Do we take light, heat, and water for granted? Events this Christmas made me thankful anew for all the conveniences we enjoy because of electricity. Here in Southern Ontario, an ice storm ushered in the Christmas season. Freezing rain kept us homebound for two days. As a result thousands, including ourselves went without electricity for hours or days. In some pockets in Toronto, 9 or so days later, they still suffer without power. Church services were cancelled. Roads closed. Airline schedules postponed.
Thick ice coated everything bringing down trees and branches and thus shorting or breaking power lines twice in front of our country home. In the first case we were without power for part of a day. In the second case, we saw a huge limb crash onto the line and begin to spark and smolder. When we returned from getting groceries and eating breakfast, the fire department had blocked off our road declaring it too dangerous to even walk home with a live wire on the ground.
Our outages were less lengthy than many of our friends some of whom endured days and days over Christmas without any power. Fortunately, we were able to enjoy a wonderful Christmas with our daughter Debbie’s family and our son John’s family. John’s kids had a ball skating all around our house on the ice and sledding down slippery hills.
Stories will be told for years about the ice storm of 2013. Besides giving us a lot to talk about, it gave us a new -perspective on all the things we take for granted. Here in Ontario, we complain a lot about the Hydro, the institution that delivers power: their bloated bureaucracy, their huge debt, some foolish investments in ‘green energy’ and the climbing prices we pay. But we certainly can’t complain about the work crews that gave up their holidays to restore our power.
And what of all the electricity-powered devices we enjoy? Candles are romantic—for an hour or two. Cooking on a camp stove is fun— in the summer. Melting snow for water to flush the toilet quickly becomes onerous. (Our water is dependent on an electric pump.) Getting warm by cuddling under a blanket with your sweetie, again may be romantic for a while. Then her cold feet send you into orbit.
Lord, teach me to be thankful for all the things I take for granted. Lights. Furnace. Water pump. Water heater. Refrigerator and freezer. TV. Stereo. Radio. Computer. Printer. Vacuum cleaner. Cell phone charger. Electric power tools. And yes, even the electric garage door opener.
And Lord, this reminds me to be thankful for the crews who work on the line, the telephone technicians, the garbage collector, the snowplow operators, the volunteer firemen, the police, the postie, the farmers, the grocery store owners, the truck drivers, and…gasp, yes, even our politicians. Happy New Year everyone!