Back when the rains and storms came on a regular basis, we had constant trouble with our phones. Then the rains stopped for what seemed like ages. So did the phone problems. Now it’s raining again, thank God, and I pray that the rain continues, but the phone problems returned with the rain. As a matter of fact, we had a major breakdown about two weeks ago, and I discovered what a computer addict I’ve become. I said I’d never be a Facebook addict, but I realized to what degree I’ve succumbed when I didn’t have internet for about a week.
My morning routine consists of drinking my coffee in front of the computer. As I sip, I check email, the weather, the news, the comics, and of course, Facebook, which has become a close-knit community of several million of my closest friends. We humans are creatures of habit, so when my computer refused to access the internet, I was understandably perturbed. I called Larry and Stuart to check out the situation. They fiddled and checked, analyzed and discussed, and when they couldn’t get to the internet either, Larry called tech support. I’m not at all sure what the technician did on the other end of the phone line, but after assorted checks, he said we needed a new modem. My old one was dead. They’d put one in the mail that very day.
And so I waited. I tried watching the weather channel with my coffee, but it just wasn’t the same. And what about my Facebook buddies? It may have been at that minute that I started slipping into withdrawal.
Suddenly, I heard thunder and the sound of rain pounding on the roof. What a wonderful sound. It rained and rained and rained some more. Every time it slacked off a bit, I’d run to check the rain gauge. During the course of that day, we got two and a half inches, the most we’ve had in ages. I’m pretty sure I saw the plants holding their heads up higher as the rains fell. Lightning danced all around the place, and thunder played a percussive symphony. When it was all over, I picked up the phone to call my sister and exult with her over the rain. Instead of a dial tone, a loud roar came from the telephone to my ear. I snatched the phone away and once again, I called Larry and Stuart. After all, they are the men in this household. They should be able to fix these problems, and they did know exactly what to do. Larry got the cell phone, which works sporadically out here in Pine Grove, and called the phone company.
“Don’t worry,” the nice lady on the line assured Larry. “We’ll send a repairman.”
They did, too. About four days later. In the meantime, we were isolated. No internet. No phones. Stuart and I were pacing the floor and biting our nails. What to do? What to do? I, of course, had a book to read, and I fell upon it like Dracula upon a luscious fresh victim. I suggested that Stuart choose a book, too. He preferred to pace. The week stretched into an eternity as we waited. The carpet grew thinner.
Unfortunately, the phones still rang, but we couldn’t hear anything when we answered except that awful roar; hence, we started letting the answering machine take all calls. Our phones were ringing off the hooks, but were perfectly useless. Our frustration levels rose with every call.
Finally, the telephone repairman came and in no time flat we had service again. (Yes, the problem was storm related.) On Friday after we’d called on Monday the new modem came in, and in a flash Stuart had it installed and working. I’ve never before seen him work so efficiently. Voila! We were back online and happy to be there.
I learned a bit of patience from that experience. I also learned how quickly we become dependent on things. The internet didn’t even exist when I was Stuart’s age. Imagine, if you can, a world without Google and without Facebook. “The horror! The horror!”