The Pioneer Life

Oops. I think talking about pioneers is politically incorrect these days. Never mind, however, because that’s exactly how I’ve felt since Friday. Like Caroline Ingalls of Little House on the Prairie fame.

My time travel began shortly after arriving home Friday following cataract removal surgery. Keep in mind that the surgery — at least from my perspective — is about as high-tech and cool in a 21st century kind of way as it gets. I mean, there’s a doctor using some sort of laser with which he is removing the cloudy lens in my left eye and inserting some sort of new artificial lens. In the course of this high-tech surgery, he also did something that makes me see better than I could when I was 7 years old. Like an eagle, just as he promised.

And while I was apparently awake during the entirely painless procedure, (and it’s true that I was because I remember seeing the light while he worked), the high-tech anesthesia the masked man who was my anesthesiologist gave me made me, well, an amnesiac. Because I have no recollection of a nurse putting a metal eye patch on my eye. All of the sudden, they rolled me out in a wheelchair, and Bill was waiting. It all took a mere 20 minutes from the time they started rolling me into the surgery room.

Anyhoo, I arrive home feeling nearly completely normal (except for the eye patch), though tired. So I took a power nap. A couple of hours later I awoke, and Bill broke the news to me.

We had moved from High Techville to the Last Frontier.

“Oh, just go reset the modem,” I said, as though I knew what the modem was or what it even looked like. All I knew was that generally, when our internet goes down, Bill resets something — either the modem or the router or both. And it always works.

Except this time it didn’t. “I’ve already done that several times,” he said. “I think it’s more than just our modem or router.”

I have never really stopped to think how reliant we have become on the internet. In 1993, when we moved into this house, I remember Bill setting up his computer, and telling me about something called the World Wide Web. It was so farfetched that I simply ignored him, thinking Ray Bradbury had come back to life, and Bill had been reading his newest novel. Somehow that seemed more realistic than the World Wide Web.

Well, in the nearly 30 years since that conversation, my life has become totally and entirely dependent on the World Wide Web. So when our internet has a temporary but serious hiccup, life as I know it changes. For all intents and purposes, it comes to a halt.

I read on Kindle, but in order to read the book, it must be downloaded. So when I finished the book I had been reading on Saturday, I was bookless. Yes friends, I had forgotten to download the e-books that had arrived from the library.

While we could watch our regular television because we have a Dish satellite, remember that it’s summer and there is nothing good on television. We were unable to stream Netflix or Amazon Prime. Detective Sergeant Endeavor Morse would have to wait until our problem was fixed.

Our doorbell wouldn’t work. Our Google Home wouldn’t tell me the temperature outside. I couldn’t Google how long I had to wear the dratted metal eye patch if, say, I didn’t want to believe the doctor who told me I had to wear it every night for a week. I couldn’t check Pinterest for an idea for dinner.

I couldn’t even get on Xfinity’s website to figure out who to call.

Well, all of the above is not exactly true. At some point, my feeble brain recalled that I could use my phone with cell service to do all of the above. My iPhone 7 would have to limp along and pull the wagon (in keeping with my Little House on the Prairie theme).

Life went on, much to my surprise. Bill and I even, well, TALKED. Imagine that. And yesterday morning, an Xfinity repairman came to our door at 9 a.m. on the dot. I had managed to figure out how to order service online using my phone, and it worked.

And now, so does our internet. See ya. I’m going to watch Tiger King.

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