That's about where we are at out here in the hinterlands beyond the boonies. Our signal is pretty hit and miss as it is, but lately, it's been absolute misery. This "mountain" we are on runs quite a distance north and south, and still just a bit upwards from us. There are countless acres of 'dead zone' directly behind us, and beyond that you're lucky to get a 1X signal, let alone anything better. Used to be we had a decent enough 3G here at the homestead, and the Netflix movies or Pandora station did moderately well. Not anymore. The days of cell service and Internet signal at the homestead are pretty much a thing of the past.
Part of me is pretty miffed about that. I mean, we live in the Digital Age. Everything is Internet-based, from the checkout at the grocery store to the reading of my electric meter, the water meter, the TV signal, etc. and yet they can't get a decent signal out in the sticks. A mile down the road it's not too bad, and even the satellite dishes produce a decent following. I should be able to sit in my own living room and get a phone call, kwim? And for what we pay for cell service, I'm pretty dang sure I deserve better service. At the very least, I deserve reliable service for that inflated price. I enjoy the fellowship of my online friends, I enjoy sharing their days, praying for their needs on a one-on-one basis. I like visiting the few blogs I keep track of these days, wandering my bunny trails from one crafting idea to another, from school blogs to devotionals.
Another part of me though, that homebody isolationist part, couldn't care less if the Internet and cell service is bottom-of-the-pond quality. No cell/Internet signal means no news updates reminding me what a sad state of affairs this world is running headlong into. It means very little outside interference with my daily life, like Facebook drama and the like. It would mean I could just exist in my own little homestead world, secluded in the happy ignorance that living behind the farthest rock in the back of the cave brings.
Tell me there's not a part of you that longs for that quiet life, at least once in a while. No connections, no white noise, no "knowing" everything that's taking place outside your little personal world. Just God, you, and your family. And time...
...time to spend on needful things, and things that bring you calming peace and quiet joy, things you choose to include in your day
...time for the simple things that make up your day, like baking special treats and home-cooked meals, preserving the bounty of the land around you, creating memories around the dinner table
...time for quiet learning, not simply school books or preprinted Bible studies, but true learning from the everyday lessons that are found in the simplest of tasks like washing dishes, or mending clothing...or the deep reflection that can only be found when you take your books and disappear into the woods to find that perfect spot, with it's dappled sunlight and the silence of nature around you
...time to stop your chores and simply BE QUIET, no hum of electronics around you, no filtered sounds of Facebook games, television, dogs crunching on their food, cats scratching at the litterbox, text messages buzzing in...just you, the sounds of nature, and that small, still voice that speaks to your soul
...time to truly share with those people you choose to keep close to your heart, sharing snippets and bits of your history and your future...not from a sense of obligation because you're in that group, or committed to that project, but because you have selected to spend those moments with those friends
Of course all of these things can be done with all the bells and whistles that online connections bring. Not everyone has Internet woes and troubles, and not everyone gets sucked into the big old world of Facebook, blogs, and websites. Sometimes though you just need to be able to breathe and not even have the thought of being connected in your mind. I'm one of those types. If it's available, I'll use it. No sense doing without when it's right there, this isn't the Dark Ages afterall. I can easily rationalize it all out to make avoiding the things I've mentioned above seem like the best idea.
Forced quietness is necessary for me every so often because I have no natural slow-down or stop and rest setting in my life. I don't hibernate, I need the hard reset every so often to recharge and renew. Perhaps the wonky Internet connection is plaguing me for a reason. Might be time to remove some things I don't need and focus on things I need more of...like selective Internet moments. I do miss those slower days of simply wandering blog to blog among friends, and visiting via email groups instead of instant texting. Honestly, I miss the truly slow pace that old fashioned letter writing brings to life. I want to walk for a while instead of run.