Lakeside Cabin, New Hampshire, August 2011

I am back at the beach and I’ve been welcomed with a wallop of humidity and rain after two glorious humid-free weeks at at the lakeside cabin.  The vacation was relaxing, but there were some drawbacks all relating to technology. As quaint as our rustic cabin was with its knotty pine interior and vintage furnishings from the 1940s, the mood for this look was exacerbated by the lack of light, phone service, and wifi.

The main room where I wrote only had two lamps and an overhead fixture. Each bulb was only forty watts. Although there were eight windows, we were surrounded by woods and sometimes we had a slightly overcast day.  For someone who is very nearsighted, has had issues of strained eyes, and whose presbyopia has worsened, working at what was comparable to candlelight was a concern.

We thought of buying lightbulbs with higher wattage, but it wouldn’t be too surprising that the cabin might have its original wiring circa 1943. The thought of dying in an electrical blaze with three dogs and unfinished novel is not something I wanted to entertain. We did, however, find a pair of nifty book lights  that worked beautifully for bedtime reading and I bought an extension cord to move one of lamps closer to the bed in the bunkhouse.

The biggest pain in the ass, though, was phone access. We typically don’t talk on the phone much, and the only time the Ol’ Man uses it is to conduct interviews for the health articles he writes for Newsday. I sometimes use the phone if I have to clarify something concerning a HAND/EYE issue. Otherwise all communications are typically handled via email.

This time, though, we’ve had to use the phone on a few matters that needed our attention. We needed to hire a cleaning lady to water the plants, feed the fish in the ponds, and do some house cleaning. Our problem was getting connected and reaching someone who would stop by. You would think that it wouldn’t be too difficult to find someone to spend no more than an hour to do these little chores. We were wrong.

The biggest drawback, for me, was not having Internet access. I’m a news junkie and not having the capability to read my various news forums was a nuisance. Apart from getting current events, I heavily rely on the Interwebs for research and I although I brought reference books with me, I still needed that very handy Google to aid me with questions that cropped up

But there were some positives when I did have Internet access at the library. I was better organized with email. I answered those that needed a quick reply and set aside the others that could wait. I didn’t miss the virtual water cooler and Google+ too much, but still managed to post photos of the vacation and make some pithy remarks here and there. Overall, I was content not to spend too much time on it (exception: I ran a contest of a photo I took so that kept me  visiting via iPhone updates). I saw I used my time more effectively without 24/7 access. But there were some misses—not having the flexibility of writing a blog post and uploading after writing it. I like to write these and get them out and about instead of keeping them on file and posting at a later date. I also missed not having access to certain sites like Amazon to get my book purchase fixes or to check whether certain checks cleared.

Now that I am back at the beach with my wifi I have that flexibility to use it whenever I want, but somehow that feeling of being connected 24/7 isn’t appealing as it used to be. Sure it’s nice, but it’s even better and satisfying when you learn self-control (sans software) and reining in Interwebs ADD.

One Comment

  • Hello Rebeca,

    As always, I did enjoy your post. Vacations are funny creatures. They can add or take away certain daily benefits that we take for granite such as continuous use of the internet.

    You didn’t mention anything about being “inspired” at this location or if it helped you to write more on your current WIP. I often find that a short change in location gets my creative juices flowing.

    Think of it this way; Nostradamus wrote all of his predictions locked away in a secret room with his quill pen and smokey lamps or candles. Did this setting inspire him or did he need the solitude to pen his words of warning?