Years ago, I don’t remember how many, but quite a few, my daughter, Hilary, blew me away. At the time she was in school in Seattle, Washington to get her Master’s Degree in Public Health. Freshly returned from a stint with Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa, she was adding to her formal education lode.
Phoebe and I were no doubt discussing some weighty subject one evening, when our home telephone rang. Hilary was calling from Seattle. Turns out she was standing in an aisle in a grocery store looking for ingredients for some dish of her mother’s that she particularly liked.
Phoebe sat there calmly discussing minor recipe points and possible substitutes for ingredients not in evidence. I sat there thinking about all the dollars disappearing down the long distance charges toilet. My cell phone education began that evening.
No long distance charges since Hilary had called us on her cell. It was a local call for her. No roaming charges since Hilary’s phone was working off her service provider’s tower. Darn silly call from Seattle wasn’t costing more than if Hilary had called us from Hawse Shop & Save right there in Moorefield.
OK. So, about that time I was winding down work at the Moorefield Examiner and beginning to do more around my farm in Wardensville. Family worried about me piddling around over there doing dangerous things on my own aged recognizance. They insisted I obtain, carry and keep charged a cell phone.
I resisted a bit. There was a regular cordless phone at Big House and I wanted peace and quiet at Doghouse. Ringing telephones didn’t fit my definition of peace and quiet.
About that same time Phoebe began having problems with mobility. Knees were giving out, might need replacement. It became obvious she’d feel a bit more secure if I was reachable in case she needed help. Snoozing incommunicado in Doghouse did not make me readily reachable.
I began connected life with a “dumb” phone. I could call out and folks could call me. I stored numbers for family, friends and businesses. Few, except family, had my number. Texting was awkward because its key board was like a regular dial phone’s with multiple characters on each tiny key.
I got a smart phone. Smarter than me by far. All sorts of little icons wake all sorts of little apps which wake my latent exasperation every time I try to make or answer a simple call or text. I accidentally touch or swipe some little picture and have no idea how to get back to where I want to be. Growing problems with hand tremors don’t help a lot either. I need a copy of a book I”m sure has been written and is available. “Care and Feeding of Cell Phones for Dummies”.
There are all sorts of cell phone quick draw carry cases I can wear on a belt. I don’t wear a belt. Clip suspenders only. If I carry it in my hip pocket I have to take it out and hold it or lay it down every time I sit on something hard. If I carry it in front pants pocket I’ll break the screen every time I go to the woods to work. I end up carrying it in a shirt pocket which leaves it on a garden fence post or in the dirt every time I bend over to pull a few weeds.
I have a charger at Moorefield, one at Big House and one in my van. My aged absent mindedness insures that my phone is charging someplace where I’m not. Past weekend I settled into Doghouse for the night, only to jump up and drive Jeep back to Big House to grab my phone in case Moorefield called.
Some days I feel like a dog on the end of my cell phone’s short leash. That which was supposed to provide freedom and mobility has instead nailed my foot to the technological floor.