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Pull the Plug

Alright, y'all can laugh all you want.
I just spent the last 4 days with no home phone service and no internet, either!
Quelle surprise...I was bereft without my phone.
The internet connection was not such a loss for me, but my phone line?
Hai-YA! It was agony.

My TELUS repair tech, Mike, came to my home today and after a long time poking and prodding in the phone box inside my breaker panel, he found the cause of the problem...a 'wet' line! Apparently, the connection from the gas meter's direct-internet line to their head office, that allows them to 'read' my meter without actually coming to my home, had moisture inside the external wrapping and it caused my phone line to go dead.

It was an interesting few days...I had no idea how attached to my phone line I actually am.
There were no long conversations over a cup of tea with my friends, no chats with my daughter about her day and...oh, yes...no telemarketers! No interruptions at dinner, just as we're sitting down to eat! That was a lovely side effect for me, and although I didn't miss those calls, I was totally delighted when Mike told me he'd found the problem and fixed it.

It started me thinking...what would we do without our daily connections to our friends and family? That's the juice that helps me make it through, sometimes. Just calling a friend or my son or my daughter, hearing their voice, hearing an 'awww, that's so sad. What can I do to make it better?' over the phone...that's enough on the worst of days.

There are so many ways of staying connected these days. E-mail, e-cards, phone calls...both cell and land line...fax, courier, post office snail mail, bus freight, flower delivery...no excuse for not letting someone you love know that you're thinking of them. And, letting them know can save their life, sometimes. At least, it does that for me, often.

I know there are retreats that you can go to, where there are no phones, no cell phones allowed, no TV, no radio, no CNN! I understand why people seek out that kind of serenity, that kind of unplugging from the everyday life and the interruptions of phones and faxes, of bus freight arriving and courier deliveries.

I also know how meaningful staying connected can be. I think there's a fine balance between the two. For me, I'd rather stay connected to my human lifelines than to unhook, unplug and detach, to get away from those lifesaving connections. I never knew that about myself before. This time doing without some of those connections reinforced that for me, very strongly.

So, long story short...if you've been unplugged, disconnected from someone who really matters to you, and more's to the point, who you really matter to...think about getting in touch. It just might save someone's life. You never know who might be affected by the sound of your voice or the sight of your e-mail.

"The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt." ~ Frederick Buechner

Comments (3)

If my phone line went out I would smile - a lot. I'm not keen on the house phone. I won't pick it up if there's anyone else home to do it. My Internet went out for several days earlier this year and that caused me grief and angst though.
I call my Mom every night using free minutes on the mobile. And it tells me who is calling, so if I don't want to answer, I don't have to. :)


Truth be told, I could use a little "unplugged" time right about now. On the other hand though, it would be tough not being able to talk to my girls (or Chris) when I wanted. Now if my mother could just lose my phone number for a few days... hmmm...


It's funny how hooked we get on the electronics in our lives...I think I'm a pretty calm person as a rule, BUT was I fretting about not being able to use my phone! A lot of it had to do with the inconvenience of having to use a cell when I'd rather use a land line. It was an interesting experience and one I don't want to re-visit anytime soon!

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