Monday, January 27, 2014


As I sit here typing this on my laptop, to my right is my Android smart phone (no not an I-phone, I'm fighting the power), to my left is my I-pad (yeah, so, apparently I suck at fighting the power).  Also on my desk is my daughter's I-pad mini, my digital camera and my wireless printer.  Sometimes I look at this over-abundance of technology beeping and blinking at me and I think okay this is out of hand.  I need to just shut it all off and walk away.

When I was growing up there was a small park just a few blocks from my house.   This park occupied four small lots on a corner in our neighborhood.  The land had been bought and donated to the city in the memory of two brothers from our town that had died while serving their country in World War II.  The park was mostly empty except for a monument in the center which had a large granite cross on top.  I say was.  It still is pretty much the same way today except last time I drove by the city had built a swing set near the monument.

As a kid I spent most of my time with my nose in a book.  And way back then, spending a summer day inside was unheard of.  I remember my grandmother telling me that I needed to go outside to "blow the stink off me."  No, not kidding, that's what she would tell us.  More days than I can count I would ride my bike or walk down to the park and sit on the cool stone monument with my back leaning on the cross, reading.  Or I would draw.  And I would make up stories and write them in down in spiral notebooks.  I spent hours and hours lost in fantasy worlds.  It was wonderful.  

Now we have all this technology available to us and I know, it's great.  Don't get me wrong, I love all my toys and gadgets.  I went without my phone for 24 hours recently and I thought I was going to lose my mind.  I was nervous to leave the house.  What if something happened?  What if someone needed me?  I guess I forgot I lived almost 30 years without having a cellphone and managed to survive unscathed.   But we've gotten so used to being connected, it makes us feel uncomfortable to be out of touch.

I think unplugging every now and then is not just a good idea, it's necessary.  Times change and not always for the better.  Ever see the movie Wall-E?  I don't think it's that far off base that in our future we could all be blobs in chairs letting machines do most of the heavy lifting for us.  Hopefully it won't come to that but I have a great fear of it getting close.

So even though it scares the hell out me to be without my phone for more than 30 minutes, I really feel the need to get away from it at least for one afternoon.  And just because I'm cool like that, I'm going to drag my daughter along with me, kicking and screaming if necessary.  No phones, no technology.  We'll go to a park and get us some nature.  Although it will make me crazy not to have a way to take pictures to commemorate the expidition, it would defeat the purpose to take even a camera.  The point is to take in the world around us with just our senses.  I'm pretty sure my daughter will view this as torture, but oh well.  It's time to get out there and get the stink blown off us.  

1 comment:

  1. My first instinct was to say "take a camera!" but you got that covered. So next I thought "how 'bout a sketch pad and a couple of no. 2 pencils?" Now there's something I'll bet you haven't seen someone do in a while. You could draw pictures of each other. Whether you wind up with a Rembrandt or stick figures, it's something to put up on your fridge for a while. But yes, soak in all of the beauty of nature. Now if we could only filter out the mountain cedar.