Random Thoughts

Communication 2012

... one day in October

by Ann Robbins Talbot

I have never wished for a Fancy Phone or any kind of an I-gimmick. Not until now.

Anticipating Hurricane Sandy and the probably loss of electricity afterward, I stocked up on apples and crackers. I hard-boiled my half dozen eggs. And I purchased my Halloween candy so, in the event of an extended outage, I would not actually starve.

I remembered to charge my cell phone and received an unwelcome message. My account was to expire on October 28, the very day I wanted to charge it. After several "push one or push twos" I was once again in the good graces of AT&T. I bought the phone for emergencies and I considered Sandy an "emergency." Only three people on Earth have my cell phone number, two being my sons. But I figured I may have to call out.

After the morning of sustained wind and some tooth-shattering gusts, the electricity did go off. I had been tracking Sandy on the weather channel and I missed knowing what was going on. I located the tiny inexpensive radio that I had purchased before some other disaster-to-be. It did work. The voices were scratchy and the antenna had to be pointed precisely at a certain spot, but I could tune in every once in a while to hear what was happening in NYC and on the coast of Connecticut. I had friends on Orient Point on Long Island who had planned to ride out the storm. I wanted to be assured that they were okay.

The voices on the radio were apparently hosting a tv program. They kept describing photos of amazingly terrible scenes of water coming in on high tide. Since my town (Holliston) is far from the beach, our greatest enemy is wind. They were also describing scenes of trees being uprooted and telephone poles being snapped off, causing havoc with the electricity. I understand that if I had had an I-pod or Twitter, I could have seen these sights.  But my cell phone has no bells or whistles.

For the first time in my recent memory, I went to bed at 8:30pm. I had been reading by the light of a flashlight, but got to a stopping place. I found it impossible to work on my jigsaw puzzle in one narrow ray of light. So bed was my option. At 4:30am I was awakened. The electricity greeted me with a burst of light and the hum of the furnace. I finally could return to the world of television coverage and Internet.

Will I buy some grown up communication gear for next time? Probably not.  





November 2, 2012


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