like to live in simpler times?  “Simpler” times.  Then I realized that, really, it is all our modern “simplifications” that were making my morning without electricity seem so difficult!  Computers, washers and dryers, microwaves, running water, all make life more simple when we have them; but when we don’t, life becomes difficult because we don’t know how to deal without.

Our power came back on at 1:00, just when I was starting to feel pretty cold in our 66 degree house.  (Boy, do I sound spoiled and over-privileged, or what?!)  Perhaps instead of taking my “easy,” comfortable life for granted I should be more thankful that God has chosen me to live in such a time as this.