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Andrea's Anecdotes A column by Andrea Beaudoin


Outage brings simpler life



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December 25, 2013 - I, like many others in the area, experienced a power outage from the ice storm this weekend. On Sunday night after I got back from The Clarkston News, we started a fire in the wood burner (which I'm grateful for) and lit about eight tall candles.

The atmosphere was peaceful and I could feel stillness in the air. It reminded me (kind of) what life was like when there was no electricity. I'm sure life was much harder and less entertaining for sure, but also a bit more peaceful.

For many experiencing a power outage, maybe they snuggled just a little closer, or interacted with each other more than usual.

I could feel all of the electricity and other "signals" missing from the air, and I was thinking about what effect all the many electronics have on us every day.

I also thought that getting a generator would be a good thing to do—especially for businesses—to handle various power outages that have or will happen in the future.

My house was literally the first area to go out of power–I checked the DTE Outage Map as soon as it went out. I was also one of the first to be restored. I was pretty impressed the power was back on because I have first-hand experience and knowledge of the sheer number of utility lines everywhere.

Much of the electrical grid was built decades ago when Americans did not have all the electronics we do today. Those in the know tell me the grid was not built to sustain such an electrical burden.

Anyways, back to the peacefulness of the power outage. I hope Christmas has a bit of this spirit.

I don't know when it happened, but in my mind Christmas has become very commercial. I know people say the spirit of Christmas is about being together, but something has happened along the way that has taken that spirit away.

If the power is still out at Christmas—perhaps it will be a blessing in disguise. Perhaps people will come face to face with each other and put down their phones, ditch the computer and spend time talking to each other.

Back in the day, if you just had a hot meal, your life was grand. Last night I was thankful for the tall candles—something simple. I hope this will be the spirit at Christmas.

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Donald Turner
The Oxford Leader
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