I skipped a season here at my blog. The last time I wrote was in December. I thought of you all frequently, telling myself that I was going to sit down and write, but then I didn’t, even though I really enjoy writing in my blog. I’ve spent the winter–really the last couple of years–investigating what is happening in the world. This involves educating myself about current events, history, politics, law, society, foreign countries, and other things. It’s really quite interesting. I love to learn.

I’ve also had chores and projects that I’ve been busy with. And sometimes I chatted with friends–both on the phone and the computer. And sometimes I don’t sleep well and I think, “Ugh. I’m too tired. I will write in my blog tomorrow…tomorrow…tomorrow.”

And now, here it is already mid-March! We’ve had some warm days lately and patches of dry ground are spreading as the snow melts. Best of all, the ice is melting from our driveway. In the late winter, we sometimes have a day or two in which the temperature is warm enough to melt the snow a little. But then cold nights–or a return to cold days–refreeze the melted snow, making our long steep driveway very treacherous. I always worry about EJ making it up the icy driveway when he arrives home from work in the wee hours of the morning. It’s always a relief when Spring melts the ice.

There are things I like about winter: I like the quiet because several of our neighbors go south for the winter. I enjoy watching for animal tracks in the snow. I like being in a cozy house while it’s cold outside. But it’s also always nice when Spring starts to arrive with warmer weather.

A few weeks ago, I was notified by our cellphone provider that my 3G phone would no longer work in December so I needed to get a new phone. Since I’ve never had a modern “smart” phone, I started to do research into them–and EJ asked his co-workers about their phones and service. I wanted to get a modern phone, but not a terribly expensive one. I also looked forward to having a decent camera on the phone. I have a dedicated camera, but it has never taken very good photos. I figured that I might as well kill two birds with one stone and have a phone/camera combo instead of a phone AND a camera.

We figured that since we had to get new phones, we might as well also get a new cellphone company. We’ve been frustrated with the expense and (poor) service of the one we’ve had, but didn’t want to bother researching a new company. Until now when we have to change phones anyway. We decided to go with a company one of EJ’s co-workers recommended: There is no contract, the company is based in the USA, the plans are MUCH cheaper than the company we had, and so far the service has been excellent.

In the week since I received my new phone, I’ve been exploring it in order to learn its functions. I’ve been quickly learning about apps, how to change ringtones, and all sorts of things. Most of the time I can figure things out myself, but If I can’t figure it out myself, I search “how do I….?” online and find the answers.

EJ’s first cellphone was a flip phone and he has stuck with a flip phone all through the years, declaring that he doesn’t need a newfangled phone with all the bells and whistles–all he needs is a basic phone to call and text with. He wanted to stick with his current phone, but our new cellphone company said they were unable to switch it over so he had to buy a new one. He, of course, chose a flip phone. When it arrived, he hated it because it was not easy or intuitive to use. It was difficult to access the contact list and he had to press down hard on the keys to write a text message. The first day he had it, he said that it took him 7 minutes to text a sentence to me from work. And there were other functions that were difficult to use. He felt very frustrated with it.

So I got to thinking.

Usually, if EJ says he prefers something, I don’t try to change his mind. He likes what he likes. However, EJ hasn’t really liked his last three flip phones. He has complained about them all while declaring he just needed a basic phone to text and call. I think that newer isn’t always better, but neither is older. Obviously, EJ’s flip phone wasn’t meeting his needs.

I told EJ that he was sort of like a guy a century or two ago who refused to buy a newfangled car declaring that he just needs to get from Point A to Point B so a horse and buggy was good enough. But society has changed. Because a car can drive longer distances, businesses are further apart. He isn’t getting easily from Point A to Point B if it takes him a day to drive to a store with a horse and buggy when he could easily get there and back again in an hour in a car. In a similar way, he isn’t easily calling/texting on a basic flip phone if it takes him 7 minutes to tap out a simple message. I showed him how quick and easy it was to message on my new phone. I showed him the cool apps. “For goodness sakes, get a phone like mine.” He was convinced.

Since he had his new flip phone only a couple of days, I suggested that he call our new company and ask if they will do a trade–letting him send back the flip phone and upgrade to a phone like mine. Even if they required that he pay for the flip phone and then buy the modern phone, the flip phone wasn’t very expensive and getting rid of the frustration was worth it. However, the company did let him trade the phone in and just pay the difference between it and the new phone. Even with two new modern phones, which we are paying with a payment plan, our bill is $30 cheaper than at the old company–and our bill will be even cheaper once we pay off the phones.

EJ’s new new phone arrived Monday. He really likes it and says that he is very glad I urged him to get it. Since I’ve had a few extra days to learn my phone, I’ve been able to help him with things that I had to learn by trial and error–like how to answer the phone! I had seen in the instructions a section that said, “How to answer your phone.” I didn’t read it because what idiot doesn’t know how to answer a phone?? Apparently, I am the idiot. The first time I got a call, I couldn’t figure out how to answer it and had to go back and read through the instructions.. LOL.

I’ve had other funny experiences: Yesterday I learned how to change ringtones. I installed an animal ringtone app and tried to choose unique ringtones for each friend to reflect who they are. One of my friends really loves her dog so I chose a barking tone for her message notification ringtone. I also played around with the “Do Not Disturb” function on my phone that prevents people from calling/messaging at night. Apparently, I don’t yet understand it fully enough. Thinking I had the “Do Not Disturb” function on, she messaged me at about 2 a.m. I was soundly sleeping with I suddenly heard a dog barking fiercely. I thought it was Hannah Joy alerting me to a problem. With heart pounding, I leaped up–only to realize that it was my friend messaging me. I decided that a barking dog is not a good ringtone to have, especially if it wakes me at night. I changed it to a less alarming sound. I will look into how to properly set the “Do Not Disturb” function.

Well…it’s time to lock up the chickens for the night to keep them safe from predators. I promise that I will be my very, very best to write more often than every three months.

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