There are times when the world and life seem beyond our control.
And then there is the other kind.
This past Monday, Labor Day, a strong north wind blew through Spokane, knocking down trees, power lines, and sparking fires. At one point more than 60,000 customers in the Inland Northwest had lost electricity.
We lost ours Monday at 10am. We were power-less.
Fortunately, the temperatures outside were neither scorching hot, nor really cold (though it did get down in to the 40's Monday night.) Our biggest inconvenience was that we had no water. Without electricity, our well pump cannot function.
Our power company kept us well-informed. With power poles down all over the county and consistently high winds, they explained their linemen could not safely begin repairs. By Tuesday midday, they had assessed the damage in our area and determined we would have our power back by 6 pm Wednesday.
You start to think about your frig, your freezers, your hair you wanted to shampoo, the lights for the painting sitting on your easel. All the little things.
Then I stopped and looked at one of our faucets. When was the last time I was thankful for the water which comes out of it every time I turn the lever? Or, when was the last time I was grateful that the lights come on when I flick a little switch on the wall? Or, hot water? When was the last time I was thankful for hot water coming out of my shower head?
Or, the linemen who fix the power lines? I can't begin to imagine if I had to go and find a broken line and fix it myself. Thanks to the good work from the power company, we had our electricity restored 23 hours earlier than they had promised.
This short interval without electricity was good for us in several ways. We found that our existing compressor either needs repairs or replacement because we couldn't get it to work. Finding this out now is important in case we lose power for a longer duration, especially during the colder months.
We know we have an adequate supply of backup drinking water. The Coleman stove works.
But, maybe the best part for me is that, for a while, I might appreciate the power of turning a lever and having water come out of a faucet and therefore, how truly fortunate we are.
My heart goes out to those who have lost their homes this fire season. There are thousands of us thinking of you right now.