Grid guilt

By Nancy Black

Frozen ink. That is why we didn’t print an edition of White Rock Lake Weekly last week. The ink at our printer was frozen, literally. ERCOT didn’t just stop the presses; they froze them.

While our printer and so many other hundreds of thousands of people went without electricity last week, I was fine. My house had power and water, I had a stocked refrigerator and pantry, and there was a full tank of gas in my van. 

But did I enjoy my creature comforts? No. I lived in anxiety and guilt the entire week. I’m not claiming my suffering was anywhere near that of others who truly did experience grave consequences during the power outages. But I did live in fear every second that my power would go out, too. I did my part by unplugging anything electrical in my home, and only charged my cell phone when it needed it. I didn’t shower for a week for fear of bursting my pipes. And I offered refuge to anyone needing a warm place to stay.

None of it helped. I still had grid guilt. Why did I have power and my friend who is on 24/7 oxygen didn’t. Why was I able to watch Netflix while another friend — a health care worker who has COVID-19 — lay in her dark house without electricity or water? She couldn’t even check into a hotel for relief, for fear of spreading the coronavirus to others. My grid guilt is real. The pain and devastation so many of my fellow Texans are still going through is real. 

The solution? Helping others. If you, like me, want to help our neighbors, donate to the North Texas Food Bank. Visit