Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday Thinking – Electricity

Thank you Google images

Funny how sometimes a word will just keep resurfacing.  Electricity.  That’s the word that has come to mind several times this week.

I first saw it in the temple.  Cali and Ray were seated next to me.  Cali scooted clear over in her seat so that she was leaning into Ray.  Their hands were intertwined and resting on Ray’s leg.  The next seat over was Abe and Grace.  More than once I saw winks pass between them, and like Cali and Ray they really only needed one chair.  Behind Abe and Grace sat Ty and Michelle.  They kept looking at each other; you couldn’t have pried their eyes or hands apart.  Electrons were bouncing everywhere and Joe and Ande hadn’t even entered the room yet.  I looked over at Calvin sitting in one of the witness chairs.  He winked and I grinned in return (I'm a weak winker).  Conductivity.  Later when Ande and Joe joined us, I saw them silently gaze at each other.  Ande’s eyes filled with tears (and you know how water and electricity go together . . .  zing, what a feeling).  I kept thinking, "There is a lot of electricity in the air."


Then just a few days later Calvin had to go check fields and invited Dan, Ty, Michelle, and me to go along for the drive.

Ty was trying to stand us in a straight line.  I learned all about lines in 1st grade and didn't really need his help.  

We drove up to the Coulee Dam.  It’s a very impressive structure.  It produces the most electric power of any dam in the United States, and is one of the largest concrete structures in the world.  Enough concrete is in that dam to make two 4’ sidewalks around the world.  (I read the factoids.  Can you tell?)  It was a pretty day and fun to be outside.  I'm amazed at some people's genius -- like how to build a dam and harness electricity and make things work.  We talked and listened to a book on tape, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, as we drove.  Calvin and I've already read and discussed the book, so it's fun sharing it with the kids.  Every now and then we'd turn the book off and discuss it.  I love family discussions.  Drives have always been great visiting avenues in our family.  More than once I've been grateful our vehicles haven't ever had dvd players, especially now looking back and seeing what we've learned from each other, and how those conversations have helped us to bond more tightly as a family.

We stopped at a little diner for supper.  I asked the elderly couple coming out the diner door if their supper was good.  They said it was okay and I said, “Do you eat here often?”  The gentleman responded, “Second time in fifty years.”  That didn’t bolster our confidence, but it was still fun to eat in an old diner even if the food wasn’t the very, very best.  Calvin had chicken fried pork steak, I had chicken fried beef steak, Ty had real fried chicken, and Michelle had a hamburger made into a French dip.  The waitress brought our water in these stacking cups.  Michelle and I thought they were very cool, but right after I took the picture Ty spilled them all over the table causing me to think they weren't quite so cool.

Today the meter maid came to read our energy consumption.  Compared nationally, we have cheap power.  I like cheap power because I like a warm home.  This month they gave us new light bulbs if we paid our power bill in person.  The man's bill in front of me was $9,800+ dollars.  That's a really warm home . . . and barn.  I wondered how much it would be when he turned his irrigating wells and sprinklers on.

Tonight we drove Michelle and Ty half-way to SeattleCali met us to take Ty and Michelle home with her for a day or two.  She took us out to supper at a little Italian restaurant in CleElum.  We got wet from the pouring rain as we ran for the door, so we sat by the fire.  We ordered two pizzas, each half different.  One half had sausage, pepperoni, and tomato.  Another had Canadian bacon and pineapple.  Another had bbq’ed chicken.  And the last half had bbq’ed pulled-pork.  Each kind was very good, and each one of us liked a different one best.  It worked out perfect.  Pulled pork won my vote.  There are several wind farms between here and Seattle.  I’m always surprised at how many new windmills are added each time we make the drive.  Tonight there seemed to be a dozen or two new ones.  I know environmentalists think they are the answer to everything, but they clutter the hills and I think they're uglier than dams.

And finally:  “And God said, 'Let there be light' and there was light, but the Electricity Board said He would have to wait until Thursday to be connected.”   –  Spike Milligan


Deanna/Mimi said...

Jane, I love your posts. I wish I had the words to describe the feelings I have when I read them. You have the gift to make a person feel like you are sitting right next to them and sharing your thoughts, your experiences and making us feel like a member of your family. Thank you. Feels so good!! You have such a positive influence on many, many people. Love you bunches!

michelle said...

I love it when you make connections like this. And I definitely like that you and Calvin still have electricity passing between you.

Derek-Jenny-Kaitlynd-Ethan-Dylan said...

Rainy days and family. They just seem to go together.

Lynn said...

speaking of electricity, have you looked into the three-gorges dam? In China? Fascinating. It's so large it actually effected the earth's rotation by about 1/4th of a nanosecond. But yesterday I saw a video of a man who lost both hands due to electricity. Not so cool but still quite fascinating. There must be an analogy in there somewhere....

Anonymous said...

the windmills are so distracting...I find myself drivinga and watching them go round and round..this is not good. the hills used to be pleasant, not so much now.

what a moment to sit and capture all the electricity your family is producing...if i was you i would of been crying

Brenda Goodrich said...

I love the windmills! They look like modern sculpture AND provide a service!

Lucy said...

Fun connections. What a wonderful thing to see all your children in love with their partners.

$9800? Holy cow.

Jill said...

There are so many great thoughts in this post! I love all the electricity going on between your kids and their spouses (and almost spouses) in the temple, that must have been a big parental payday for you and Calvin for sure.