Tropical Storm Lee blew through yesterday taking with it our power and all of our concomitant conveniences – lights, television, and coffee pot on the most base level; laptops, cell phones, and Angry Birds on a frivolous level.
I have found that I can live without all of these things, and that sometimes I actually relish the quietude that comes from not having electronic gadgets incessantly beeping, humming, and squawking in the background turning my attention from loftier pursuits like, oh…reading (a real paper book at that!). Last night, in fact, Husband, Sonny, and I all sat on the porch listening to the wind, talking and joking, and just generally enjoying the evening. If I had had a bushel of pink-eye purple-hull peas, it might has well have been Granny’s porch in 1972, Hee Haw over, everyone on the porch, rocking, shelling, and listening for a whippoorwill.
But alas, it is not.
It is 2011, and the morning brought little else than more rain and the drone of my neighbor’s generator. Sonny and I made our way through the limbs and debris to Chick-fil-a for breakfast along with everyone else in Hoover, Alabama. Every plug had been commandeered. DSs, phones, laptops all sucking up precious power to hold in reserve for later in the day when [gasp, choke, heave] we still might not have power, not to see by, cook with, or bathe with, mind you, but to power our games and computers and movie players!
“We just had to get some charge for little Johnny’s DS and the laptop! I mean, what would he do if he didn’t have his movies and games?” one mother exclaimed to me in frustration.
Uh…read? Talk? Play cards? Draw a picture? Make a s’more? Not stare sullenly and blankly at that piece of plastic as if it holds all the secrets of the universe? Shucks, I just don’t know…
I think I could manage, but, despite my best efforts to enjoy a day mercifully free of technology, I did have to accomplish a few things for work which required wifi. Dang that wifi! Why can’t we just call people on the phone anymore? There must be emails and confirmations and blah blah blah.…all up in the cloud and such.
Well, evidently everyone in Hoover left the Chick-fil-a and drove straight to the library. People were circling their fellow patrons like vultures waiting to pounce on plug carrion! The earbuds, the phones, the laptops, the pads and pods – every available outlet looked like the snaky head of Medusa for all the wires streaming forth. Most everyone was tuned in and turned on to some sort of contraption, including, unfortunately and to my penultimate chagrin, me.
I, for one, am ready to give up my cords and wires for a little while longer. I have enjoyed being unplugged and unavailable. I have enjoyed conversing with Husband and crocheting by candlelight. So even when Alabama Power works their magic, I may pretend one evening that it is 1972 all over again, and Hee Haw is over, and I have a bushel of peas to shell and head out to the porch for some silence.