Monday, 27 April 2009

Luxury? I think Not.

A wicked storm whipped through these parts on Saturday afternoon, the culmination of a day that saw strange out-of season hot temperatures combined with a more moderate system passing through. The resulting tempest reminded me of my summers in the mid-west when the sky would turn a garish shade of chartreuse, and we would all run for cover in the lowest geographical spot we could find. (Of course, that particular place on camp was the wash-houses! 100 or so slightly terrified girls and almost-women waiting out a tornado warning in a smelly, damp and slippery bathroom was always my idea of a good time.) The wind and rain that sailed through this region on the weekend was not unlike those days. The trees in the yard were bent so far sideways that several were on the verge of snapping in the middle of their trunks and the rain was coming down in sheets. Within 15 minutes, the power in the house went down. The Husband, ever vigilant, had stashed away an ancient wall mount phone in the laundry room, to be used in just such an emergency, so that we wouldn't have to rely on our cell phones. We figured that after the worst of the storm had passed through, the power would be restored and all would be right with the world. Well, it seems that wasn't to be the case. One of our neighbour's trees had snapped like a toothpick and tumbled into the power lines that service our area. The resulting mess left us without any power for almost 24 hours. As we sat around watching the contents of our refrigerator and freezer rot and melt, we became aware once again of how much in our lives is dependent upon electricity. While it is probably easy to imagine living without the TV, computer, music player and the like, it is less fun to realize that food preparation, clothes washing, or finding a matching pair of socks in a windowless walk-in closet, are also electrically-dependent. I missed the electric air filter, which I was forced to remember I need desperately in order to control my asthma. The Husband, always the cooler head in these circumstances, remarked that electrical power is a true luxury. I beg to differ. I disagree that electricity is a luxury, but rather has become an absolute necessity in the 21st century. It got me to thinking about real luxuries and what I could and could not relinquish if pushed to the brink. Could I survive without my car, for example? (I think so!) Could I see living my life without synagogue membership? (I don't think so!) So I put it out to you all. What is real luxury in your lives and what is true necessity? Respond in the comments section of this post and I will publish. I am very interested in hearing your thoughts. 

I will post the next installment of the Seeger retrospective later today. 

1 comment:

  1. We invested in an on-demand hot water heater, in an effort to be more environmentally conscious. Guess what? No hot water on demand without electricity during a power failure. It's happened twice. 8 hour, 14 hour power failures. So next we have invested in a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) for our on-demand hot water heater. So those mornings when the house still has no power, we can shower and leave (we've resorted to heating water on the gas pioneer-like!).