By Phyllis Galowitz

I must admit, the world has forged ahead and I’m stuck in days long gone. Computers, smart phones, GPSs, driverless cars, self-propelled vacuum cleaners, etc., all to make life easier—but is it?

I’m old enough to remember when there was only one telephone service, Bell Telephone.

If there was a problem with it, the solution was only a phone call away and, at no charge. A real person would come to the house and resolve it. Today, there are so many choices for telephone service; some work through your computer, some through fiber optics, (whatever that is), some require cell towers. All require the ins -and-outs of what makes them work and if they can be serviced where you live, not to mention where the party you are trying to reach lives.

Recently, my son-in-law, John, moved to a town that has cell phone service from one that did not. In order to get service in his old neighborhood, he had purchased special equipment which he no longer needs. I was the lucky recipient of that equipment which will enable me to get cell phone service in Andes— when I learn how to use it. I also have his iPhone, since he now has a newer model, but I have no idea how to use it. I went to Verizon, in Delhi, where a very savvy representative showed me how to activate it (cost #1) and pay for 1 month’s use (cost #2). Since there are no longer manuals provided to reference, she wrote down all the instructions to get me started: How to turn it on and off, how to dial a number and how to make a contact list, all of which I forgot by the time I got to my cell phoneless home and could not read her writing to help me. John connected the special equipment needed to obtain service but didn’t know that I did not have Wi-Fi. (Doesn’t everyone?) So I could not receive service until I have a router (?) in order to have Wi-Fi. This gets more and more complicated.

I now have a long wire connecting the antenna, attached to the window and the special box connecting to the computer, but still no service since there is no Wi-Fi! I can’t even try to learn to use the phone since there is no service! It is great to have that ability in an emergency, and I’ve often thought, as I’ve travelled these beautiful but lonely roads, “What would I do if…?” Now, after everything is connected and I learn how to make a call, I will be safe!

P. S. I now have a GPS that I’m learning to master so that I can find new places without getting lost, and soon I’ll be taking stunning photos on my iPhone. My brain is on overload but life is simpler—don’t you agree?~