An Appreciation for Three-Pronged Outlets

I gave up a long time ago trying to hide the numerous extension cords that the run along the walls and cords that dangle from outlets located halfway up the walls of our living room and bedrooms of our home. There’s just no concealing them.

Extension cords, powerstrip cords, and reducers are a major part our home’s décor. Most of the outlets in our house require reducers in order to use the majority of appliances because that have three-prongs.

I have a canful of them and keep a few in each room. Powerstrip cords and extension cords are necessary in order to have lamps, alarm clocks, or telephones spread throughout a room.

Most people take rooms with more than one three pronged outlets for granted. There aren’t many households that get by using limited power sources for all of the requirements necessary to operate the appliances and technology that relies on electricity but I know at least one other woman who can sympathize with me. My veterinarian friend Erin and her husband live in an old farm home in Minnesota that’s similar to ours. I was elated to discover someone else who deals with the same issues that I do. We’ve compared notes with each other on the agony of dealing with outdated electrical outlets. I grumble less now knowing that I am not alone in dealing with the few old outlets we have.

Our house is 80 years old and the improvements happen according to what’s highest priority on the list. Someday our house will eventually be wired for 220 and I dream of the day when I can have several three pronged outlets located closer to the floor in each room. Maybe then I can move furniture in a new arrangement! There’s two three-pronged outlets that were added in the 60′s and trust me, I know exactly where they are.

 I don’t rearrange my furniture according to where the couch and chairs would be the most attractive looking when guests walk in or that’s most conducive to hosting company, I  reaarrange furniture near where the closest outlet is for lamps.

Our outlets are so worn out that I have yet to be able to vacuum the living room or a bedroom without the cord coming loose from the wall and stopping the vacuum before I finish the job. Heavy cords with reducers on them eventually work their way out of the outlet. No amount of pinching the prongs together works if the cord gets moved around a lot. This is just a light lamp cord that’s hardly moved and it’s barely hanging on.

When we remodeled our kitchen, I made sure my electrician brother put in plenty of three-pronged outlets in areas where I remember thinking it would’ve been nice to have one.

I’ve learned that there’s no better way to appreciate something than by having a lesser version of it even if it’s just a measly electrical outlet. Being limited to having to use the few old ones that are available is very humbling. I hope you’ll think of me the next time you plug in (especially with an extension cord) :).

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About ranchwifeslant

Amy writes a humor column based on rural living and ranch life from the southern Black Hills of South Dakota. She and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth generation cow/calf operation near Pringle; the Elk Capital of South Dakota.
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3 Responses to An Appreciation for Three-Pronged Outlets

  1. Sarah Passick Dittmer says:

    I read this with a huge smile plastered from one ear to the other. This is our house as well; a 70-year-old brick cottage in the heart of Mitchell, SD. Thanks for your witty humor, your ability to share it with us and please keep writing.

  2. Dave Boothby says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I enjoy your writing and commend you for such an excellent, down to earth approach to ranch life. I look forward to many more entertaining reads. Wish you the best for 2012 and hope your cattle learn to become a bit more cooperative…

    • Dave, thank you so much for reading my writing and for sharing your comment! I always feel blessed whenever I learn about readers who take the time to read my writing. There’s so much out there to read, I just feel honored when people read my stuff.

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