Sunday, September 2, 2012

I can't keep my coffee pot plugged in

Whew!  Long time, no blog!

I think I said that my next post would give you an idea of what it has been like adjusting back to life in the U.S. after years overseas.  Now we've been back for more than a month, and so much has happened that if I tried to tell all, it would make a very, very long post.  So instead, I've decided to try and do some short posts that show vignettes, if you will, to give you an idea of what this time of transition has been like for us.  (And I'll try to post some photos too, even if they are totally unrelated to the story, just so that you all don't get too bored.)

First off, here is a totally unrelated photo for you:
One of the fun things about being here is that there are lots of parks to explore.  We take a walk with the stroller and have been checking out the parks near our house.  Greg has really been enjoying this, and it's interesting to see him watch other kids playing and then follow their cues about playground behavior. (Some of which is good, and some not-so-good!)

Ok - so the title of my post was "I can't keep my coffee pot plugged in."  I'm serious about this.  It's not that I've somehow forgotten how American outlets work.  It's just that Brian and I have become extremely conscious about not wasting electricity, and it's a hard habit to break.  In Ukarumpa, we paid about 40-50 cents per kwh for electricity.  Here in Oregon, we only pay about 13 cents per kwh.  That's a big difference!  In Papua New Guinea, we did just about everything that we could to minimize our electric bill.  Here in the U.S., we are both compulsive about turning off lights and unplugging things that we aren't using.

So every morning, I plug in my coffee pot, brew a cup for myself (Brian is only a social drinker, not an addict like me), and then, after breakfast, I not only turn off the pot, but I also unplug it.  If I don't, then that annoying digital clock will blink at me because I never set the time on it.  It will blink and blink and blink, and as the numbers slowly count upwards from 12:00, it mocks me, saying "I'm wasting electricity!  I'm costing you money!"

Maybe this is a habit that we will break before we are done with furlough, but I guess it's a pretty harmless one, and might actually save us a few pennies over the course of a year.  But if you come over to visit us and find us sitting around in the dark, feel free to say "Lighten up guys!  You're in America now!"

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