By Shannon Boatwright
A rockin’ storm pounded through my area of Lexington, SC recently, with four tornadoes touching down. Not cool. On many levels. The main level being that many people suffered damage to their properties. From what I’ve heard, I don’t think anyone was hurt thankfully. Most of us were just inconvenienced with power outages. One of those people being my family. We were without power for over 6 hours. Yes, only 6 hours. I know, that’s totally & absolutely nothing compared to what so many Americans have had to suffer through when it has come to Mother Nature ravaging our cities with her craziness over the past few years across the country.
But the truth is, you never know how much you truly use electricity, until you no longer have it! It was comical how many times we’d all try to flip on light switches and other basic things, knowing we had no power, but doing it out of habit. My 12 year-old son would start flipping light switches on & off repeatedly as if the simple act would make it actually work & bring the electricity back.
Naturally I was in the middle of doing loads of laundry. And of course I’d also planned to wait until later afternoon/night to bathe, wash my really dirty hair and do more housework and school work.
I learned firsthand that in my house apparently, I need electricity in order to have hot water. Having to wash my big head of hair, leaning over the tub to wash this thick mane of mine, with incredibly cold water, was not fun. Though my hubby may say otherwise, as I think he enjoyed the laugh that my squirming and squealing gave him as I suffered through the cold water and attempted to give myself a literal washcloth bath trying to get clean with zero hot water.
We thought my angel boy, Sawyer, would totally lose it without internet access. Heaven forbid a kid nowadays have to go without a connection to the internet and gaming world! And my angel girl, Mina, completely prepped our bathroom with all the amenities that she thought we’d need in the event that a tornado hit and we have to take shelter in the tiny downstairs bathroom. Here are the things she made sure to place in the bathroom for our protection and survival…
One blanket, a candle, a stale package of saltines, bananas, a can of beans, some cotton balls, one cup of water and some chocolate – cause you know, no one should have to battle a tornado without some chocolate. I asked Mina, why the cotton balls? There’s already a basket of toilet paper rolls in the bathroom. She said, “Mama, if anyone gets cut, the cotton balls will soak up the blood better!”
She also pointed out that she could admit that in the case of a tornado she actually liked our toilet lights that normally aggravate her, because they run off of batteries. (We have those super fun toilet lights on our toilets that are motion detected and create a mini dance party in your toilet if you go to use the bathroom without turning on the room light. I personally love it because then I don’t have to blast the bathroom light when I have to go potty in the middle of the night.) I was only reminded to take a picture of the little bathroom survival set-up when our dog, Monte, caught our attention as he kept trying to eat the chocolate and crackers in the bathroom.
So here’s the deal – the lack of electricity issue was only, simply, an inconvenience. As we dealt with the aggravation throughout the day, making the best of it all, I kept thinking about what it would be like to live in a world without electricity and not know any better. Back in the day, there were no luxuries of what electricity brings. No warm water, no easily, quickly heating up/cooking food. No fancy washing and drying machines. No computers, tvs and gadgets that provide entertainment, and certainly no internet.
Did the power outage totally throw off my to-do list and plans for the day with the family? Absolutely. When you’re used to doing things a certain way, no matter what, it’s gonna throw you off. But could I still live, survive and thrive? Of course. Do you have to have the luxury of electricity to survive? Absolutely not. Do I feel totally bad fussing about losing ONLY about 6 hours of electricity? YES!
The positive point in all this…I appreciate this luxury of electricity something fierce! Especially the warm water part. I could do without internet and even without being able to cook food using electricity, but goodness, do I ever totally appreciate the ability/luxury to take a hot bath or hot shower! It’s these occasions that create an appreciation in you that words may not be able to express. Let’s just say I’m ever thankful to be growing up in a world that provides us so many incredible luxuries that spoil us so very much!
Take the time to think on it. What would your life really be like without electricity? How would you cope? And I mean if AFTER experiencing the joys and pleasures of electricity, how would you deal with suddenly not ever having it again? Something to ponder for sure.