We are getting the electrical panels for our solar installation today. The company rang our doorbell about 3 hours ago and told me it would be off for approximately 40 minutes. I had just popped tomatoes into the oven for roasting for soup for tonight. I just pulled them out of the cooling oven and placed them into our rapidly warming fridge. Guess we will be getting take out for dinner.
It’s a little crazy how much our lives have changed in the past 100 years. In 1925, about half of US homes had electricity. Now our entire lives are dominated by it. So consumed are we by our need for it that we are lost when it goes out. I’ve been wandering aimlessly around my house wondering what I can do. Laundry? Nope. Dinner prep? Nope. Make a smoothie? Nope? Vacuum? Nope. A storm is moving in and the house is dark, and I keep absentmindedly hitting light switches that can offer us no light. My husband told me I could use the shower, but then I reminded him I need to use a hair dryer right after that, so that is off the table too. At this point, I have determined I could read a book, do a puzzle, or take a nap, and I could only do the first two things if I found a flashlight. I am actually writing this blog post on the WordPress app on my phone, but will only be able to continue doing so as long as my phone battery holds out. I can always go for a drive to a locale with a functional power outlet, if I can open the heavy-as-sin garage door manually since the opener won’t work.
People lived for millennia without power to their domiciles, but I wouldn’t survive a day without it. I miss it already and it hasn’t even been half a day yet. I can’t decide if we should dial back our reliance on electricity or double our efforts to find ways to keep us powered all the time, even when the grid fails us. All I know for sure is that I would not want to go back in time. I would miss my ovens that require no firewood, my lamps that require no kerosene, and my refrigerator that requires no ice blocks.
If it’s this difficult for a Gen X-er to go a few hours without electricity, it would probably kill my Gen Z sons. I’m not sure how they would survive if they had to write out their homework by hand. At least I know Luke would curl up with a book. I think Joe would be on his phone until the battery ran out and then he would ask me to drive him around so he could chat with his friends while his phone charged.
Technology is a marvelous thing, until it isn’t. And then it leaves me wondering how on earth we would survive if things really went sideways and we had to abandon our modern conveniences. I mean, I try to picture myself pulling rugs out of my house and beating them with a broom while they hung on a clothesline, but I don’t see it. Let’s just hope the power gets turned back on before it comes to that.