Editor’s note: This is part of our ongoing series on Laughter Is Often the Best Medicine. The contributors to this series hope their vignettes provide a chuckle, an "aha moment," or dispel myths about visual impairment for all readers.
Being Handy Around the House
After teaching daily living skills and other courses about blindness for several years at Florida State University, I consider myself quite independent. I’m a pretty good cook and keep my house tidy and clean for the most part. I actually like tinkering with home maintenance projects. I don’t mind changing the heating and air-conditioning filters and would change the smoke detector batteries, but my ceilings are over nine feet high and I can’t reach the units even from a ladder. I have screwdrivers for tightening loose screws and wrenches for tightening loose pipes. I know where to turn off the water under a sink or out in the yard. I even have the breaker box switches labelled.
Electricity Not Working But Not Worried
When the most recent sudden loss of electricity occurred, I waited a few minutes to see if it would come back on within a reasonable time. You see, it’s not unusual for the electricity to go off in Tallahassee for no apparent reason. We have lots and lots and lots of trees. Trees have branches and trees attract squirrels. Tree branches and squirrel tails are the most frequent causes of loss of electricity here.
Well, it started getting warm in the house and my security system wouldn’t stop beeping every two minutes. Before calling the city utilities, I decided to try and fix the problem myself. "Perhaps," I thought, "I can push the main breaker switch that controls the entire house and get the electricity to come on." I found the main switch and pushed it. But no matter how hard I tried to push it back, even using two hands, it wouldn’t budge. By that time, the city’s digital phone message called to let me know that the electricity was back on in my neighborhood.
So… there was nothing to do but call the city and report an outage that I’d caused myself. Soon, the repair man arrived and effortlessly, with one finger pushed the switch back in place.