Call waiting

I bit the bullet the other day and bought a new cell phone. The old one was a little flip phone that worked perfectly well, but it didn’t take pictures, text, have a navigational gps or connect to the internet. All I could do was talk to whomever called me, or call someone I wanted to talk to. Worked fine for me, but the kids wanted me to get into the 21st century, so I did. But it is NOT a smart-phone. It’s amazing to me that this piece of machinery, which is smarter than me, is still at the lower end of the technology curve. It takes pictures, texts easily and will connect to the internet if I really work at it, but it doesn’t take my pulse, or count my steps or record my every thought.

I don’t use it very often, unless I am visiting Outside. There I use it so I don’t have to use someone else’s phone to call my kids or check the flight. Because of that I have a very simple plan.so much a year, and if I renew before the due date, it carries over. So far I’m four years ahead and still accruing. The kids suggested we update and start carrying it and LEAVING IT ON so they could reach us by text. I’m not sure what the attraction of texting is, although I am often annoyed by someone talking on their cell phone when I am sitting by them in the theater or in line somewhere. But it also bothers me to see someone unconsciously texting away oblivious to their surroundings. I probably don’t need to tell you I still have a phone or two or three in the house. (digression: have you ever thought about the additions and changes to the language since technology started running our lives? We have ‘snail mail’ and ‘land lines’ now. “Four on the floor” used to be a coveted thing. It won’t be long before it’s the definition of “dinosaur” when driverless cars come to fruition.)

The first phone number I remember was 5F3 (don’t ask. I can barely remember the number on the new phone) and our ‘ring’ was three shorts. Every household had a ‘code’, determined by the last digits of the phone number. So 5F12 would be one long ring and 2 short rings. Everyone on your line, signified by the first digit (5) could hear your ring, and pick up and listen if so inclined. And often they did, depending on what was going on in the family. If there was a new baby expected, or a member of the family was ill or they were just bored and wondering what was going on in the neighborhood, you were apt to be on a teleconference call whether you planned it or not. Social media in action but we called it ‘rubbering”

Our phone was in the dining room, hung so high off the floor that I needed a chair to reach the mouthpiece even at its lowest position if I ever wanted to talk on the phone, which was very seldom, because kids, when I was one, didn’t talk on the phone. It was powered by two huge dry-cell batteries housed in the bottom compartment. I remember Dad having to change them only once. (another digression: did you ever play the game of holding hands while some misguided friend held onto the battery wire and another rang the phone? The object being to see who could hold on the longest. Seemed like the ringer guy was always the one to instigate the game).

By the time I was of phone age, the system had advanced to the phone that signaled the operator when you picked up. We still had the party line, but the rings went privately into each house, and you didn’t know anyone was on unless you picked up when they were talking. Then before long we graduated to the dial system and the world changed.at least I’m sure my parents thought so, although I didn’t ever spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone . But it was easier to call a friend to check on what to wear to school the next day, or every once in a while get a homework assignment, and more than once to listen to a tearful lament about some boy or another.

Remember how it was in the days BC.before cell phones? I tell the grandkids about having to walk five miles because the car broke down and they say “Why didn’t you call Grandpa?” No way to call for help if you were stranded on the road. You had to hope someone would come by with a jump, or a jack. Today is a whole different culture. Now you just call from the grocery store when you forget the list, or text your friend when you are running late and can’t make the lunch date. Takes some of the mystery out of life but learning to use a new phone certainly makes up for that loss.

Virginia Walters lives in Kenai. Email her at vewalters@gci.net.

More in Life

Dillon Diering and Sarah Overholt dance while the Tyson James Band performs during the 45th Annual Moose Pass Summer Solstice Festival in Moose Pass, Alaska, on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
‘We’re about community’

Moose Pass throws 45th annual Summer Solstice Festival

This summer salad is sweet and refreshing, the perfect accompaniment to salty meat and chips. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Fueling happy memories

Fresh salad accompanies an outdoors Father’s Day meal

File
Minister’s Message: The way life will be

“Is this the way it was all meant to be? Is this what God had in mind when He created us?”

Photo provided by Art We There Yet
José Luis Vílchez and Cora Rose with their retired school bus-turned-art and recording studio.
‘It’s all about people’

Traveling artists depict Kenai Peninsula across mediums

Promotional Photo courtesy Pixar Animation/Walt Disney Studios
In Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2,” Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith), Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Tony Hale) and Disgust (voice of Liza Lapira) aren’t sure how to feel when Anxiety (voice of Maya Hawke) shows up unexpectedly. Directed by Kelsey Mann and produced by Mark Nielsen, “Inside Out 2” releases only in theaters Summer 2024.
On the Screen: ‘Inside Out 2’ a bold evolution of Pixar’s emotional storytelling

Set only a year after the events of the first film, “Inside Out 2” returns viewers to the inner workings of pre-teen Riley

Calvin Fair, in his element, on Buck Mountain, above Chief Cove on Kodiak Island, in October 1986. His hunting partner and longtime friend Will Troyer captured this image while they were on one of the duo’s annual deer-hunting trips. (Photo courtesy of the Fair Family Collection)
The Road Not Taken: A tribute to my father’s career choice

For the first 40 years of my life, I saw my father professionally as a dentist. Period.

Edward Burke is ordained a transitional deacon by Archbishop Andrew E. Bellisario at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Kenai, Alaska, on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Photo provided by Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church)
Kenai’s Catholic Church hosts diaconate ordination

The event was attended by roughly 300 people, nearly a dozen priests and deacons and the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau

Rhubarb custard cake is ready to be baked. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Rhubarb and running to lift the spirits

Frozen rhubarb just won’t do for this tart and beautiful custard cake, so pick it fresh wherever you can find it

File
Minister’s Message: Prioritizing prayer

I am thankful I can determine to pray about choices and circumstances

Most Read