Dog Jackets for Warmth Photo compliments of K. Farwell It is 7 or16 degrees cold outside (depending on which reading is correct, my thermostat or the local TV channel’s weather app) and 40, 54, or 66 degrees “warm” inside my house, depending on what room you happen to be in. I could use my central air and fix that, but instead I prefer to use a gas stove in my living room which should be a bit cheaper in the long run than my central heating.  That means my dogs got to put their winter jackets on this morning.  We got about 6-8″ of snow here by the time it ended yesterday.  I am too lazy to bundle up and go outside to measure the actual depth. Suffice it to say by yesterday noon the street between my house and the school across the street was undetectable—–and the school driveway “do not enter” sign looked  like it was  only a foot off the ground. Why all that minute detail? I wanted to set the stage for my television saga which began last night just as the Westminster Dog Show was starting. I had thought perhaps the snow that kept falling until about 11 AM yesterday might mess up my satellite television reception. Luckily, the snow was blowing the opposite direction than the “dish” part of the satellite that is high up on my roof where it cannot be reached to sweep the snow away. You can imagine my surprise when I punched in the numbers for the dog show channel last night and instead got a “no satellite signal” message. Then I went to the TV in my bedroom, and it was still working. So I punched in a new channel and got it without a problem. Then I punched in the numbers for the dog show. Guess what? All of the sudden that TV also had “no satellite signal” message.  I found this exceedingly strange, so I called DirecTV. After telling their computer I wanted to talk to a real person  at least three times I finally got to talk to a woman who tried to be helpful. First, she had me look for a “genie control box” that was supposed to be on the floor behind one of my television sets —-she even directed me to an online photo so I would recognize it when I found it. It was not behind either set.; so she had me look in my basement. It was not plugged into any outlets there, so I told her I didn’t have a “genie” even though she was sure I did. She said they’d been installed in all systems in the past 2-3 years.  My system was first installed before that time, but by then I knew better than to argue with her. The “tech assist” lady went on to explain that no one could be scheduled to come to my house until all the snow was gone…..which probably won’t be until sometime next week. Besides, she explained, your loss of signal is probably due to snow even though it stopped snowing eight hours earlier….and, yes, according to her, one TV set can work for a while before getting a delayed loss of signal even after the main set has stopped getting the signal. Isn’t that amazing? Want to know something else amazing? When I woke up this morning, my bedroom TV was once again getting satellite signals, and it has been doing so for about three hours now even though the main television (the one that is supposed to control what both sets do) is still not receiving a signal. I’m sure if I called there would be some off the wall explanation of why that is normal when it snows, but I hardly think it is worth the bother now. I will just watch TV in my bedroom when I need to see weather, news, or my favorite soap opera. There’s always “DirecTV everywhere” I can view on my laptop, tablet, or I-Phone….but it’s “live streaming”  is a bit limited. I think perhaps God is trying to tell me things other than television are much more important.  I didn’t have television in the house where I grew up until I was about ten years old,; therefore,  I know it is very possible to have a great life without television. So, I will patiently wait until the snow melts before trying to get DirecTV to come fix my system. I may even ask them to deduct a week from my bill. Who would have thought that many years ago when I stood outside with my father and uncles on a starry night  just to see a satellite move across the sky for the first time that I would eventually be so dependent on the orbiting wonders that I would find their limitations this exasperating? May peace and blessings come to all of us, and may those of us who are isolated due to weather conditions  use some of  the freed up time to  nurture our relationship with God. May God bless and keep you.

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