Powerless · 14 December 2006

Twenty-four hours is not really a long time but it seems like an eternity when there is no power. Okay. This is quite the exaggeration but as I sit here writing by candle light, I wonder that people did without TVs, Gameboys, and iPods. I wonder what people did when they actually had to entertain each other. When they actually had to talk to one another.

I realize that I am spoiled by today’s conveniences. I can heat up leftovers in the microwave in under 2 minutes. I can talk to people all over the world with my phone or via instant messaging on the internet. It seems that everything can be done instantaneously at the touch of a button. We even have entertainment at our fingertips with movies on DVDs and music on CDs or MP3 players. All of those conveniences seem to make the world a little smaller but I wonder if they don’t put distance between us individually. I wonder if talking on a cell phone to a person far away and ignoring the person right next to us is really that great a thing. Or if shutting out the world with headphones while we enjoy music or even movies continuously might be making the world a lonelier place than it might already be.

As I write this, I think about some of the things we miss when we have all the modern conveniences. Our family probably would have gone sledding whether or not there was power but if the power had been on, I wonder if we might have gone back to the house earlier knowing that the video games were waiting. With the power out, we had to talk to each other, read, or play games with each other for entertainment when we were not out sledding. The kids still had their Gameboys but we spent most of the powerless time together in one room interacting with each other.

I know that we will get power again (it did take almost 30 hours). I know that our heat will come on again and we will not need to gather around the gas fireplace in our bedroom. As I think about the inconvenience of having no power for a day, I realize that I am fortunate. I have a roof over my head and my family around me. The temperature may only be in the fifties in our house but we are not battling the cold in the elements. My family and I are fortunate. We are blessed. I am glad that twenty-four hours without power is just an inconvenience and not a daily fact of life.

Looking back, I am glad that our family got to spend those hours together without the power. It was nice to spend time together without the distractions of TV or video games (for the most part). It was nice being in the same room just being in the same room. It was nice just talking and playing games and reading together. I doubt that we will have electronic blackouts as a family tradition but it was nice having those twenty-four hours without any power. I am glad that the heat is back on and that twenty-four hours is not really an eternity.

© 2006 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Published 14 December 2006 The RiverCurrentNews


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