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So, I endured a couple of hours in McDonald’s yesterday, seated with my back to everyone and trying to tune out the incessant screaming of children. Yes, screaming. Ridiculous, way too loud screaming. The inappropriateness of some of their words and the apparent obliviousness of their parents is enough to think perhaps we should put birth control in the water supply.

Listen, I totally believe in allowing kids to be kids, and I can only assume that parents believe McDonald’s is the place to do that. After all, it’s not their fault that I was forced to try to work in that environment. It just seems to me that the concept of “indoor voices” should always prevail when one is indoors.

In any case, it was getting on the very last nerve I had left, so around noon I headed home. I had left my porch light on so I would know right away if the power had been restored to the neighborhood. Before I even got to my house, I noticed some of my neighbors’ porch lights on. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see modest little porch lights gleaming from the fronts of houses. And I did a little happy dance, while still in my car, when I pulled in front of my own home and saw that our porch light, too, was under full power.

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I recall once when we were having some financial difficulties and weren’t sure if we were going to be able to pay our electric bill, someone said to my husband, “Well, your grandma got along without electricity!” True, perhaps. But my grandma had her left set up to get along without electricity. In the year 2016, we are simply not ready to, at the drop of a hat (or the blink of a light, as it were), figure out how to turn the clock back 100 years and live as our grandparents did.

The reality for me is that I work from home. I prepare legal transcripts, mostly for the Securities & Exchange Commission. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. And without electricity, I’m not working.

More than a decade ago, we got hit by Hurricane Isabel. Our power was out for 3 days, and we had just cleaned out the freezer and were preparing for a barbecued feast when that wonderful hum of electricity returned. But there were some parts of our neighborhood who were without power for two weeks.

So, it has occurred to me that I need to develop a contingency plan. The frequency and strength of these storms seems to be increasing all the time, and while we do, these days, have some warning, Hurricane Matthew proved once again that meteorology seems at times to be little more than an educated guessing game. Anyone who has ever heard the weatherman say to expect a “dusting of snow” only to wake up and find you have to shovel your way out of the house knows what I mean. And the reverse is true, as well. I can’t very well pack up and leave town every time a storm starts brewing off the coast of Africa and the weatherman says this one could come our way.

So, I think the answer is a generator.

And I’m certain the IRS will concur with me that it is a necessary business expense.

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