A little while back I bought a quarter of beef at a church auction. Afterwards, I was checking space in the freezer. It had been a good summer with the garden so it was full of stewed tomatoes, okra, broccoli, pumpkin, cherries, and the most recent irresistible selection of Schwan’s ice cream. The freezer isn’t very large and I wasn’t sure that all the beef would fit.
Then the beef arrived and strategic placement of each packet began. Gloves are handy when handling a lot of frozen product but you can lose your grip and I did. Suddenly there were packets of ground beef rolling across the floor. And that is when it struck me (an idea not the beef). Ground beef is a lot like electricity.
I was pretty sure I had paid too much for the ground beef and often people say the same thing about electricity. “It is too high.” OK, I thought, if it is too high what should it cost? Well, like the hamburger, what all can you do with it? Usually the more useful a product is, the greater the potential value. Hamburger is awfully versatile and can be used many different ways- burgers, tacos, casseroles, spaghetti sauce, soups, and on and on. Now that is value. Since the hamburger was headed to the freezer, I thought about my freezer that extends the bounty of the summer harvest and now keeps my cow happy. That convenience (not to mention food safety) is hard to put a price on but electricity makes it possible.
I am not forced to be hunter or gatherer on daily basis. I like that. So, electricity freezes my food but it also delivers water to my fingertips. No need to visit the well or stream on those uncomfortable outside days. Oh and forget gathering wood because I can just adjust some dial on the wall up and down and then feel cozy. Hard to put a value on that from a guy that had to chop wood every winter as a kid. I guess hamburger and electricity both are a good value for what they provide. And as a reminder they both can kill you if not handled properly. Oh yea, the freezer was too small.