Electricity Appreciation Week

Summer has officially begun, and quickly turned into electricity appreciation week.

Last weekend the Evanston Art Depot held the 40th Annual Custer Street Fair.

All the street performers, the variety of merchandise and its convenient location around the corner of my home make it my favorite fair of the summer. I’ve collected numerous adornments for the self and the home over the past few years.

My favorite theater in town, Piccolo Theater recruits their thespian friends to perform mini comedies.

A magician truly wowed the crowd.

Luckily the predicted thunderstorms held off from setup to tear-down.

Unfortunately, the weather could not hold back on Tuesday night when severe Thunderstorms and a few funnel clouds along with Tornado warnings caused severe power outages across Chicagoland. I certainly flunked any sort of evacuation readiness, and will put an emergency kit together this weekend.

One day of intense reading was great, but the second day I had to go to a cafe and charge my phone and computer up. After the fact, reporters were quick to provide tips. The storm and outage also had me thinking about a business emergency plan.  I realized that some of my crafting requires power too, along with needing sufficient light. My bright studio isn’t so bright with overcast skies. I can’t have this happen with a big order on hand, right?

I’ve been so lucky throughout my life with tornadoes, flooding, sandstorms, monsoons and blizzards. Our family experienced a flood evacuation once (the water stopped at our front step), I safely drove my car through knee-deep water with my mechanic on the phone a decade ago, and this is my longest power outage ever. Having two emergency workers in the family, I am always aware of the “it could be worse” adage, and appreciate every day of health and safety that I have.

So while I hear people grumbling about this inconvenience, I am grateful to have running water, that the few items in my fridge and freezer are easily replaced, and that my immediate neighborhood didn’t suffer downed trees or other damage, especially injuries. It is actually fun to go out and support the merchants in my town by dining out.

Things I appreciate even more now that power is restored:

  • A functioning fridge — open cat food in the summer must stay cool!
  • Hot water — that was a cooooold shower
  • Ceiling fans — that circulation makes a difference
  • Old-fashioned gas stoves — I couldn’t cook because of the modern electric gadgetry in my gas stove
  • My hair stylist — even though I couldn’t blow dry my hair, it didn’t look too weird
  • Growing up before 3G and WiFi — (paper) books and journals are great entertainment
  • Our public safety personnel — they made extra rounds in the dark neighborhoods until power was restored
  • True darkness and silence — I slept quite well without the humming of gadgets and the lights shining in

I wish you much power in all your endeavors. Keep your safety kits at the ready!

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