Just Another Electrifying Day

The electric service that we often take for granted is actually a critical ingredient in the daily rhythms and rituals of family life.

June 2018

Richard G. Johnstone Jr., Executive Editor

Eeeekkk! Eeeekkk! Eeeekkk!

A groggy head stirs in the pillow’s soft valley. Eyes open slightly, slowly. Moving on instinct, a blind hand finds and flips the clock’s alarm switch, stopping the air raid siren announcing that 6 o’clock has arrived. Groan. Time to rise.

The man squints as he removes an electric razor from the charging stand while his wife takes a shower.

A rich, warm smell wafts upstairs. Ah! He smiles, pleased that he remembered to set the timer on the coffeemaker last night.

The pleasure is short-lived. His wife calls from the shower. “Did you remember to take the clothes out of the dryer last night?” Oops.

He hustles down the stairs, grabs an armful of clothes from the dryer, plugs in the iron and sets up the ironing board. Next he plugs in the fancy toaster they were given as a house-warming present … and counts out four slices of bread, one for each family member.

As his right hand lowers the toaster’s lever, dropping the slices out of sight, his left pushes the button on the plug-in intercom. In a tired routine that hasn’t worked — or amused them — in years, he shouts, “Kids, this is the voice of God. Wake up!”

He scrambles over to the ironing board and presses his wife’s uniform, neatly and thoroughly, then swipes the iron across his work shirt a couple of times. He hears a sound. No, actually, its absence.

The shower upstairs has stopped. Uh-oh. At this inopportune instant, the cat jumps up on the ironing board and sharpens its claws on the pillowy surface, while the dog whines at his feet. “Sorry, guys, gotta run,” he says.

Hurriedly, he puts away the ironing board and runs upstairs, hanging up his wife’s uniform at the exact instant she emerges from the bathroom. She smiles at him. “I thought you had forgotten,” she says. “No way!” he replies, turning to hide the rising red glow that burned his face whenever he exaggerated his athletic prowess or the kids’ academic honors.

The four family members then converge on the kitchen, where TV news voices serve as dull backdrop to practiced family rituals. With the precision of stage actors in a French farce, the four open and close the refrigerator, grab pieces of toast and adroitly slather them with jelly, pack lunches, check texts and tweets, and unplug smartphones from chargers, never stopping to sit down.

Pausing to anoint both kids with a quick kiss as they head to the bus stop, the man and woman set the security system for the day, grab their tablets and head to the garage.

They climb into separate cars. Both then push a remote control, her quick touch sending the garage door upward, his a second later stopping it in mid-ascent. Both laugh. She pushes again, opening the door on another workday.

And so it goes, all day every day. Your electric service stays quietly in the background throughout the morning, afternoon and evening, and all night too, powering the alarm clock, razor, water heater, coffeemaker, dryer, iron, toaster, intercom, TV, refrigerator, smartphone and tablet, security system, garage door opener … and much, much more.

Your electric service is provided by a local utility that you and your neighbors own.

A local utility created by the men and women in your community three generations ago, to provide themselves with a service that no one else would.

A local utility organized as a cooperative, whose mission remains as important and clear as it was way back then: to provide you with the most reliable service possible, at the lowest cost possible, today, tomorrow and always.