Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

June 6, 2013

Yeah, it's the 'camp' thing, again

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Not everything went smoothly a week and a half ago when my wife and I went north to ‘open’ our cottage. In last week’s column, I detailed situations that would drive any rationally-thinking, sane person to the point of building a ‘For Sale’ sign and planting it out front. But that’s not me. (That didn’t sound right.) 

Not only did the water pump fail – leaving us without running water for the time we were there (we could get buckets of water, however, right out of the river) – but after helping out a neighbor by mowing her lawn, the mower I hauled up there, broke. It broke before I could get a chance to finish our own property. And then the weed-whacker failed to do its job – apparently, it requires weed-whacking line to run. Who’d have thought?

The small heater we had — to combat the low 40 degree weather — was less effective than a one-slice toaster. (Not to mention that every time it kicked on it tripped the breaker-switch shutting the place down.)

With all of its problems, one of the place’s allures is its solitude. The peace and quiet it offers is as meditative as owning your own maharishi guru. And for me, being able to sit down — as the sun is setting across the river — and watch the Yankees’ game with no chance of interruption is all I can ask for. I was looking forward to that piece of heaven on this first trip. It would soothe whatever problems I had – if even temporarily. This, however, entails having the cable service turned on.

I have learned from experience, that you don’t want to call Time-Warner from that neck of the woods on your cell phone. The charges – from roaming in Canada – can cost a bundle. And in the past I’ve been “on-hold” an average of 30 minutes every single time. It’s been absolutely ridiculous!

This year, I called ahead of time to see if there was a way I could circumvent the hold-time when I called. (The electric has to be turned on before the cable service is, so I have to travel there and turn the power on beforehand.) 

Really long story short; “Joe” at TW said I’d not have to call – when I got there — as he would leave instructions to have the cable switched on at an agreed upon timed (after I’d gotten there and turned electricity on). That would be great, I thought. But under the ‘What else is new?’ category, they didn’t do it. No cable. No Yankees. No reprieve.

I had to call Time Warner twice – because the first time the service failed to come on, as I was told it would. And on each call I was on-hold for over 20 minutes. I spent more money getting the thing turned on than I’ll spend on three months service – and that ain’t cheap!

But my wife always has a great frame of mind. Her philosophy, “it’s all good,” is contagious. It helps me cope with issues that I tend to overreact to. So I took on an ‘I don’t give a crap’ attitude when I was there. But in reality, I had to: the septic-pump also failed. (No flushee zee toileto!)

But … it IS all good. That sort of stuff can be repaired or replaced. Some things can’t.

Happy birthday to my all-inspiring wife, Kathie. And, to Gary, thanks for the call. You always make my day.

That’s the way it looks from the Valley.

Tom Valley is a Medina resident. Contact him at tvalley@ rochester.rr.com.