Friday, September 26, 2008

Darkness has Descended

Darkness has descended here in the Southern U.S. For whatever reason touted at the moment (or whichever one you believe), we are having a gas shortage. Most gas stations only have regular gas and the prices range from $3.74 - $4.29 per gallon. Frequently gas stations have no gas at all, which means that consumers are lined up when the pumps are working. Planning ahead is a good habit, but in this age of convenience, many of us have taken availability for granted and are getting frustrated with the wait. Just a few days ago, I watched as individuals waiting in line screamed at each other, attempted to block people who were trying to leave the station (because they thought they were trying to cut in line!) and even witnessed a few threatening gestures. By now we should all know that if we need to stop for gas, we need to leave the house a little earlier. But for some reason, we seem to think that the world will stop for us. Certain gas stations I will simply not frequent any more because I am sure that violence is eventually going to break out on their premises.

Additionally, a cool front, bringing thick, dark clouds and lots of rain has also moved in. It is expected to be here for a few days and it has created a natural darkness in the area, too.

But neither of these situations is necessarily bad IF people will learn how to use them to their advantage. I am driving back and forth to work, planning my grocery shopping to coincide with those trips, and basically, staying at home. We are a land of people who are used to doing what we want, when we want. If we forgot some small something at the grocery store, we think nothing of jumping into the car and running to get it – even if we could do without it. Right now, if I forgot it, we do without it. There are other alternatives. I have found that by staying at home I have extra time to clean the house, work on taming my kitties, tutor the little girl next door in algebra, read a few books for pleasure in addition to studying, and even catch up on a few movies I have wanted to see for a long time. As for the disappearing sun, well, this semi-darkness is soothing for a time. I love the feel of the misty air on my face when I take my walks. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year because of the cooler weather, so I don’t begrudge this cool front for bringing it in early. I am enjoying my coffee on the back porch both mornings and evenings. And I pulled out one of my soft, lap blankets to snuggle into as I watch television or read in the evenings. It is a taste of a promise of what is to come – and I am enjoying.

I know that these clouds will lift – both the cloud over the pumps and the physical clouds over the Southeast. But until they do, I think that I will enjoy the change and the forced confinement by reclaiming some activities that I had abandoned in my search for “convenience.”

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