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  • Betty Girardeau

Green Lights


Typically we think of green lights indicating that things are working properly and we can continue to do what we need and want to be doing. On a modem that's the only color you want to ever see, particularly if your work and major parts of your life are connected to the internet, as in my case. Even my house phone and my television viewing are both linked to being connected. So last Saturday morning (of course it would happen on a week-end) I quickly discovered that I was not connected. But, initially at least, the green internet light was on. Prior connection issues had taught me that before I call tech support, I should first reboot the modem. But the only result of doing that was that the internet light on the modem had gone from green to orange. I spent over an hour on the phone with tech support, and, while it was obvious with some of the blinking lights on the back of the modem that the connection lines were functioning, something else wasn't. So I agreed to a visit from a technician, the earliest appointment being for today. Thankfully my household wifi was working and I could still do things like print documents that I had already downloaded to my computer for a notary signing on Monday. My cell phone kept me in touch with the outside world, too. It's funny how we have become so used to being connected and how that has altered how we live and function. I spent the week-end being reduced to doing such things as reading a hard copy book, playing solitaire with real playing cards, baking, and doing some minor house cleaning. The evenings were particularly long without being able to listen to music on my Sonos speaker or watch a streaming TV movie, so most nights I went to bed early. To add insult to injury, in the middle of the night on Sunday, our community lost all electric power. That wasn't too bad while I was sleeping, but it was still off when it was time to get up and try to fix something to eat. That problem was not resolved for nearly twelve hours. But, because I was already so used to having a diminished life-style, thanks to having gone without an internet connection for over two days, the lack of electricity didn't seem too bad. But I was really glad when that at least was restored. By yesterday morning, though, I really needed to get some work done using my computer. My wonderful neighbors shared their internet with me. So several times I would carry my laptop across the street and sit on their patio or front steps to do what I had to do, which included downloading documents for today's notary signing. As I said earlier, my household wifi was working perfectly. So when I got back from my neighbor's front steps the last time with the documents that I had been able to download, I got ready to print them. That's when I suddenly noticed that I was getting new emails on my computer! My green internet light was now showing on my modem! I had not touched the modem since Saturday. The internet light had remained orange for days. And now it was green! As many of you know, I don't like things to not work, and I like to find out why they aren't. But I cannot image why the green light turned back on all by itself. The technician's visit is supposed to happen sometime between 8 AM and 5PM today. I have not cancelled it yet in hopes he may show up before I have to leave to do the 3 PM notary signing because I really do want to get some answers if possible. The book that I am reading is about a woman born and raised in the mountains of Virginia starting in the early 1900's. Her life is a hard scrabble, very basic one, for years centered around births, deaths, having enough to eat, and simple entertainments like story telling and folk music. Then in the late 40's rural electrification comes and they get a radio. She talks about how she does not know how they lived before they had one. I can relate after spending my week-end and most of Monday as I did. I am glad that I was able to manage as well as I did without a connection to the internet and even electricity for awhile. But I surely am glad to have the green lights, even those on my kitchen appliances, back on.

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