You have all heard of "honey do" lists. This week I had a "momma needs done" list that my children were able to take care of for me. When you live alone, there are just some things that you need help with. I am a relatively independent person and I like it that way. If I can do it on my own I will.
There are some tasks that have gotten more difficult to do. I keep my Christmas trees in the upstairs of my garage. Although there is a nice stairway, I hesitate to carry bulky things down on my own. When it was time to put up my decorations I had my son come and bring them down for me. It was the same when it was time to put them away.
I bagged up my trees and set them in the mud room and waited. My son appeared early one morning to do that. When I say early, I mean early. He was here just after 7 a.m. He called the night before and told me he would come up for coffee and look at what I needed done.
We visited and enjoyed our coffee first. His wife even baked a coffeecake for him to bring up! After coffee he looked at an electrical outlet that was never set into the wall. I do not remember why my husband left it that way, but it had not bothered me so I just went on my merry way.
This season when I went to plug in the cords for my village there was a problem. No matter what I did I could not get it to light. That sent me following the cord to its source the unfinished outlet that was minus a cover to boot.
While he was fishing for cords behind the entertainment center he asked me about the television that I have upstairs in the bedroom. I told him that had not worked since the stations went digital. It ran off an antenna on the roof and a rotor gave me multiple stations. Do you remember those old things? We used to get television without charge. Now we pay a bundle and still cannot find something decent to watch part of the time.
My son's message was that he would get me what I needed and come back to fix things another time. I was really surprised when he showed up that afternoon with supplies in hand. It turned out that he had all of what he needed in his workshop.
Within minutes I had television upstairs the same show that I had it set for downstairs. That is not bad when you live alone. You set the television then go upstairs. The outlet was finally set into the wall and it had a cover on it. Now I do not have to worry about when I plug things in and unplug them.
My daughter and her family gave me a couple things for Christmas that need some attention. She gave me some vinyl clings that match my kitchen curtains to decorate my soffit in the kitchen. After supper the other night she and my granddaughter climbed on a chair and decorated the wall in the kitchen. I had talked about putting up a border, but this was much easier. If I get tired of it, I can just move things around or take it down.
One job remains. I asked for a wireless router so that I can use my computer wherever I want to. At first I did not think that I cared about moving it around to work, but I now realize I am tired of the cord. I am sure that job will be taken care of soon.
As I thought about television I realized that young people today have far more bills every month than we used to. They not only have a cable/satellite bill, they have multiple televisions and multiple receivers to factor in. Although television is still a relatively cheap form of entertainment, it is a monthly bill that must be paid.
Then, there is the telephone. I maintain a land line but many people these days do not. Several years ago I removed the long distance feature from my home phone. Anyone that I want to call long distance I call on my cell phone. The cell phone I refer to does not have all the bells and whistles, but it works for me. I can get help when I am out and about if I need it. I can text and I can call. I think maybe it takes pictures, too, but I cannot be bothered with that. My camera does all I need it to do.
Those people with the phones that do everything but your laundry mean another costly bill for the consumer. I know people who pay close to $200 a month for this convenience. My bill for the year is less than that and this system works just fine.
We always had a bill for electricity, but even that has gone up considerably. The cost per kilowatt hour has increased right along with the average usage. My home was wired when the rural electric system went through this area. I am sure the person who wired it thought that an outlet or two per room was adequate for anything that the homeowner wanted to do. That is no longer the case. Modern homes have many outlets per room to cope with the ever expanding amount of electronic devices that are used. Even keeping the things charged becomes an issue. A home with multiple phones and devices needs a charging station.
Our home was never heated upstairs. The bedrooms were not sanctuaries, they were places to sleep. With heat being turned on throughout the home that brought increased demand for power; be it gas, wood, or electric. All of this means the average family pays more each month for the convenience.
Do an energy survey and figure out what your needs are. The lady at the Audubon Society was overjoyed that the solar panels provided enough power to run the facility. We all need to think that way. We can make changes that will save us money. It is just a matter of priorities!
Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, PA. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org