I'm all for new technology. I love the DVR, flat screen monitors and TVs, cell phones, food processors, etc. However, and I repeat, however, there are those times (as in a power outage) when one has to get back to low-tech basics. My land-line telephone went out awhile back. I found a surprisingly cheap model not too long ago but when I got it home, found it did not have a "speed dial" or memory feature as the old one did. After my last guests left yesterday I made a hit-and-run trip to town. It took three stores to find what I needed (batteries not included). That type of phone just isn't being made anymore. As I explained to the Nice Lady, I can find the right buttons in the dark when there's no electricity, but it's very difficult to look up the number for PG&E in the telephone book then. Cell phones will work as long as they've been recharged (note to self: keep cell phone charged). There are wireless phones all over the house and I love that convenience, but I'm dead in the water without one direct land line. Every cook needs a whisk and a box grater when the power goes out. All those canned goods in the cupboard won't feed anyone if only an electric can opener is available, so I use an old-fashioned hand cranker. A carpet sweeper or broom will get the house looking tidy when the vacuum cleaner won't run. We switched out the electric stove top for propane gas after a three- or four-day stint without power and no way to even boil an egg. I use the coffee maker every day, but keep a coffee pot for emergencies. One of my wishes when I win the megabucks lottery is a windmill to pump water. I really appreciate my wood stove in the winter. My friend Camille has a pellet stove that is efficient for heat, but it requires electricity to run the auger. Guess who freezes her butt when the power is out during a snow storm; not me. I once needed to withdraw funds from a bank when their computers were down. Impossible to believe, but no one in the bank knew how to handwrite a receipt so I could take out some money. Shade-tree mechanics with a little experience could fix any vehicle engine for years. Now a computer is required to diagnose a car problem. Go figure.
As I said, I love new technology and enjoy the "toys" of the new generation. Total dependence, however, is a grave mistake. Sometimes one has to revert to the essentials to make it through the day.
Happy New Year!