Thursday, June 07, 2012

Doing little things, unplugged

It is day four of Deming's performing arts camp, where we are hip-deep in a pirate-themed musical production. 

We work hard to instill good habits involving scripts and pencils, but often as the kids march into the church sanctuary for music rehearsal, they discover their pencils need sharpening, and sometimes I volunteer to round up the pencils and sharpen them in the church office.

The inhabitants of the office find me very odd because I insist on using the manual sharpener, bolted to the wall but long forgotten.  They urge me to use the electric sharpener instead and look at me oddly when I decline.  The manual sharpener is, of course, not as fast, and you have to play with the pressure to figure out how to get a good point; otherwise, you can stand there grinding away until there is no more pencil left.  A bit of skill is involved.  Most people would much rather stick their pencil into the electric thing and be on their way.

There are some electric appliances I cannot bring myself to use.  Hole-punchers.  Can openers.  Pencil sharpeners.  These are some of the little things in life I can accomplish without burning coal.  It is not that I live a life free from electricity -- far from it.  I'll use a dryer to wash my clothes if I don't have time to hang it on the line -- but I'll hang it on the line as often as I can. 

And if I am so dependent on electricity that I cannot punch holes in a piece of paper or open a can of soup without plugging in an appliance, it's time to bury me. 


Nathan said...


Kelly said...

My grandmother gave me an electric pencil sharpener some 45 years ago and I still use it, though I do have fond memories of the hand crank kinds in school.

When it comes to can openers I refuse to use electric. And I'm not sure I've even seen an electric hole punch!