Powerless

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Last week we experienced a devastating wind storm with near-hurricane force winds and I am in the middle of the fifth day with no electricity at home. I have a wood stove that provides adequate heat, a gas range for cooking and a small generator that powers the refrigerator and freezer.  Less than fifteen minutes away is the Y, where I can take hot showers.  Yet in five short days I had mastered the art of feeling disenfranchised — until yesterday when I met with a young woman from the Dominican Republic who attends a local university here.  In her town on the island she told me, the electricity is turned on for two hours every day — two different hours each day and seemingly randomly chosen.  People learn to alternate things that they wish to have powered, and they hope a lot.  Those with businesses requiring electricity have challenges that are even more significant. Granted, the climate there is more temperate than late November in the mountains of the Northwest — but remembering how a large portion of the world lives, makes me feel more than a little entitled.

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