Now on sale . . . Muffins & Mayhem: Recipes for a Happy (if Disorderly) Life by Suzanne Beecher, and when you purchase it, request a free autographed bookplate, by visiting:
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"Ouch!" My electric bill was way...too high...last month, so a friend suggested I call the power and light company to make sure they were actually able to read my meter. Apparently sometimes if the meter reader doesn't have time to get to a meter, the folks in accounting average what they "think" the customer's bill would have been, and then after reading the meter the following month, they make adjustments to the bill accordingly.
At first glance the woman at the power company said she couldn't see anything wrong with my bill. Yes indeed, the meter reader did fight his way through my thorny bougainvillea bushes last month to read my meter. (Side note: My thorny bougainvilleas are not some kind of electric company protest. The fully, mature plants were already in the ground when my husband and I moved in 17 years ago.) "If you'd like, we can do a test to make sure your meter is working properly," the customer service woman suggested.
So my cordless phone and I went outside and waded through the bougainvillea to find the meter. This was a first for me. I'd never been formally introduced to my electric meter before. A simple little piece of technology, I read the numbers to the customer service woman, she did the math and confirmed the meter was working properly. But then I noticed a silver disk whirling around and around. Maybe something was broken? "Say, before we hang up, what's this silver disk thingy, going around and around?"
"That's measuring how much electricity you're using, Mrs. Beecher. Is it going fast?"
"Fast? How do I slow this thing down? I've got an open spinning wound here! Stop the bleeding! Call 911!"
"Stay calm, Mrs. Beecher, there are ways to cut your electric bill. Do you have your heat on now?"
"No! No heat, no lights! It's a beautiful Florida day here. Help! This slippery, silver disk is spinning out of control! How far away is that power and light rescue vehicle? I don't know if my checkbook can hold on!"
"We'll get through this Mrs. Beecher," and with the soothing calmness of a 911 operator, the customer service woman continued offering helpful money saving tips, but instead of listening attentively to the voice on the other end of the phone, it was my mother's voice I (finally) heard coming through loud and clear: "Turn out that light Suzanne; we're not made of money. No, we can't turn the heat up, put on a sweater." Those do's and don'ts drove me crazy when I was a kid and I couldn't ever relate. "Geez, Mom, it's just a little, itty, bitty light bulb and I'm only asking for two degrees more heat. What's the big deal?"
And now I know.
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.
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* This month's Penguin Classics book is THE LEAVENWORTH CASE by Anna Katharine Green. Start reading now and enter to win a Penguin totebag. Go to: https://tinyurl.com/January11Classics