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Sunday, July 23, 2006

15 Things I Love



1.) Cold drinks.

2.) Hot showers.

3.) Clean water.

4.) Lights at night.

6.) Air conditioning.

7.) Clean laundry and dishes, washed in a machine with warm water and soap instead of in a sink with cold water by hand.

8.) Gasoline available at gas stations within a 10 mile radius.

9.) Dairy products available at stores, which have lights on.

10.) Medicine available at drugstores.

11.) Working telephone lines.

12.) Working traffic lights.

13.) The guy at the Metro Mart who, instead of getting annoyed or angry with me when I filled two gargantuan soda cups to the brim with nothing but ice and set them down on the counter with the lids barely on and gave him a look that dared him to chide me for brazenly using a soda machine to get ice instead of soda after hours on the road stopping at station after station trying to find gas for our car and ice for our cooler, smiled at me with genuine sympathy and only charged me 61 cents.

14.) My mother-in-law, who let us spend the night at her place when our power went out for the second time, and told us we could stay there indefinitely until the power came back on.

15.) The local bloggers I've met in person once or not at all who offered to let me and my family stay with them until my power came back on.

I'm lucky to have power again so soon. I'm even luckier to have had the money, the transportation, and the family and friends to make my experience of this situation more an inconvenience than a crisis.

There are still many people in my area who are waiting for help. People who have spent days without air conditioning in extreme heat they are not accustomed to having to endure. People who have lost all the food in their refrigerators, and can't buy more because none of the stores in their area have power. People who have been told to boil all of their drinking water, but have no electricity to heat water with.

I know the electric company has working hard to restore power in my neighborhood, because I see that many homes and businesses that were dark a day ago now have their power back on. But every day this situation persists, danger persists, especially for the elderly, the disabled, and small children.

I truly hope the lights come back on for everyone very soon.

7 comments:

A Lover and a Fighter said...

Jaelithe-
This is Meg Kane, from high school (graduated one year after you- remember?) and it is oddly coincidental that you should be blogging about this because I live in Queens, New York, and we are on day 8 with no power.

I'm lucky- no kids, no elderly parents requiring care, no diabetes medication needing to be refrigerated- but a lot of lost money, sitting around in the dark, cold showers, warm air, and really "interesting" meals.

I was looking up the St Louis power outages on the internet and I came across your blog. Depressing subject matter aside, I enjoyed reading it.

Just thought I'd pop my head in to say hi. Hope everything is back to normal for you, and we follow suit sooner rather than later.

Best,
Meg

Jaelithe said...

Hey, lovely lady! It's great to hear from you. (Like I wouldn't remember you, BTW. Sheesh. Did you think I got hit on the head? ;) Silly Meag). I only wish it were under better circumstances. I hope your power is back on ASAP!

At least we know why our power went out here. Have they solved the mystery in your area yet?

A Lover and a Fighter said...

They have no idea. It's so odd. They keep issuing statements about "feeder cables," and "electrical fires," and "transformers," and all other matter of obviously fictitious items. My unicorn broke it! And my gay republican! Plus all my surplus funding of the arts distracted me!

Whatever. To me, the whole thing smacks of a Con Edison employee-only midnight game of Capture the Flag gone horribly, horribly awry.

xo
mk

A Lover and a Fighter said...

Manner! I meant manner. Not matter.

I apologize for my typo. I'm not used to this bright light in my office. We mole people prefer blogging in the dark.

Andrea said...

I've been a bit spoiled with these recent storms because our power never even flickered. The worst inconvenience for us has been the boil order. We were even able to find ice in spades, not to save food from spoiling, but to ice down soda and bottled water for a BBQ at our house. I have felt a bit guilty for suffering virtually no hardship in the wake of the storms while some of my fellow St. Louisans have had it real bad, including a coworker's husband's cousin who was paralyzed at Trueman's restaurant last Wednesday at Lemp and Sydney when part of the building next door collapsed on him. I feel like I should be doing something, but other than offering my house to those family members and friends who have no power, I'm helpless. I'm glad you guys got power back. And thank God that the heat broke somewhat over the weekend, so that those without power didn't have to suffer in extreme heat for a couple days. Hopefully the power will be restored before the 90s return this week.

It's actually really scary to me how much we've come to depend on electricity for our day to day lives. Hopefully that dependency will never bite us in the arse.

Jaelithe said...

I feel the same way about the dependency, Andrea. It bothers me that my whole neighborhood not having electicity means that I can't keep my cold food safe (people used to have cellars to keep dairy products and the like in, but no one does now; you used to be able to get ice delivered to your home on a daily basis, but no one can get that now); I can't buy more food (because without electricity, the supermarket is forced to close); I have no transporation if none of the gas stations nearby have electricity, because no electricity means they can't pump gas . . . it's scary. I have heard a lot of people talk about how we shouldn't complain, because people living in other places get by just fine without ever having electricity at all. That is true. But those people have fireplaces and wood burning stoves to cook with; they cows for fresh milk; they know exactly where and how to find fresh clean water; in some cases, they have horses for transporation.

Here, if the lights go off, the world stops. And that's frightening, and I don't like it, but not being a millionaire, there's little I can do at the moment to relieve my family of our dependency on the power grid.

melissa b. said...

I love the list. Because, YES.

And we got so lucky compared to others. Out here, there are pockets of outages but since we are fortunate enough to have a car, we could get to places that still had food and things we needed. And we were super lucky our water heater is powered by natural gas, so we never went without hot water. And, the kid were with their father so they never had to deal with it. So friggin' lucky we were.

As for the grid, yeahhhhhh, exactly.