Power Outage is a Wakeup Call

The wakeup call from Dallas recent power outage was the discovery that we have outdated power structures. We are more obsolete than Alabama.  Of all the places in the universe, Alabama is one you don’t want to rank below. The local news quoted a utility repairman from Alabama who said our utility structures are inferior to theirs.

We were lucky, our power came on after twelve hours; others were without several days.

During the height of the storm my phone’s battery was on life support, spouse’s about half mast and the backup charger was at zero percent.

In Dallas, during the winter if there is an ice storm or snow alert, everyone heads to the grocery store. The power outage proved to be no different.

We raced to the neighborhood supermarket, for ice, and WI-FI, confident the coffee kiosk, Wi-Fi stations, and bagged ice machines would take care of our immediate need.

Occupants of the Wi-Fi stations avoided making eye contact with hopeful bystanders. Long lines of people surrounded the empty ice machines, eyes glued to their dispensers, waiting for them to yield bags of ice. We returned home ice-less with our dying devices.

Shooting me a look of superiority, as proof of his theory “we might need it one day” my packrat spouse unearthed a portable radio.  His glory was short-lived, the radio was alive and well, but the only station it received was a Chinese language station.

The neighbor, that I don’t like much, (but made soup for anyway during her recent illness), hiked to a fast food place, returned with dinner and sent me a text saying SHE had food.

It was a learning experience:

Moving forward, all our electronic devices are going to function at one hundred percent.

We are purchasing battery operated camping gear.

My neighbor does not like my soup.

Tequila and potato chips qualify as survival food.

And, if you have to live in Alabama, you deserve bragging rights about superior utility poles.

Who Should You Be?

I ran across this quote by Charles Bukowski “Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?” A thought-provoking and powerful exercise in self-examination. He got it wrong.

In the land before time, young women needed the world to tell us who we could be. Shoulds ruled and options were limited for young girls. No one questioned that all young girls aspired to be a “mommy” when they grew up.

However, before that magic milestone occurred, occupations were limited to nursing, teaching and secretarial work. Secretary morphed into an Administrative Professional, (which we all know is code for chief operating officer without the title and pay.)

As a child, I knew when I heard the word should, an admonition pointing out a character flaw I’d just as soon not acknowledge was about to swoop in.

Decades later, I still get the same anxious feeling whenever someone utters the word.

My annual physical results in many shoulds regarding diet, weight, exercise, and everything I either enjoy or detest.

The worst is the unspoken social should, like making soup for a sick neighbor that I’m not especially fond of. Or should volunteer for a worthy project that I don’t embrace. And, I know I should park far away from the grocer curbside pick-up when it’s raining.

I wish I had never read Bukowski’s quote. My exterior has changed considerably but inside there dwells a child who hates the word should.

You Know Who

There is an overload of commentary about you-know-who. Most people are beyond weary of hearing/reading/thinking about you-know-who. He has exhausted our capacity to be shocked/angered/frightened/dismayed.

The one positive for those of us who are united in disgust by his example of leadership is the discovery of our reserve of tolerance.

A recent party that I always look forward to attending presented a variety of demographics. It is a liberal group, so I was surprised to discover several attendees are ardent red cap devotees. Even more surprised that some are women.

Perhaps the exchanges were more contained due to the adult beverages, but there were no shouting matches and there was much laughter. I was surprised at some of the reasons for supporting you-know-who, and at my capacity to smile and nod. There were no attempts by either side to convert the opposition, perhaps because both knew it would be hopeless.

I came away with two conclusions.

Diversity and tolerance are what unite us.

The legislature would work better if they served wine.

You-know-who is no longer ink-worthy here except for this final parting shot.


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