I was without electricity for 4 days, so this is my transition back into the everyday world.
Life is so much about perspective. A football game is played. Comparing the winner’s and loser’s version, one would think two games were played. An elephant is large compared to a mouse, but is small compared to a planet. Jupiter is large compare to Earth, but small compared to the Sun; which of course is a tiny spec in the universe.
On Sunday (Sept 14th) Hurricane Ike’s remnants blasted much of Ohio with damaging, 70+ miles/hr winds knocking out 90% electricity in greater Cincinnati, let alone the surrounding rural areas and nearby cities Dayton and Columbus. Duke Energy was initially lacked initial help as they sent many local crews to the Texas coast to help with those devastating efforts. The local crews returned and enhanced by a cavalry from North Carolina, full assault on the problem was underway two days later.
The last time Cincinnati had winds of this magnitude was 1900 – ironically, from the massive hurricane that hit Galveston. In other words, downed trees, damaged homes, and general havoc caused by the recent high winds were beyond normal circumstances.
When my power returned Thursday evening, I was thinking about the 100,000+ homes in the area still without electricity. As of today (Saturday morning), 90,000+ homes are still out, and estimates point to another week for some.
The past week was filled with people complaining, focusing themselves, and losing perspective. I’ve collected some of the thoughts and events.
- (To a town official) Duke should restore power to me because I pay higher property taxes.
- (To a town official after less than 24 hours) Where is the city distributing ice, water, and food?
- (Teenagers at a senior citizen center luncheon) My parents sent us here to get something to eat because they are eating the leftovers.
- People confronting and harassing Duke workers for not arriving sooner; even one incident with an “Air Soft” gun.
- A radio talk-show host (without power) broadcasting his intention to file a suit against Duke.
- People mocking Duke reading meters and mailing billing statements; as if other aspects of business should cease.
- I understand the local talk shows aired numerous whiners, which would lengthen this list.
Although there are a few homes with considerable damage, trees falling on power lines created an abnormal situation. Plus I’m sure Duke hasn’t been perfect in this situation. In the big reality picture, “Thank you” Duke workers for your long hours and diligent work.
On the other hand, the many patient residents use perspective to deal with the situation. The quote below, a comment posted on Cincinnati.com, is the other side of the coin.
SUCK IT UP, people! There are ways to feed your family without going out to dinner every night. You can buy food the same day, and grill it that night. They’ll get to us.
Duke says I may not have power until Tuesday. Am I terribly inconvenienced? Yes. Is it the end of my world? Nope. I have learned how to use a chain saw, hack saw, and build a huge fire to burn the 5 trees which are lying on my power lines.(YEAH-without a permit. Suck it, global warming) I have also gained more patience.
Meanwhile, I’ve been unable to find anyone in this area willing to change places with anyone in Galveston. You see, through all our inconveniences, our issues are minor compared to those in Galveston. After all, it’s just a matter of perspective.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and the responders in Galveston, nearby communities, and areas along the gulf coast affected by Hurricane Ike.