Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bonus Time

This week I started a one month regimen of a higher dosage of prednisone, a corticosteroid (like cortisone) medication. Prednisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant drug, with some nasty side effects. One of the side effects is increased "agitation" aka crabbiness; I like to think of it as curmudgeonly leanings. I'm thinking this may turn our to be more of a benefit than than a harmful side effect. I imagine I will probably be spending more time on this blog.

Bonus Years 

In many movies (e.g, "Death Takes a Holiday) there is this guy — or it could be a gal  who has this list of people who are to be "brought home" each day. We'll call him The One with the List. Some of those on the list have completed their 'life's journey' and are ready to go. We'll call them The Ready. My mother in her later years was a Ready; she lived to 94. The last couple of years were hard for her with dementia and a lot of pain. When things were especially bad, she would sometimes exclaim while holding her arms in the air: "Oh Lord, why do I have to suffer like this. Why can't you just take me." After which I would try to offer some comforting words like "Well you know the Bible says our days are numbered and only God knows when our days are up.", while thinking other words to myself...

Others may have only just begun there journey, it seems, and are taken away by an accident or sudden illness. Their last words may be, "Oh my God, what's happening to me." We'll call them The Not Ready.
Then there are some folks in between, "I'd like just a little more time please." We'll call them The Not Quite So Ready.
And then there are those of us who have been living on 'Bonus Time'. When our names were called, we somehow avoided the fate. It's not we didn't answer, or that our cell phone battery was weak or that maybe we missed the bus, or somehow just got skipped. It had been our time to die, but instead of the fait accompli, we were handed years of life. We know that when it is really our time, we will not complain. We will say something like, "Oh well, I was living on bonus time anyway. But weren't those some wonderful years? We call them the Bonus Ready.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Before There Was Light

The Outage

Sitting in the dark, I tried to remember what it was like without electricity.
Farm in the 1940's
how strongly electric is associated with light.Sioux Falls Light and Power Company building
Where was the first electrical plant located?
The Electrical Light Company was located on the east side of the Sioux River near Eighth Street. D. L. and C. E. McKinney started the company in 1884 with capital stock of $75,000.

the Delco Plant was called a "Light Plants", Light Department \
kerosene lamps, alladin lamp

Another Outage

The other morning, after waking up, I got the coffee maker going, got dressed, walked the dog, and was about to sit down at the table with NPR, the newspaper, a cup of coffee and a bowl of Grape Nuts when the radio went off. I scanned the kitchen and got a blank stare from the microwave meaning "Yes smartypants, I'm dark and I need some electrons over here." Looking out the window I saw an Xcel Energy truck go by; so evidently the electric company was onto the problem or was messing with my electricity today. Curiosity engaged, I went out to have a look. Down the street I could see lights flashing and several 'cherry pickers' waving around the high-lines. After finishing my breakfast I walked down to where the cluster Xcel trucks were at the side of the street, their cherry pickers now retracted to the top of the trucks.
Xcel Energy Trucks on Old Orchard Trail 
I walked the couple blocks to where the trucks were parked and talked to one to the Xcel linemen. He said they were upgrading the line and would have it back up and energized in less than an hour. He added that there had been some overloads in recent summers so they were replacing the conductors to increase the capacity and also adding a conductor for three phase capability which a customer had requested. I think I know who that was, but that's another story for another time.

Whenever I see high-line poles being placed or removed I am reminded of when the REA came to our farm place in Lincoln County South Dakota

The Highlines

The Delco Light Plant
The flood and the war
The light switch was a small knob that you turned about a quarter turn until it clicked and the light would come on, except for when the batteries were run down, then Mamma would be kind of upset and say something about "When is Daddy going to come home and run the generator."
Poisoned by Carbon Monoxide
candles on the xmas tree
cutains afire
highline poles in the yard
the electricians working on the house
The Frigidaire with ice cube trays, Kool Aid aka nectar