Editor’s Note: A Reminder That It Can Always Be Worse

My household was among the thousands without power this week following Monday evening’s storm. Straight-line winds of up to 70 mph hammered Wisconsin from the northwest to the east, and Door County lay in the storm’s path. By Tuesday afternoon, roughly 1,600 households were still dark.

A clap of thunder awoke me on Monday evening, and I witnessed on my cell phone charger the electricity blink out. Power would not be returned to us until sometime overnight on Tuesday.

We purchased bags of ice and gallons of water to prevent food spoilage, which included the first of our harvested beans, turnips and beets, already in freezer storage. Oil lamps used largely for decorative purposes were dusted off and filled. Our gas stove still allowed us to make dinner and heat water, and we could only hope that with the electric garden fence deactivated, the racoons wouldn’t pillage the sweet corn we’re just now beginning to harvest.   

We pulled out an old transistor radio. With baseball on and the oil lamps casting an old-fashioned light, it could have been the early 1930s in our home, before rural electrification officially came to Wisconsin. 

I awoke on Tuesday morning to a world in which I couldn’t brew coffee, shower, flush toilets or charge cell phones. Having lived with that for 24 hours, I then awoke Wednesday morning with all those things returned to me. As charming as the interlude was, I couldn’t wait to return to 2021.

I go about my electrified life never thankful for a moment for being able to brew coffee or use an electric Water Pik. That changed overnight, as did my appreciation for all that we have. You have to love it when nature drops easy gratitude into your lap.