Sunday, November 27, 2011


I'm blogging about utilities.  Yeah, the gas, electric, water.  Not SUVs, LOL.

As a young child I grew up with a father that had grown up during the depression era.  He always said it affected him greatly & he couldn't change that fact.  Whether or not he had the power to change that is beside the point.  But he was always super thrifty about EVERYTHING & said it was because of the depression.

I can also remember him turning off the heater, not wanting the air conditioner running, turning off lights, conserving water, those sorts of things.

My mother was born in Arkansas. She moved to California when she was still a baby I believe but I always heard stories about Arkansas. The fact that most people had no indoor bathrooms really made me realize how priveleged I was to have indoor plumbing.

I often stop to ponder the utilities.  It seems to me that so many people these days take them for granted.  They expect that life cannot go on without them.  I feel like we are all taking them for granted & should be more appreciative.  We should be conserving more.  And we should be able to survive without them. 

There's a blog I follow because the woman homeschools her kids with the same curriculum I plan to use, so I follow the blog interested in the homeschooling posts.  But she recently moved "off the grid" as she calls it.  They have a generator, propane, & I'm not sure about their water supply.  I am absolutely fascinated as I read about life like this.  And she mentions how much more you think about the utilities & conserve them when you know that you are at risk of running out of them completely & then there's no more.  (That & the fact that it costs a whopping $800 to fill the generator!!)  She says they even use candles frequently in the evenings to conserve.

Now sure life is less convenient without utilities.  There's a lot of modern conveniences (like this computer I'm on right now) that are nice.  But I still want to be prepared to just have the plug pulled & to be ready to survive it.  A few months ago our power was out for a day, SCE was doing some sort of upgrading work in the area.  And we knew ahead of time & I was prepared, but I forgot that I couldn't use the oven.  And the lighter I had planned to use to light the burners on the stove was missing.  So it was tough to get by without cooking. 

That's another pet peeve I have.  A lot of modern conveniences that are gas driven have made themselves dependant upon electricity as well.  That really irritates me. 

I would still love to have at least a small generator just in case of an emergency (not a few hours emergency, but if something were to happen & power was down for days type of emergency).  But I also try hard to know how to survive without in case that situation arises.

What are your thoughts?  Do you value your utilities & view them as a privelege?  Or do you have another viewpoint?

1 comment:

Danielle-Marie said...

I do think we're priviledged to have utilities. I'm pretty strict around here about conservation. Where I live in Ontario, we use the Time Of Use delivery for our hydro. It changes per season, but basically you're charged more during peak hours, a little less during mid-peak hours, and the smallest amount during low-peak hours. I always do my laundry during low-peak hours. When we were picking out a new fridge, I picked the one that beeps when you forget to close the door (terrible habit of mine). If we're not in the room, the lights and television are off. We replaced our furnace with a top of the line energy efficient model. It has lowered our gas bills by about $40 per month. We live in a very old area of town and recently two sinkholes appeared in the road where underground pipes had burst. We were without running water for 3 hours. I was not even a little bit prepared for it.

Where I live, a generator wouldn't be necessary. We don't get hurricanes and rarely even get a good thunderstorm (the last tornado here was in 1975). We had an earthquake once but I barely felt it, haha. I suppose I do take advantage of having my utilities, but I'm cost-efficient in the way that I use them. Also, I will keep bottled water on hand at all times from now on ;)

I didn't know you were planning on homeschooling J. Please blog about it!