Sunday, November 26, 2023

Low Tech Thanksgiving

I have just spent much of a week in a house with no internet access--no, not mine, but the ramshackle house that my family rents each year.  In the past, we've been given a hotspot from the camp that rents the house, but last year, we discovered that they no longer provide that service.  We used our smart phones as hotspots, and I had the highest mobile phone bill I've ever had, since I don't have unlimited data.  

Last year I learned how much data gets used when the phone is a hotspot, so this year I was more careful and intentional.  No more mindless scrolling of sites in the morning before everyone else work up--I read a book! No more checking various sites in the afternoon because I was bored--I went for a walk or started up a conversation.

I used my phone as a hotspot in the morning to do the morning devotion time that I started doing during the pandemic and have kept doing it.  It's a 12-15 minute time of me doing the reading from Phyllis Tickle's The Divine Hours, a time for contemplation and/or creativity, and a time for prayer and reflection/benediction at the end.  I lead it by way of my Florida church's Facebook page.

I also checked in on e-mails at one other point in the day, but happily, nothing was there that required my attention.

On Tuesday, knowing that I would have limited internet access, I made a push to get all of my grading done--hurrah!  I did go down the mountain to Spartanburg just in case my students needed face to face attention.  I saw very few of them, and even the ones who had scheduled conferences decided not to come.  That was fine with me; I wanted to be available, in part so that if anyone later says that I wasn't, I can say, "I came in on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and you weren't here."

They likely won't say that.  In all my years of teaching, that's not a common complaint, of me or any other college teacher I've known.  It's far more common that they just disappear with nary a peep.

Tomorrow I will write more of a Thanksgiving wrap up/retrospective, but today I need to get ready for church.  I am still the Synod Appointed Minister at Faith Lutheran in Bristol, Tennessee, and today I am doing a baptism.  I am both nervous and feeling good about it.  I have assisted at many a baptism, so it's not an unfamiliar rite to me.  The church congregation is kind and supportive, so I don't feel like it's a day fraught with peril if anything goes wrong.  And there's not much to go wrong--it's not like a funeral.

Let me go get organized.  Let me be peaceful and filled with joy.

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