17 November 2008

A Cable-Free Weekend Prompts Nostalgia

As I mentioned here and here, we spent a long weekend without cable service. For me, it was like being transported back in time. It has been years since I sat at home listening to public radio on a Saturday night. I remember sitting in my bedroom as a teenager beside my radio that was tuned to shows like Prairie Home Companion and The Thistle and Shamrock, the latter of which originated on my local public radio WFAE the year I started high school. To console myself about my dateless status, I would tell myself that I was more sophisticated than my peers because I was enriching my mind with news and music that was off the beaten path.

This weekend was also a reminder of how bored I used to get back then. At least this time around, I had plenty of books from a recent library run. I also had a knitting project to work on, some games on my laptop, and a couple DVDs to watch with M. Even with all of that, I had to fight the urge to go to bed and sleep until the cable service was restored. Without the hum of all the TVs and computers, the house had a strange quiet that made me drowsy.

On top of all of that, it was difficult to break habits developed from constant use of modern technology. After three days, I thought I would stop trying to rewind the radio, but I didn't :-). There were at least 10 instances when I wanted to look up a recipe or reserve a library book on the internet and I couldn't. Call me an addict if you want, but for a housebound person like me, the internet is the means for getting things done.

The weekend wasn't all bad. I will probably turn on the radio more often, especially on the weekend. Reception here is still bad, but in certain parts of the house it is bearable. It was nice watching DVDs and talking about books and clothes with the girls. We are a long way from wanting to eliminate TV and internet from our lives completely, but I can see cutting back a little more.
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