Saturday, February 11, 2017


If you’re wondering why I have failed to publish anything on my blog this past week, blame it on the weather. Even now, as I am writing this, I’m holding my breath and typing as fast as my arthritic little fingers will allow, because I am rushing to finish it before the next snowstorm strikes…and causes me to lose my Internet connection for 110th time this week.

You have to understand that I live out in the wildnerness. I am talking about hawks and coyotes eyeing the guests at my bird feeder, and having to wait for the deer to move out of my driveway before I can drive up it.

When I first moved here, I called the cable company I’d had at my former residence, only five miles from here, and asked if they could come over and install the same cable set-up here. The representative promptly arrived to check out my property. He then informed me I would have to pay for a half-mile of cable, plus the labor, to connect the nearest cable-using house on my road with mine. The cost? Well, let’s just say that for the price he quoted me, I wouldn’t even need cable. I could just visit everyone on my Facebook friends’ list and all of the actors on my favorite TV shows in person…and fly first-class.

So I ended up with two satellite dishes, side by side on my roof - one for TV and the other for the Internet. They constantly wage battles with each other to see which one will stop working first whenever there is more than one flake of snow or two drops of rain, both of which wreak havoc on the signals.

And forget it when a really bad snowstorm strikes and covers the dishes with snow, and they end up looking like two giant, white Mickey-Mouse ears perched on my roof. At that point, I would get better reception using a wire coat-hanger wrapped in aluminum foil.

Unfortunately, after a blizzard, my satellite dishes are destined to remain buried until the spring thaw. Call me a pessimist, but climbing a ladder that’s standing in 18 inches of snow while I also have snow on my boots, pretty much sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. I can just picture myself clinging to an icy ladder and then falling backwards with the ladder landing on top of me. The imprint in the snow would end up looking like a giant snow-angel with railroad tracks running up the length of her body.

A couple years ago, when my Internet satellite company went out of business and I had to find a new one, the technician who came over to assess my situation said, “We don’t install satellite dishes on the roof any more. It’s more convenient to put them on the sides of the houses or even on the ground, where people can reach them to clean them off in the winter.”

I was pleased to hear that bit of good news. Finally, I thought, I would have a reliable Internet connection throughout the winter because I would be able to clean the snow off the dish without risking the need for any of my body parts to be surgically pinned back together.

The day of the installation, I was in the house when the technician came in, smiling. “All done!” he said. “Your new dish is installed. And guess what? I decided to bend the rules a bit and put the new dish exactly where your old one was, on the roof!  No sense drilling any new holes in your house when there were already some ready-made ones right there.”

At that moment, I wanted to drill a few new holes in the guy’s head.

So I'm still plagued with “lost signal” messages every time I’m using my computer or trying to watch TV during a storm. Just prior to losing the signal, however, my computer is kind enough to warn me it’s about to happen…by completely locking me out. And my TV will freeze a program right in the middle of the action…before the screen goes blank.

I’m pretty sure that at those moments, I’m lucky it’s winter and the windows are closed, because people in the next county probably would be able to hear me having a loud “conversation” with my TV and computer, where every other word should be bleeped.

The bad winter weather not only has caused headaches at home, it’s also prevented me from seeing my dentist. Every time I’ve made an appointment during the past month, there has been either a blizzard or an ice storm, where officials have ordered everyone to stay off the roads.  So I’ve had to cancel. 

Finally, the TV meteorologist said, “Cold and sunny all week,” so I rushed to the phone to book another dental appointment while the weather was cooperating. But the day after I booked it, the weather report suddenly changed to: “The blizzard that was 100 miles out to sea is now about to circle back and head straight here for New Hampshire!  The snow will start falling heavily at 2:00 on Tuesday afternoon, the exact time of Sally Breslin’s dental appointment!”

So by the time spring arrives, I’m pretty sure I’ll either have destroyed my computer out of sheer frustration, or pegged a big rock at my satellite dish to “dislodge” the snow from it.

And I’ll also probably be on a liquid diet because my teeth will have fallen out from a lack of dental care.

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                                     REST IN PEACE, WILLOW, MY SWEET GIRL.
                                              I'M REALLY GOING TO MISS YOU...

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