Friday, April 10, 2009

4 hours of electricity

The electric power was mostly unavailable to us mere mortals during most of the war. At best, the electricity was rationed for 4 hours every 4-5 days. At worst, it would be weeks or even months until we would have power again. So, when the power is on, we made sure we made use of it to the fullest.

When we were on 4 hour/4 day schedule, there would be times when the 4 hours would fall during the night, for example 2-6 am. We always had to be very organized during those 4 hours to make use of the electricity to the fullest, and it had to be the same way even if it was in the middle of the night. We'd turn almost all the lights on, plug in all sorts of devices and be busy with chores because we knew after those 4 hours it's all going to be dark and silent again.

Mom would have several meals prepared to be cooked when the hour strikes. My task was to vacuum and/or iron and monitor the washing machine and add water when it needs (majority of time we didn't have water at the same time as electricity, and the machine needs a running water to operate). My teenage brother would sometimes take over vacuuming but most of the time would just use the power to watch TV and play electric guitar. And even though we'd be groggy at first, because it's hard to get going at 2 am after sitting in dark since sundown, we knew it had to get done, and we'd do it.

The best hours to get power were in the early evening, when we can get everything done, get ready for bed at normal time with lights on, and just then it will all go black.

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