The clock sung 5:30am as we stumbled around loading the car. My little HP mini netbook snuggled safely inside a black tote bag, nestled on the floor-board of the front seat. We were headed to Texas to spend the holidays with family. Just the night before, blurry-eyed and beat, DW informed me at 9:30pm that my carefully packed tubs of clothes did not fit in the trunk of our small SUV.
“What do you mean? They fit LAST year!”
“Yeah, well LAST year we still had our mini-van.”
Arrgghh! I had painstakingly spent hours laying out everyone’s clothing choices. Piles of packed options strewn across the master bedroom. I vaguely remember asking DW to help me narrow it down and his response being:
“Just pack it all…we have plenty of room.”
We smashed and smushed the contents of one tub into two smaller carry-on sized suitcases. I think I sat on one to get it zipped.
But after everything was said and done, we were packed and on the road. I knew there would be no internet connections for the two days we zipped through small town after small town. I read Firefly Lane (by Kristin Hannah), from start to finish, all the while thinking about our impending vacation. Days of sleeping in, drinking hot coffee while pouring over blog posts about family and friends. I anticipated nothing.
However, since last Wednesday’s arrival, there have been no dynamic writing days. For whatever reason, my HP refused to connect to my in-law’s Wi-Fi. We tried for hours to no avail, which in hind-sight may not have really mattered since we have been absorbed in family and friends. The days blend in to one another, until the quiet hours of the night, when DW and I snuggle in bed and I realize how much time has lapsed from my last post.
I used to think it would be nice to take a break from technology, to be unreachable for a while. Take a break from personal agendas and self-imposed deadlines. But at the end of each night a weight of longing lingered. It is hard to believe, but I missed reading about the lives of people I have never met, relationships fostered by shared stories and virtual contact. Most of all, I missed taking a few minutes to connect with myself. A week without internet was like a week without myself.
I am dumbfounded as to why we tried again this morning. My plan was to sneak off for a couple of hours, lose myself in the coffee shop of a book store, let the steaming caffeine fill my thoughts. But we decided to give it one more attempt. We tried several patterns of passwords and IP addresses.
And suddenly – we had a connection.
It was as comforting to see the internet icon light up as putting on my favorite pair of pajamas.