I never thought of myself as a wi-fi addict.
Sure, over the years I’ve grown more attached to e-mail and Facebook, even when I’m away from home. While I used to devour books on vacation now a portion of that time falls to my technology activities, but it’s never seemed to interfere with my quality of life.
Of course, some of that has to do with our unlimited data plan (praise the Lord and pass the ammunition). Yes, we’re dinosaurs – back when we bought our first iPhones AT&T offered unlimited data, a perk that’s now grandfathered into our policy. The last time we told an Apple rep about it his eyes popped wide open in shock. He then advised us to never change providers because no one offers unlimited data anymore.
At any rate, this quirk in our phone plan gave me a lot of flexibility. No wi-fi available? No problem, the phone coverage will kick in. Over the years this came in handy in many situations – killing time at athletic fields, hotel rooms that don’t offer free wi-fi, or finding myself in a room too far from the server, for example. It’s been pretty freaking handy, actually.
This year’s lake week found the chink in my armor, though.
The wi-fi at the lake house has a history of being a little temperamental. Previously it worked through the DISH network, and even a tough storm could knock it out. We switched the service source (please don’t ask me for details, I’m a little fuzzy) so I’d hoped it would work better. But we’ve encountered some…issues this week.
We have nine people in the house right now, and every single person has one (or more) devices that use wi-fi. The end result? A complete and utter meltdown of the network.
Bear’s on internet restriction this week, so she’s played no part in this insanity. T-man has his iPod and the kids’ laptop. I spoke with him yesterday morning about not streaming any TV shows or YouTube videos, but it turned out he’d already stopped because his videos kept buffering.
We have two teenagers here whose devices are either in hand or within reach at all times. (I’m pretty sure you risk being banned from that age group if you unplug.) One of them had to review Spanish tutorials to prep for college classes next week, so that bandwidth-suck was unavoidable. Facebook, SnapChat, streaming movies, and the rest just added to the party.
Our adults have a lot going on right now, too. My sister is handling work issues long distance. My brother is preparing to begin his new job next week along with doing his writing/research, and my sister-in-law is beginning her job search online. BrightSide has Big Time Stuff going on at work – being out of town two weeks in a row has only contributed to the load. He’s had to sign onto two or three conference calls via the laptop this week, and let’s just say it came down to the wire as to whether he’d even get on the network yesterday.
And then there’s me. Up until this summer I’d adapt to my connection situation, but now there’s Riddle from the Middle.
Want to know if you have the writer’s bug? Spend four months establishing a routine and then drop yourself into a situation where you are literally unable to access your online publishing site. The first few days were difficult; the last two have driven me over the edge. I’m like one of those mice who’s been fed a diet of junk food and sugar then abruptly switched to cheese – one of these days they’ll find me twitching in a corner in the fetal position.
I find I’m physically pained that I can’t access the writing platform or insert media into posts I’ve managed to write. There are now big angry messages on my phone’s Blog Note – To Do: ADD MEDIA TO “WE STILL HAVE WORK TO DO.” WRITE PAGE ENTRY FOR “CHOCOLATE/VANILLA” BOOK.
After lunch yesterday I was the only living being in the house. The only one! I figured I had 20 minutes before needing to take over watching T-man and Bear swim, just enough time to log on and get a little writing done. What happened when I tried to load WordPress? Nada. Nothing. An infuriating circle spinning endlessly as I watched incredulously, blood pressure rising.
So I grabbed a pencil and notebook and went down to the dock to kick it old school. The words are rattling around in my head, and they get pretty freaking noisy when I ignore them. Eventually I’ll recover wi-fi access, right? RIGHT?!
I love it here at the lake, I really do. It’s beautiful…peaceful…usually an incredibly relaxing place to be.
But I’ll tell you what’s landed at the top of my list – bringing in a boatload more bandwidth before the next group visit.