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6:00 AM Mon, Oct. 15th

Marvins Window: Looking at electricity

I looked out my window this week at the beauty of the Kingman area with night-lights so visible in the clear desert night air.

I sat comfortably on my couch in the cool air-conditioned interior of my house.

The washer and dryer were running as I did my weekly laundry.

I never checked to see what time of day would be best for me to use that power.

It is there when I turn on the switch, so I do the laundry whenever I feel like it.

The computer was turned on waiting for me to get back to my writing and my email contacts with family and friends.

Lights were on all over the house because I had been moving around from the laundry to my bedroom and bath, the computer room and the kitchen.

Knowing I would return to each room shortly, there seemed no good reason to turn off lights.

I went into the kitchen, pulled a frozen dinner out of the freezer section of the refrigerator and popped it into the microwave oven.

At least, I was saving energy by avoiding the use of the electric stove and the oven.

I did have some veggies cooking in my steamer and some toast in the toaster.

That kept the toaster oven off.

It would have blown a fuse if I had used it with all those other things.

The electric coffee pot was off.

It was too late in the day for another cup of coffee.

I had the CD player on with some good classical, western and dance music of the 50s.

It was easier to listen than watch the television while I was moving about the house.

I began to wonder what I would do without electricity.

The bathroom has an electric razor, a night-light, a hair blower, and a curling iron.

I still brush my teeth by hand!

A magic box sets on the night stand to play sounds of the ocean waves as I sleep.

I really like the seagull in the background.

He reminds me of the Oregon Coast and the warm ocean around Panama City on the Gulf of Mexico.

The phones, I forgot how many, are plugged into electric power so I can get messages and can walk around the house with the cordless phone.

The bedroom clock and alarm are electric.

They cannot use much electricity!

I am doing my part to conserve electricity by not getting a spa or pool and storing the electric blanket during summer months.

I only use the ceiling fans on extra hot days and sometimes I turn the air conditioner up to 75.

Can you imagine that people actually lived in this desert without electric power at one time! No electric water pumps, no hot water, no air conditioning, no electric stove, and no lights at night, none of the comforts I take as a matter of right every minute of every day.

If I can pay the bill, why not use all the electricity I want?

What does that have to do with people at North Star Steel losing their jobs because power costs are too high? What does it have to do with the closing down of the entire aluminum industry in the Northwest and putting thousands out of work?

The Energy Secretary says the need for electric power in U.S.

industry will double in the next ten years to provide Americans with good jobs.

Is my job or your neighbor's job dependent on more power? Could our jobs depend on each individual using some common sense in use of electric power in our homes?

I remember when electricity came to our farm in Oregon.

The electric washing machine, electric stove, electric lights and electric hot water heater made great differences in our lives.

Not many people today can even imagine that life once existed without electricity.

We are so dependent on electricity and the way it makes our lives easier, more productive and comfortable, that I see people taking portable generators camping!

I decided to start doing my part.

First, I turned out the extra lights.

I decided I could hang my clothes and they would dry quickly in the dry Arizona heat.

Do any of you know where I can buy one of those poles with a clothesline on it?

I turned the washing machine to cold water and turned down the water heater.

I unplugged half the telephones and checked the kitchen for appliances I could do without.

I looked at my doors and windows like I was living in the 40 degree below zero weather of Minnesota once again.

That hot air coming in all those air holes costs too much to cool just as it cost too much to heat it in cold areas.

I wondered if better insulation in my attic and adding storm windows outside would help.

I even looked at some solar options.

If I could see the electricity I waste pouring on the ground like water or gasoline, I might better understand my wasteful actions.

We know we have to be careful with water in the desert.

Should we get a new attitude about electricity?