We don’t have “Hang On Sloopy” as a theme song for nuthin’!
I have my electricity now, but not all Ohioans are so fortunate. Thanks to God and the hardworking guys employed by AEP we stepped back into the modern age yesterday evening. Lights, wash, running water! It’s bliss I tell you. But as I said not everyone in Ohio is back online with their power. And for them, it is more misery.
After experiencing this prolonged outage, I know that it isn’t just physical inconvenience, but psychological stress, as well, that gets to you. In the background is the knowledge that your pocketbook is taking a hit, too. But at the moment of just trying to survive with getting essential matters such as food, sanitation matters, etc…. you aren’t concerned about how to pay for it. Or maybe you feel helpless to complain. That might be more of an explanation. The kindness of strangers becomes magnified… both from an appreciated point of view and it’s manifestation. And the ugliness of humanity can get magnified, as well. Witness the burglaries of generators, etc. Hey, evil never sleeps. But then you have some neighborhoods which grow in community care and cooperation.
I will say that when you have no water and refrigeration… and the store shelves are empty in ways that are reminiscent of the photos of old Communism… you sure appreciate any gesture of generosity and consideration- it just means so much! We would have been in much worse state if not for a borrowed generator. And there are thousands of folks who don’t have a generator, and can’t buy one no matter what- Home Depots… and every other supply in the area is clean out of generators and many other emergency supply items. Not that it would save the food in the freezer now, anyway. Like one guy interviewed in the news said,” to have to throw away all that food feels like a sin”. It does feel sinful… and awful, but it is just an unavoidable situation. I threw out chicken, mayonnaise, and other such questionables, and that was after 24 hours without power. I ate a pint of ice cream as “soft serve”… I refused to waste the Haagen Daz, folks.
But there are people right now who are looking at another three maybe four days of deteriorating conditions as they wait for their power to be restored. There are still streets that have downed trees, and lines to the yard waste disposal sites. And people whose downed lines are going to have to wait if they aren’t in the street… But many people are making the best of it. This is the heartland after all, and I love to see the bravery and good will that is often resident in my state.
It sure softened my sense of compassion as I now understand better than I might have, the suffering of those on the Gulf Coast. And I appreciate our way of life, as well as our need for readiness . Readiness makes all the difference in this type of situation. There is probably a larger lesson in that statement, but I am too close to it to be able to yet say what that is. Right now, I’m just thankful for the hot showers and lights. Luxury that I won’t take for granted so much any time soon.