Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Power and the Wonder

Yesterday afternoon I was awaken by one of the most spectacular events on the Earth.

About 3:45 PM I was jarred from my sleep by the constant sound of thunder. This wasn't you're everyday, run of the mill thunderstorm. I jolted out of bed to turn off my computer and in just the nick of time it seems. I had just shut down the box and was unplugging everything from the wall when the power went out. I unplug everything because no matter how good your surge protector is, sometimes they fail as I learned a few years ago during the Monsoon in Arizona. I lost my harddrive and mother board on that occasion and I don't want a repeat.

And this storm was a doosie. For over an hour it was constant thunder and lighting. Not the usual flash and then wait a few moments for the bang. It was a continuous roar of thunder that reminded me of my days living on Ft. Sill, Oklahoma where my barracks was sited right next to am 8" howitzer firing point. Then the hail started. Golf ball sized hailstones rained down and I was wincing as they bounced off my windshield of my truck.

But I just love them. I love to sit and watch them, especially at night when you can get the whole effect of the sheer power. No Fourth of July fireworks display will ever compair to God's magnificent light show.

So, as I had no power and I discovered later no phone, I was basically screwed. Everything in my apartment is electric, so I couldn't even heat a pot of water for a cup of coffee. So I just sat and read a Tom Clancy book by candle light until it was time to go to work. That in itself was quite relaxing. The one good thing I did realize though that the water heater for my place in gas, and I'm on city water, so I still had hot water for a shower.

The storm was over in about an hour and a half, but it took Appalachian Power until about 9:45 PM to get the lights back on. I showered in the dark with only a candle lighting my way. That wasn't the big problem, shaving was... I was lucky not to slit my throat!

And that got me thinking on how much we are all reliant on electric. We're all screwed at this little inconvenience which one hundred years ago was almost unheard of in most homes.

How we're all shackled to it like a ball and chain and we can't survive with out it now. I was talking earlier in the day with a friend about our air conditioning, and I commented on how I didn't understand how my parents lived without it when they were growing up. (They were both children of the Great Depression, and home air conditioning wasn't even invented then) And here, not eight hours later was God giving me a little example of what life would be like without it all together.

It sucked.

And for that I'm eternally grateful for a few people who made it all possible. Benjamin Franklin for thinking it could be useful, Thomas Edison for applying it and lighting our way, and Nikolai Tesla for making it practical.

And lastly, but by no means least, I thank God for letting us all know with that majestic display of power yesterday that he can take it all away too.

Go here for pics and story:


Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

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