August 9, 2011

No Service


There was nothing "to do" at the cabin, meaning no wi fi or even cell service to text someone all old school. I was really looking forward to unplugging. However, there was a moment the first morning that I walked the entire cabin with my iPhone held above my head trying to find one bar of service and I ended up on the seventh step of the ladder to the loft like a crazy person. (And just as soon as I got that one bar, it went away.)

Gray river

Anyway, back to nothing to "do"- there really is plenty, things I never have time for (or enjoy taking time for) like cleaning, preparing meals, starting a fire, exploring, etc. That's all there is to do at the cabin. And being together. We sat around the fire together, sat around the table together, and I did realize some of the most opportune moments to really look into your child's face is when you're eating dinner together. I wonder if God made food for that very purpose.

I did bring along all our art supplies and lots of yarn for knitting but never really had a chance to dig into it. There wasn't as much boring down time as I'd expected. I think I thought unplugging meant my hours would be empty. And really, they were so very full.

homemade fishing pole

Friday morning we made a huge breakfast of pancakes, skillet potatoes, bacon, & corn beef hash (ew) and soon after I found myself standing at the sink while everyone else had bolted out the door to the river or the woods. I glanced at the dishes still on the table, the half-drunk juice, and I put a little Camera Obscura on the stereo and just rolled with it. 

Paying attention is easier without distractions. Things are less annoying. I loved having my phone tucked away in my purse in another room all day and all night. I loved not checking it. Admittedly, the only reason I did not check it was because there was no service. But it's something I am now training myself to do here at home.

Carter look out

And so, I couldn't take it the whole time. I slipped out for a drive, mostly because even after just one day I had a little internet withdrawal cabin fever whatever. I also didn't mind taking the Acadia on the backroads (chilling in the a/c was pretty nice, too.) Everyone else was sleeping but Carter & Gray, so we took off in search of adventure- and cell service. We drove about 20 minutes before I got a signal. Both awesome and frightening!

I looked to my side and Carter was zonked, Gray slumped sleeping in the back and I breathed it in. I pulled into a gas station parking lot and checked my emails and Twitters and Instagrams. And it felt quite flat. I wasn't missing anything. Truly. I anxiously watched over two hundred emails download into my inbox and none of them were urgent. Many of them were just junk, but on a normal day I would have busied myself with checking and deleting them frequently instead of just doing it en masse at once, as I should. I have been giving myself away to the stupidest things.

We got back from our drive and everyone was still sleeping! Jeff had marinated steaks before lying down so I got to work on cutting veggies for the kabobs. Carter and Gray finally thumbed through their Highlights magazine for the first time in months and found all the hidden pictures without any bloodshed. I was thankful for this.... pause.

Life can move slowly if you let it.

 (couldn't resist, that blurry photo happened because I do not know how to use my camera.)


  1. I love this. It looks like everyone had such a great time, unfettered and away from all the stuff that drags us down.
    I unwillingly unplugged when I was so sick and amazingly, my emails were still there waiting when I got better. Yesterday I willingly unplugged at the zoo and I am so glad.

  2. such a beautiful post. i love when life just takes its time. it can go so fast, especially when we're always tuned in. xo

  3. What a wonderful trip!
    It's nice to unplug, isn't it?

  4. It's always difficult to know how much of all the wired activity is fun, useful, obligatory, or addictive. But it's definitely good to remember that none of it is essential.

  5. When we go to the beach every year in September I am forced into unplugging as well. The first year I thought it stunk because I was, like you, missing something. Since that first year though I look forward to it. Before we leave I will schedule a post or 2 but while I am there our cell service is iffy and our internet not so great so I just don't look. Our girls are in heaven with our undivided attention and I love it too. I am glad that you had such a nice time Stephanie!

  6. "I have been giving myself away to the stupidest things."

    AMEN for me! Right to my heart Stephanie, thank you. I am getting offline NOW!

  7. Michigan must be the place for bad cell service. I had the same problem last week when we were there. I had to walk all the way down to the dock to get a few bars. I too realized that it wasn't worth it and nothing tragic happened without it. I wonder why we let it consume us so much when we are home? Glad you had a good time. It looks like a wonderful place.

  8. sometimes, we all need to unplug for a while. your weekend sounds magical, actually. i'm afraid i could never talk ken into doing it, but i sure wouldn't mind.

  9. Writing this down and making note of it to remind myself: "I have been giving myself away to the stupidest things." Oh, don't we?

  10. Husband just got on to me last night for being on my phone while at a baseball game with my boys. So I put it away. And then I blogged about it today. ;) We were semi-unplugged on our family vacation a couple of weeks ago. It was lovely.

  11. You are not alone, I don't know how to use my camera either. But I love that you made an animated gif! Awesome! Missed you this weekend! xo

  12. I am so glad you had a good time!

  13. Unplugging isn't so hard once you get used to it. I got a "cell phone" (using that term mildly) for BlogHer to stay connected but plan to tuck it into the drawer, not to be seen again until we have a road trip or something.

  14. Can't say I could live the slow life 24/7, but every once and again is just SO refreshing.

    This post makes me want to hit the woods in a bad way.

  15. When I'm disconnected, I don't miss it at all. It's breaking the habit that's hard (not that everyone needs to), but once it's broken -- for me -- so much better. And always easier to not miss the online stuff when you're in the woods/water/wilderness.

    Love this post, and you.

  16. It IS nice to unplug from time to time. We recently went on a trip that forced us to unplug and it really was nice to be able to step away.


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