Screen time fosters longing for outdoors

When I got home last night from work I noticed there had been a power outage

When I got home last night from work I noticed there had been a power outage. It hadn’t dawned on me as I drove home because of the full moon. However, the clock beside my bed was flashing 12 o’clock, 12 o’clock, 12 o’clock. For a second I thought to myself, “I don’t know what time it is – how am I going to get up in the morning?” And then I thought to myself, “I don’t care what time it is. I don’t want to have to get up in the morning.”

It was at about this point that I realized a storm had passed through and I hadn’t really noticed because I’d been working indoors and concentrating too much on the &@##!!&*! computer. We spend way too much of our lives in front of the &@##!!&*! things.

It made me long to be up at the cabin where I make a point of not knowing, or caring, what time of day it is.

One of the first things I always do when I get up there is take my wristwatch off and put it in the glove compartment of my vehicle. From that point on there is only daytime and nighttime.

One of the nice things about being up there is waking up to the chatter of squirrels and the squawking of grey jays outside my bedroom window. It only takes but one single morning for me to come to the conclusion that the sound of the great outdoors is a heck of a lot better than the sound of my &@##!!&*! alarm clock, which has awoken/annoyed me every morning, day-in and day-out, for the past 42 years. I must say I have come to hate the sound of that &@##!!&*! alarm clock.

After waking up at the cabin, I’ll eventually have breakfast. I use the word ‘breakfast’ loosely, because more often than not, I don’t bother making something to eat until closer to noon when I come back from three or four hours of fishing. The same way I won’t bother making lunch until well after midday – just before lying down for my afternoon nap. Precise meal times aren’t all that important when you’re at the lake.

On particularly warm, lazy afternoons when, technically speaking, I’m supposed to be on a fishing trip, I’ll spend the whole afternoon sitting on the front step reading. (Trout don’t usually come into the shallows to feed until the sun starts to go down.)  I pretty much do whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like doing it.

I do enjoy fishing in the soft, waning light of evening though, not to mention casting a line by the light of a silvery moon. It’s peaceful on the water at night. I fish more by sound than by sight. The best part of fishing in the evening hours, or at night, is that you are under absolutely no obligation whatsoever to get up too early the next morning. Which brings me back to that &@##!!&*! alarm clock that sits beside my bed.

Last night I knew I had two clear choices. I could simply reset the clock and let life go on as it is, or I could not reset the clock and see what happened when I showed up late for work the next day.

The thought even occurred to me that I could go on to the Internet and try to find an alarm clock that sounds like the chatter of squirrels and/or the squawking of grey jays.

Anyway, I thought about it long and hard and, in the end, decided to go to bed and trust in the fact that, if nothing else, I have, after 42 years of being woken up by a &@##!!&*! alarm clock, become not only a creature of habit, but also conditioned to doing the same thing at the same time. I drifted off to sleep still longing to be up at the cabin.

This column originally ran in the Aug. 10, 2012 Shuswap Market News.