I just finished paying my electric bill for this past month, and I was comparing the cost of this month’s bill from other bills in the past.
It made me think of all the service we receive for each month’s payments. For instance, during a storm this past month, our electricity went out completely. It was in the late evening, so it was pitch dark in our home. The first thing we got was a flashlight and that allowed us to go looking for candles to light. One of the great things we found was the battery- operated globe that sits on our table for nice lighting during breakfast. At the time, I was wishing I had about 10 of them to turn on. It ended up that the electricity came back on around 4 a.m. By then, we had found four flashlights and had one big candle lit. And I had found the extra batteries if they became necessary.
Those several hours without electricity made me appreciate having electricity more than ever. Someone once said that if your electricity goes out, go outside and get your solar lights and bring them inside. What a great idea. They don’t give off a lot of light but it’s better than none. We only had a few solar lights at that time, but recently purchased 12 more. After we put them outside last evening, I said the lighting in our yard makes it look like Christmas. We also have a wishing well in the front yard that is lit with two solar lights. And just today, we put up a new solar light on our flagpole to light up the flag.
Then our conversation about electricity reminded me of how much a flashlight helps. For several years there has been a young boy who walks past our house all alone before daylight to get to the school bus which is at the school down the street. He has his own flashlight to get him to the bus.
Another light bulb that helps a lot is inside our refrigerator. You know something is wrong if it’s not lit when you open that door. Also, our night light in the bathroom helps a lot.
Years ago, there was an article in the paper about how much it costs for each light bulb to burn. All I remember is they said that one bulb would last a very long time if you didn’t turn it on and off very often. That must apply to the house across the street because their TV is on all night every night. It’s noticeable because the TV is directly across from their large living room window. In the summer when we are sitting outside, it’s like being at a drive-in movie when we were younger and watched the cartoons.
One of the very nicest lightings of a tree I have seen is about a half-a-block away. If I stand at one of our windows and look through the trees, I can see a small Christmas tree on a porch that is lit year around. It’s a beautiful sight at 3 a.m. when I can’t sleep.
One more light I remember being glad to see was when I was a teenager and babysat evenings. I was glad to see that our porch light was still on when I got home.
Our daughter has a sensory light in her yard that turns on as soon as she drives up her driveway. It would be nice if everyone had a sensor light for when they come home after dark. It would be money well spent.
At this point, I have to say that I feel my money for our electricity has been well spent. Maybe when I pay my bill next month, I should include a thank you note with my check.
Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.