Growing up, I was always taught that the Good Book tells you not to work on Sunday. It is supposed to be a day of rest and for good reason: We work hard enough all week long. Everyone deserves at least one day of rest and reflection.
While we tried to avoid working on Sunday, most of the times I remember crawling under my dad’s old Vermeer baler with a wrench happened to be on a Sunday.
But sometimes, as the same book also points out, it’s OK to “bend” this rule, even though you are supposed to be resting. When you have a field full of fresh alfalfa hay on the ground and the forecast calls for rain on Monday, you don’t really have much of a choice.
That happened to me recently after my kids asked their mother if that noise coming from underneath her car was a nest of birds. Lindsey pointed out to me — in no uncertain terms — that her Tahoe has 125,000 miles on it and it was long past time to replace the brakes.
Normally, I would point out to her that brakes just slow you down, but didn’t figure I would get very far with that one.
So on a Sunday afternoon, up to my elbows in the wheel wells and covered with brake dust, I noticed something else — she needed new tires. If I waited any longer you could probably see the air in them.
That prompted a call and a trip to see my friend George at Pearl Motor Co. in Mexico, Missouri. Of course, I couldn’t go to Mexico without paying a visit to the good folks at Consolidated Electric Cooperative.
While I was there, I overheard a couple of their linemen asking who was on call that weekend. I think the opening of spring turkey season might have prompted that question. It reminded me that reliability — or in more simple terms, having that light come on when you flip the switch — is Job 1 at Missouri’s electric co-ops.
I’ve been told that in the early days when an outage occurred on a co-op’s lines its members might drop a postcard in the mail saying, “Next time you’re in my neck of the woods, please repair the power line.”
That was then, but this is now. Virtually everything you buy these days comes with a cord to plug it into the wall. No one wants to be without electricity for even a few seconds. Your electric co-op gets this. They do everything in their power to keep those phone chargers charging and air conditioners making Missouri summers bearable — even if it means working on a Sunday.
It also means someone at your local distribution cooperative is going to miss out on Sunday school, opening day of trout season, turkey season or deer season because they are the one on call that weekend.
For those of you working while the rest of us rest, thank you for what you do. Life really is better when you are a member of an electric co-op.
Caleb is the executive vice president and CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives and a member of Boone Electric Cooperative.