Mother Nature Hates My Electronic Life

I send the same email weekly these days. “We’ve got another thunderstorm. I’m unplugging my computer and working on battery, but just in case I disappear, you know what happened.”

I sit there in fear that suddenly I will be cut off from the world – and from my work as a remote employee – by another storm meandering through the county, ready to lash out at my house and the electronics therein.

If you think I’m over-cautions, save that thought. Tell it to the wireless router killed by lightning a month ago. And the answering machine that took its last message late last week before another round of on/off/on/off/on/off electric surges took it from “worked MOST of the time” to “now tying up the telephone lines as if it were in service . . . when it’s really not.”

If I didn’t know Mother Nature better, I could develop a complex. She isn’t crazy about my electronic life. It’s as if she’s trying to bash me back a decade, pre-smartphone, pre-wireless internet, pre-DVR, pre everything that now keeps my life up and running.
I can’t blame her. I sometimes wonder if I’m an addict, if digital is my drug.

And yet, I’ll contend that she’s been a bit hasty in making her decisions about me.

I feed my daughter with digital, after all. I pay my mortgage and make the money I need to buy out the farmer’s market on a Sunday afternoon.

It’s a shame she’s put me in this position.

But try explaining that to “normal” people, folks who live in cities where there are no trees hanging out over power lines, no rain-soaked rootballs giving way when a rough wind blows through, taking the cable, the internet and the phone along with it. They don’t get it.

A friend jokes that instead of my warning emails, I should send announcements that the sky is blue, that my internet is steady, that all’s clear on the Sager front.

That’s the way non-boonie folks like it.

They find it quaint that we have extra flashlights and candles scattered throughout the house, that we know how to cook entire meals on a barbecue grill, that we can make do without a shower or two . . . there’s always the river in a pinch. The fact is, I’ll take all that and more if I have to.

But when the power comes back on, and I go to hit the “on” button on my trusty electronics, I’d like to see it surge right up and get moving. I’m getting tired of Mother Nature make all my gadgets disappear  . . . for good.

Image via Bruce Guenter/Flickr

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