If I look out my front door, a little to the left of the sauna, I can see a tiny red light shining from the newly installed meter. Electricity is about 100 feet away from our house and the anticipation is killing me! It has been about 8.5 months since we’ve lived with electricity and indoor plumbing and I cannot tell you how jump-out-of-my-skin excited I am to have one of those modern-day conveniences back! We spent all summer clearing about six to eight thousand square feet of land, and after finagling with some paperwork, the line was trenched and laid two weeks ago! These are exciting times at our cabin!! They say nobody likes change but, buddy, I am so ready for some change!
Electricity will mean light–anytime that I want it! It will mean unlimited laptop life–which could inevitably lead to more writing here! But what I’m most looking forward to, what is really driving most of my motivation is I will be able to have a refrigerator!!!!!!! Living out of a cooler for a weekend, sure, but for 8 months…like a graduate burning their textbooks I might find an unfortunate end for that cooler. Grocery stores are amazing and all and we wouldn’t have been able to do this without them, but after being in one every day or every other day for the past 4 months (Minnesota winters are great for refrigeration if you like your milk frozen but summers are only great if you want your milk to curdle) it is safe to say that I would be happy to not step foot in one for weeks.
Last winter wasn’t too difficult because the newness cast a rosy hue over the transition and made everything seem more like an adventure than a burden. The honeymoon stage was over back in May, although the long daylight hours of summer did wonders for extending my patience. It is now September and the daylight hours have already drastically changed. Frankly, losing the light makes me feel a little hopeless because I have waited all spring and summer for electricity (especially since I expected it back in spring) and now the darkness is encroaching and my little kerosene lantern and headlamp seem so inadequate.
I now understand why farmers of old rose and went to bed with the sun—it is hard to do much of anything with such meager light sources as candles and lanterns! It is so dark! And it’s more than just not being able to see what you are doing. When the sun goes down so does my energy. I never realized before going on this adventure how much energy light gives you at night! I believe that is why we can stay up so late. It’s the light! As the winter wore on, it would get to only 7p.m. and Mark and I would turn to each other and ask, “So…shall we just go to bed now?”
Sometimes we have turned on the generator to power our laptops and then plugged in a lamp or two. OH. MY. GOODNESS. It was like a night and day difference! Like someone just turned on the hallelujah chorus and we have new life again! We don’t do this often because the generator is so loud and doesn’t run the best so the lights have a slight flicker to them—or a major flicker depending on how the generator is feeling that day. Apparently, it has mood swings. So if you can endure the noise and the flicker, and you have enough gas to run the generator, and you have a good reason for using that gas to run that generator, you can have a lamp on! You see why we haven’t made a habit of it?
You know, we probably could have bought more/better lanterns or even a better generator but Mark goes with the flow and I don’t like to spend money now that I can envision spending later on permanent fixtures. So, we endured rather than spend more money and really, you get used to it. You can get used to anything. It’s whether you want to or not.
I’ll admit, though, the electricity could not have come at a better time. I don’t think I have it in me to go through another winter of darkness. I’ve NEVER prayed for extended warm summer weather…until this year. It’s like I’ve sinned against myself! I love winter! But it turns out that I love electricity and light too and this year all I can think is: LET THERE BE LIGHT!