I can’t get online at the farm.
My foot got tangled in my power cord, causing my computer to crash resoundingly to the floor. I hurriedly picked it up, righted it, and sat before it, terrified I had damaged it. All appeared fine, until I realized the curser wouldn’t move, either when I moused or used the touch pad.
It was at that moment I realized how dependent I am upon my computer and my interface connections.
Upon forcing the computer to shut down, using the not-recommended-power button, and letting it turn back on, I realized that all was well. My computer was fine. I hadn’t broken it. Everything was okay. Even my daughters stood there waiting with me. They know how important it is to me.
I spend several days unplugged with my family each year, on vacations, trips, etc. I don’t necessarily miss being plugged in at those times. I enjoy nature, hiking, hanging out, spending time with kids, parents, spouse, etc. I enjoy my parents’ farm with its complete lack of 21st century amenities. (No internet, poor cell service, no DVR . . . ) My parents’ farm, which I will be venturing to later on this summer, is full of good things, like my mom’s cooking, my brother’s and father’s fresh garden glories – tomatoes, cucumbers, corn on the cob – invigorating political disagreements and arguments, board games, hay rides, creek hikes, hay bales, bright stars, night-blooming primrose, whippoorwills, bull frogs and coyotes.
I remember having a friend over one summer night, and she couldn’t sleep for how loud it was. We didn’t have air conditioning, and the summer time window was always open, letting in all of the night sounds. There were no traffic sounds, no loud music or television (everyone went to bed early) – only frogs, crickets, whippoorwills, and the occasional shrieking owl. (Those shrieking owls, by the way, are terrifying – think a woman being murdered, followed by the low moan of her murderer; it’s no wonder I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.) Things haven’t changed there. There are still all of those sounds. And, though my parents get satellite television, they still don’t have voice mail, an answering machine, or the internet. That’s crazy, right?
I guess I’m a child of two centuries. I feel connected to my world-wide social networking friends. I don’t like to go a day without writing and/or communicating with people online. But I also like the simplicity of shucking corn and shelling peas on the front porch with my mom and dad.
I’m not going to give up my computer, or my plugged-in life. But I’m not going to give up fresh vegetables and creek hikes either.
And I’m fine with that.
As long as I don’t have another scare where I drop my computer. So whenever this laptop dies, I might invest in one of those tough books that can survive being run over – one that can reach the internet even on my parents’ farm, where only satellite feeds dare to go – so that I can have the best of both centuries.
Posted on June 21, 2012, in My Life, Family & Friends, Writing and tagged computers, corn on the cob, digital, family, farm, farm living, internet, nature, scares, simple living, technology, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.