Hello, again

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Kickin’ it old school with a landline home phone

Hello, again. It’s me. The year is 2018 and I have a landline again like it’s 1993. The house phone is a french blue 1960s type with a receiver that actually sits in the cradle and push-button dialing. If no one is home, there is no machine and no voice mail to leave a message. You just have to try again, or text my cell phone.

The house I bought is in a rural part of the county, where only one cell carrier has service, and that “service” is spotty at best. Luckily, my cell phone is already affiliated with the one carrier that offers the occasional service. The phone constantly oscillates between no service and one bar. I can generally send and receive text messages. If a cloud goes by in the sky, then service is completely disrupted and text messages have to be sent again. Welcome to rural America.

The funny thing is, I don’t consider my house location to be rural. I am actually closer to my work location in the city than where I was living previously. My commute time has literally been cut in half. The house is in a village where I have a store, library, laundry, churches, parks and schools all within walking distance. My apartment was located on a busy highway on a dead end street – you literally had to drive everywhere and could only walk as far as the end of the driveway.

I considered the apartment to be rural and cut off from services. Especially the winter where we were literally snowed in for about four days because even the snow plow truck got stuck at the end of the road. I do not consider my house to be rural at all. Apparently, though, when it comes to cell service, I am rural.

This is the first time in 15 years that I have a landline. The phone was just connected today, and it is comforting to have it there. I can now fully communicate with the world by all means – text by cell phone and voice by landline.

The house phone was connected at the best time. Today I had the day off for various doctor appointments. Apparently one doctor office was tying to get a hold of me for additional blood work. Because my cell phone does not receive voice service at the house, I did not receive the message they left on my cell phone until I was already in the city at the doctor office. The cell phone never rang at the house and only indicated it had voice mail when I drove the four miles into the city for the appointment.

I’m sure the novelty of the landline will wear off once telemarketers figure out the line is active and start calling. That is pretty much a given in today’s day and age. For right now, I am enjoying the peacefulness of knowing that if I have an emergency, I can call for help. I can call for anything, really. I can even call the library to register for craft class without having to walk over there to register.

When the snow starts flying this winter, I will have phone service to be able to call and talk to people. This is key because I am pretty sure that in winter, I will lose the ability to text from my cell. If I have to resend a text message because a cloud decides to float by, I can only imagine what it will be like with snow flying.

Speaking of snow, what did people do back in the day before treadmills were available for winter running? Well now, they ran outside, and shoveled snow, of course.

I have not used my gym membership in about 6 months, since maybe March. That is over $400 a year I am wasting on something I don’t use. I am still running, but I run outside. Now that I live in the village, I can literally lace up my mizunos and take off from my front door. At the apartment, I would always have to drive somewhere to run because it was too dangerous to run the busy highway on which I lived.

I basically cancelled my gym membership to pay for my monthly phone service. I am no longer going to drive someplace to run. How ridiculous is that? It’s it ironic to sit in traffic waiting to drive someplace to run on a treadmill? Now I can run right out my front door and down the street. If the weather is bad this winter, I can workout indoors. The house is big enough and I no longer have neighbors below to worry about. I can make as much noise jumping around to Jillian Michaels doing mountain climbers and burpees as I need.

I’m also looking to get back into the pool this winter and do some swimming. The off-season is typically when I go hard on the cross training to prepare for the next running season. This year, my goal is going to be swimming. I will run outside all I am able, and swim when it’s below zero out. A pool membership in my area is a lot more affordable than a full-on gym membership with access to all the facilities. In fact, I will probably just pay-per-visit or get a punch card.

It’s also time to get back to basics for my health. The four months of hell I lived through trying to address my housing crisis really did a number on me. I have had mini-strokes. The doctors are now watching me to be sure I don’t have another full on episode like I did a few years ago. It’s kind of important that I follow the directions and am able to communicate with the world.

Hello, again. It’s me. We’re trying to get this home ownership thing under control and back on a normal schedule again. Let’s hope for a quiet fall and end of 2018. I’ll be partying like it’s 1990-something with a throwback landline phone. That’s about my speed.   

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