Friday, November 3, 2017

Insight: What losing electricity has taught me by Lorraine Glowczak

It’s Wednesday morning – publication day for The Windham Eagle. The 10 candles and the propane fireplace provide the light I need to type this week’s Insight. The “hurricane with no name” that blew through a majority of the state early Monday morning has, as it has been reported, left 470,000 homes and business without power – including The Windham Eagle newspaper office – and yours truly.
As an editor of a small-town newspaper, this electrical outage puts a slight kink in publication and I wonder how we will pull off printing a newspaper without electricity and internet service. I try not to panic under the circumstances. 

But then I realize. This is really a small inconvenience in the plight of many possible real-life problems one can and does experience – and the anxiety subsides. Of all the snags that tumble into life, this really is nothing of great concern. It’s only electricity, it will come back on and I’m not the editor of The New York Times. (And even then, in the larger scheme of things, that would also be no big deal.)

What are the big deals? The hospitals, homes belonging to the elderly, homes with young children and those whose medical issues rely upon electricity - to name a few. Those situations are substantial and should come first. But then there are other things to help me with my perspective, such as childhood cancer, homelessness and Puerto Rico. When I think of those things, it eases up my demands on the CMP Linesmen who don’t make it fast enough to my door.

I admit that not having easy access to my emails, taking a shower in strange places, crossing my fingers that my cell phone doesn’t die before I find an electrical outlet and not being able to write all my articles for the paper in time for publication is a bit discombobulating but, in the end, I have no real worries. Losing electricity teaches me this.

I’ll end for now since my laptop has only 20 percent battery life left. But I will add just one more thing: No matter how long you’ve been without power, please be nice to the CMP Linesmen (and women) when they do arrive. Speaking as a sister of a former Kansas Linesmen, when they arrive – they will be hungry, sleep deprived and missing their own families. I know the inconvenience of not having electricity has placed on you, and me both, but still – when they arrive – please be kind. Maybe even offer them a sandwich. They’ll need it.

(FYI – Internet connection occurred at 9:30 a.m. on publication day. Whew! Close call.)

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