Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Light - How Precious It Is

Last month I commented on the coming hurricane - SANDY - and how even if the power, and consequently the lights, went off, people could still read long after their charges on their computers, tablets, and phones went dead - with a book and flashlight or candle!

You've been reading most of the month here on our blog about the toll the storm took -the vast damage to homes, businesses and amusement parks! And how discombobulated you can get when trying to stay warm or cook over the fireplace. If you are not from the tri-state area affected by Sandy you might be thinking - we've heard this all month - can they get over it?

Well, the storm did take a toll. We all know people who lost their homes - their one and only home, as well as vacation homes. It was pretty devastating.

Our area was without power for 12 days. The local nursing home had a generator but it didn't keep the heat up to normal and the elderly patients were cold. Many of the children were out of school for a week and a half. This might sound great if you are ten, until you realize that you might not get a spring vacation this year.

But we writers keep on focusing on writing - can still scribble with a pen on paper and have time to reflect on the lives of writers and readers in the past - before Tom Edison turned on the lights!

How precious is the light - to read and write by! Until people had gas lights and then electric lights, they had to really work at finding time to read. In the summer there is ample natural light until the late evening but in the winter you would have had to sit close to a window in mid-day. Children, writers and clerks working on rows of figures had to use the day light carefully. This sure gives us a renewed perspective on light and how we are so used to having this gift 24 hours a day. And, it gives us a glimpse of how people sacrificed other needs and enjoyments just to read and write before the electric light.

I did sit by the fire and read books into the night - but I used up innumerable batteries in my large flashlight and many candles as I held the book with one hand and the candle stick in the other!

Thanks Tom Edison (who did his great discoveries in NJ!) for our light! And here is the rest of it.


  1. One of my most precious possessions is a book light I bought at Costco a few years back. It's a wonderful, flexible goose neck light and it got a lot of use during Sandy.

  2. It really is amazing how much we take for granted. I lived it vicariously (thankfully!!) I've been without power for a few hours here and there, but just can't imagine what y'all went through up there. I know just speaking to my family the charm of living like the Amish had worn off by Day 3!

  3. A month after Sandy, I still sometimes pause and give thanks for light and heat.

  4. The most common thing children wrote that they were thankful for at our school was 'electricity!" or "lights!". I also heard that the power co. repairmen from other states marched in our local 'Christmas lighting' parade and got the biggest cheer. Hurray for Thomas Edison! And Ben Franklin! and GE! Sylvania! I could go on... Guess I'm not over it yet!

  5. I was thankful for my trusty headlamp during Sandy and I tried to pretend I was camping. We are so dependent on electricity for entertainment- it takes a natural disaster to remind us to unplug once in a while.