Wednesday, July 6, 2011

36% More

Yesterday, we received a letter from PPL, our electric company. It stated that our electric use was 36% higher than that of our neighbors. This cracked me up, as most of my "neighbors" are empty, long ago, foreclosed upon homes. I guess my electric use would be that much higher, compared to homes using no electricity. Seems the electric company doesn't take that into account when figuring these things out.

Our water bill is late. David gets paid on Friday, so this part of the week, we are normally squeezing the last bits of meals out of the refrigerator and cabinets, and I am rationing juice and bread, and fruit. I find that I spend most of these mornings making sure the girls drink their juice, and if they do not, in the fridge goes their cup, to be re-visited later. Yesterday, Molly took one bite out of an apple, and tossed it in the trash. I freaked. It took all of my might not to fish it out and save it for later, but it landed on a dirty diaper. Even I have my limits.

I was filling the baby pool for Molly yesterday, and I noticed the water company truck driving around. I started to get worried that they were coming to shut off my water."We just need to make it until Friday", I said to myself. As I filled the pool, I thought that, in a pinch, I could have the girls "fetch me water from the creek" with beach pails. They would probably love it. I, however, would not enjoy it so much. At least it is summer, I thought.

It made me remember being around age 6. It was Winter. Freezing cold. We ran out of oil. That was what heated our home. I recall my mother waking me up, and telling me to gather all of my blankets, and put on socks and a sweater. We were all told to go into the living room. We had a fireplace in that room. My father hung heavy blankets from the entryway, blocking the living room off from the rest of the house. He made a fire, and we were only allowed to leave to go to the bathroom. I thought it was so cool that you could see your breath in the hall way. My brother and I were laughing about it. My Mom...not so much.

 Even cooler was making toast, right there, in our living room, over the fire. I couldn't believe it! We were all huddled in blankets, and we played cards. It was the greatest day. Looking back now, my parents were probably horrified, but it is one of the best memories from my childhood. I remember when the heat finally came back on, I was disappointed. I didn't want Dad to take down the blankets over the living room door. It was so much fun, and I hated to see it go.

Don't get me wrong, if they show up today, and shut my water off, I will not be pleased about boiling water out of a baby pool. But I guess while my girls are still so little, it wouldn't be the end of the world.

For all that we don't have, we have more than we need.

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