It is rare that a single new thing can change many, many aspects of one's life. That single new thing for me is high-speed internet. For years and years we have gotten online via Wild Blue Satellite, and while we were always grateful for the step-up from dial-up, it was still frustratingly slow, as well as costing almost $85 a month. The folks down on the main road have had Time Warner Cable for a long while but we weren't candidates for it because we live so far away -almost a quarter of a mile from the main line- and the cost would have been prohibitive. But an added surprise benefit to Margaret and Matt moving in down the road is that now there were poles in place that made it much less costly to string cable up to our house. So we split the cost (2/3 us and 1/3 them) and now both houses have this wonderful thing called high-speed internet. They got cable television as well, but since we already have DISH TV and are very happy with it, we just got the internet part. We have figured that our outlay of money will be paid back in about a year and a half.
In addition, we bought Apple TV so that we can stream movies from Netflix right onto our tv screen. And boy, is that ever a little technological miracle to me. I click on a movie from my Instant queue, and I watch it. Amazing. In addition to the streaming, this little black box also allows us to get internet radio. There are a zillion stations out there offering every imaginable kind of music. And we get podcasts. And the NPR 'Little Desk Concerts.' And Tom hooked up our Bose radio so we get great sound.
And we've gone back to something we tried a few years ago - putting the tv in the kitchen with a couple chairs. Our living room is now for sitting, visiting, and reading. It is a quiet, serene, inviting place to be. When people come over, they don't watch television.
Just Tom and I do that. And in the winter, we will be roasty-toasty with the wood stove beside us. We won't have to turn on the oil heat nearly so much. These chairs may seem to be uncomfortable but they aren't. They are easy to sit in for long periods of time. The reading lamp is there for winter reading, too.
Now, back to the internet advantages. I jotted down a page loading time to illustrate how much faster it is. As much as I love the site Cornflower Books I visited very rarely because it took so long to load.
Before high-speed: 139 seconds
After high-speed: 39 seconds - 100 seconds less!
When I used to write a blog post it would take so long to load pictures that I'd leave the computer and go do something else. Now they load in no time.
We couldn't be more pleased with the whole arrangement. We feel that we are part of the 21st century now!