Modern Conveniences

It was brought home to me yesterday, once again, how much we take for granted in today’s world. We had a severe storm come rumbling through; one of our Tucson monsoon storms. At my house, there were hailstones the size of huge garbanzo beans, frightful wind that bent trees almost in half, and then pounding rain, thunder, lightning. Then the power went out. By the time I arrived home from work, the house was hot and sticky, and the power had only been out for an hour! The outside temperature at that point was somewhere in the 90s with humidity in the 80s after the storm. 18 power poles a couple of blocks from my home were snapped by a microburst; yes, 18! There was also an overturned vehicle on the interstate not far from my house, so traffic was backed up for a mile or more on a major street I use to get home; police were out directing traffic at one intersection to try to move traffic through.

So what does one do when there is no electricity? No computers, no TV, no radio, no lights, no AC. Our home faces North, and it was still overcast, so the living room was as dark as if it were 8 or 9 o’clock at night. Navigating furniture when we’ve only been here a month and aren’t exactly sure where everything is is fun in the dark! We did manage to find a couple of flashlights – most of them are still packed – and a candle or two. We sat on the back patio and talked, fixing the world.

We depend on electricity for almost everything and take it for granted that when we flip a switch the light comes on. I have to wonder how people lived out here before electricity and before AC. It gets hot here – often over 100 in the summer – and once the monsoon gets here, the humidity goes up. We are used to humidity of less than 10%, so higher humidity during monsoons feels much worse than it is. Anything over 30% feels yucky, so when it gets to 60% and higher, it feels as if you can cut the air with a knife.

We have also become dependent on TV and the internet for entertainment instead of having conversations, and laughing, and enjoying ourselves with another person.

There are so many other things we take for granted, too many to list here, but I am thankful we had our electricity back after about two hours. I am grateful that there are people working for the power company who get out there at all hours to make sure we have electricity; and I am thankful to the Sheriff’s Department for making sure traffic flowed smoothly so I, and everyone else, could get home safely.