When I was young we had an electric meter outside our home. It was a glass dome with a visible, spinning wheel. My siblings and I used to check it to see how quickly the wheel was spinning. We created a sort of game by running through the house and turning on everything electrical we could find and then checking to see how fast the wheel was spinning. We could really get that sucker moving! Of course we never considered that the meter was directed related to bills that would be coming to our parents, nor did we ever go back to turn off the various lights, and assorted electrically powered items.
At 3:45 this morning I lay in bed covered with assorted comforters in my old, drafty house. The click, click, clank of the radiator echoed in the chill of the room. On the first night we spent in this home, almost 8 years ago, those same unfamiliar radiator noises percussed through the night, amazingly loud, startling me awake again and again. I wondered how I’d ever be able to sleep! Over time I grew used to the sounds and rarely noticed them. If I did, I found them oddly comforting, like the house was breathing, settling and cozying in warmly around me. At night the sounds lulled me to sleep. During this winter, however, with its relentless bitter cold, the all-too-frequent sounds of the radiator evoke instead an image of a meter whirling wildly and siphoning money from my already dwindling bank account. Click, click, clank. Ka-ching!
Thinking back to our childhood “game” now makes me practically hyperventilate! Sorry, Dad!