The power outage caused by Isaias forced me to revisit yesteryear when my parents grew up without television. Their sources of entertainment were big screen movies and radio. My generation had television and depending on where you lived (the closer to New York the better) you could have a whopping six different channels to choose from. And they were enough.
Isaias took me back to a time when libraries, encyclopedias, books, magazines and newspapers supplied all we needed to explore, learn and live. There were no computers, cell phones or the marriage of the two. Those imaginings may have been on some genius’ drawing board, but they were as much a reality as was landing on the moon.
Back then simple kids like myself could easily rattle off the names of all the breakfast cereals and their makers. Today’s supermarkets have cereal aisles lined on both sides with hundreds of brands and yes: today’s kids can easily rattle off their names using a handheld technology and a Google search.
Life was different back then. Not better or worse, just a bit more deliberate.
Waking up to no electricity, I went into my dusty kitchen storage cupboard, the one housing many relics of the past and searched for our yellow enamel, range top coffee percolator. Yep, the one my wife and I picked up years ago while perusing the Elephant’s Trunk flea market on Route 7 in New Milford. It’s the pot we enjoyed using during our early years, and looked forward to using whenever our power went out.
It’s amazing how a dopey old coffee pot can conjure such beautiful memories. Flash forward, the best way to attack Isaias’ mess was to get coffeed up. I followed the instructions that were etched into my senior mind and soon remembered the percolator took much more time than my Keurig personal cup machine.
First, the pot that hadn’t been used since Sandy had to be cleaned. All the parts were still there. Then, the filtered water I specifically set aside for coffee had to reach a temperature that allowed it to travel up the percolator spout. That meant paying careful attention to avoid a boiling mess. The storm’s mess was enough. OK.
Then I paced, watched and waited. Of course I needed to test the stuff, and not just once. In the end, the lengthy brewing process not only gave me the robust cup of coffee I needed, it transported me to a much different time. Not better or worse, just more deliberate.
In today’s crazy, speedy and volatile world, I often romanticize being that guy who grows a beard, straps on a pair of overalls and frontier boots and lives off-the grid somewhere in Montana, living a more deliberate life. I know it’s not likely. I’m too old and besides, I’m nearly off grid here in good ol’ Easton.
But to be perfectly honest, I’m feeling the outage with its loss of electricity, cable, 100 plus channels, cell and Wi-Fi service. Luckily, since my Macbook has a battery back up I’m able to get my deliberate low –tech message on the high-tech online news website known as the Easton Courier News.