So, in the next few days, the first smallish but significant steps will be taken toward the simpler life I want to create. Partly it's because we just can't afford the stuff anymore, but it's also because I was very hesitant to get it in the first place, and I am actually looking pretty forward to the demise of the electronic tether and brain sucker.
The cell phones and the satellite television are going away this week! I am getting a landline for the first time in about 5 years, and over the next few months we'll get a Roku box or two so that we can Netflix on the TV, but the laptops will do just fine for the interim. I am actually excited about this! We can maybe all focus on more real stuff. I largely got the satellite service because I knew I was going to be on medication that was going to make me sick, so the option of vegging in a brainless manner was quite attractive, and also because once we moved to this house, the little converter boxes that the g'vmt made us all get the other year no longer worked, so I wasn't even going to be able to veg on real crap, like Maury and Divorce Court. We had a rooftop antenna at the old place, not one here, and even though we are directly across the river from one of our local stations, and not more than 4 miles from the others, all we were able to bring in over here were 5 crystal clear televangelist channels. Not PBS, not NBC, nothing. So, we got the stupid satellite, and I've hated it from the beginning. It's so damn easy to get completely hooked on the 250 channels of absolute garbage, ya' know? Jeez, even the History Channel is almost all Ancient Aliens, and Proof of Extraterrestrial Seeding of Planet Earth, and other complete junk science. And the commercials! Gawd, the commercials! Hate hate hate the commercials!!! Even PBS is annoying me with their Chuckie Cheese sponsored kid programming. Cannot express the distaste I have for my grandson telling me that,
"We have to go to Chuckie Cheese, Gramma, because I am a kid, and Chuckie Cheese is where a kid can be a kid, so we have to go there!"
Okay. It's cute. He says some very cute things! He's 4! But it's more insidious. My gut reaction is more on the level of oh yuck. Really PBS? Chuckie Cheese? Video games and crappy pizza? Isn't that kinda antithetical?
And all because Curious George and Sid the Science Kid need funding. And I get that, I do! I love and support public television and radio, but jeez luhweez! Can a kid be a kid at the damn park please?! It's like my thing with moving to the mountains. Okay. For one, I grew up at the base of the Colorado Rockies, in Denver. I was lost in ideas of Pike's Peak from my swing set. If I could just get high enough, I could jump from the swing, and fly all the way to the tippy top. We went up up up nearly every Sunday. Squaw Pass, Berthoud Pass, Brekenridge for waffles, Everygreen for chicken, Georgetown for tumbled rocks and geodes. I love so many mountain towns in Colorado, but man... it's as expensive to live in Nederland as it is to live in San Francisco! I couldn't afford San Francisco in '83, let alone now! And the other thing that really struck me last winter, while watching my loved Planet Earth DVD set, is I want to go for walks in mountain meadows and look at wildflowers instead of putting in the 'Mountains' DVD to watch the meadows of wildflowers be passively shown to me in hi def (right. Like I have hi def. My tv is so old, both sides are cut off because the screen is still SQUARE!! Aren't I quaint?!) but you get the point. I don't want Connor to experience the world through the filters of screen and electricity, and I don't want to experience the world that way either.
Tonight while reading Corduroy, when little bear friend went up the escalator and thought to himself that maybe this was a mountain, Connor said he'd like to climb a mountain, but that the escalator was not a mountain. He'd like to climb a real one.
Right there with ya', dude. lets go find us a mountain, and climb it together. Lets take take the time to stop and look at the flowers, and the creeks, and the fallen leaves. Lets go! Into the wild blue yonder!
We'll go climb some mountains, and conquer some challenges, and be alive and free in the real air. And we'll start with whatever hills or valleys or parks we can find around here. Real air, real world, real life, here we come!!