Monday, April 30, 2007

In the Dark

I came home about 3:30 this afternoon in the bright spring sunlight -- strong breeze making my hair fly all kinds of weird ways -- as I entered the building, I took off my sunglassses. It didn't help. Apparently the electricity had just gone off throughout the building ... actually the personnel in the lobby were trying to find out what floors were affected. All, apparently. So I decided to wallk up the seven flights. There are emergency lights in the stairwells which were on. Others were walking up and down. Building workers with flashlights were in and out of hallways ascertaining all was dark. I met a neigbhor who works at home who was f-wording about what a sudden outage would do to his computer program.

I walked slowly but it was not difficult. In the dark hallway I could see slivers of natural light beneath doors, including my own. Before leaving the lighted stair, I sorted my keys so the two I would need were in my hand, then I walked with caution but general certainty. I found my door and felt for the upper keyhole. Not difficult. Fitted in the key and turned then did the same for the other keyhole. Marginally lighter in my apartment from natural light although I've been complaining bitterly about the new building that blocks so much of my light. I had a some groceries but chose not to put the few items that needed refrigeration into the fridge because I didn't want to let out the cold in case the elecricity might be off for some time.

What could I do without electricity? I could not check my email or write a couple of letters that I planned to write. My phone depends on electricity so I could not make the calls I was planning to make. I could not work on my quilting project because the sewing machine is electric. I changed clothes and was thinking what I would read, and whether I should go out to a Starbucks and read there ... And then there was light! A small interruption in my routine! I had to reset the clocks and then get on with my day.

The bobble in routine made me notice how much I depend on electricity. I thought of the many people in the US who had lengthy power ourtages because of bliizzards this last winter. Many of them depended on electricity for heat. THEY had hardships -- especially since the blizzard made it difficult to leave their homes. How dependent we are on things beyond our personal control! The global warming warnings are probably going to prove underestimates. More and more we pampered Americans will be inconvenienced by these difficulties as the weather does strange thing. [Today's little problem probably had to do with the recent electrical work done in the building.]

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