Saved by the Past

How my basement closet got me through Sandy.


Ah, the modern age with all its wonderful conveniences! Cable TV, with so many channels you can spend the entire evening just checking the schedule. Cable internet, with speeds that would boggle Einstein’s mind. Cell phones, getting smarter and smarter all the time. Electronic home telephones that do everything but the laundry. Etc., etc., etc.

How could we ever go back to all those inconvenient, outdated relics of the past?

I’ll tell you how I went back, in one word: Thankfully.

Like most Greenwichites, after Sandy wreaked her havoc I had no power. Which meant, of course, that all the electronic phones in my home were useless.  So use the cell phone, right?  Not so fast.  No bars, since Sandy rendered the local cell tower kaput.  Now what?  Well, tucked away in a basement closet were a couple of those telephone relics that perform no other function but allowing you to speak to the person at the other end of the line. No electronics. You simply plug the telephone cord into the wall jack and presto! You have phone service.  Whew!  

I was one of the lucky ones who had power restored in about 24 hours. However, cable was another story.  I was told that since the cable line in my area was taken down by not one, not two, but three massive trees, it would take one to two weeks for me to have access to "Two-And-A-Half Men," as well as e-mails informing me that I won one million, five-hundred thousand dollars. Once again, back to that basement closet for our ancient Sony Trinitron (and digital converter, of course).  I simply plugged it in, adjusted the rabbit ears, and lo and behold, Ashton Kutcher!

Which still left the question of internet access. I get a voluminous amount of e-mails every day, and occasionally one of them is actually relevant. I couldn’t possibly go for days, maybe weeks, without acknowledging Facebook Friend requests from friends I never heard of.  Fortunately, I’m an AOL subscriber, and therefore, to access the internet I can still use, pardon the expression, “dial-up.”  So, back once more to that basement closet for a telephone cord, which I plugged into an older Mac which was still sitting on my desk (“just in case,” and this turned out to be the case). That hideous dial-up sound, in this instance, was music to my ears.

With all the ultra-modern advancements at our disposable today, what got me through some of the effects of that shrew, Sandy, are remnants of the past that have long been outdated...but, fortunately, not forgotten. 

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