Telephone Hill

Vieques, Puerto Rico

We owned a web development/marketing company prior to becoming house sitters. We thought we were tech savvy and pretty current on how devices worked, as well as anything that had to do with the World Wide Web.

Often we used our phones to browse the Internet, even when we couldn’t get a WiFi signal. We knew that ATT charged us for this roaming data, but we’ve got an awesome plan and have never gone over our allotted 10GB limit. But we thought that with most modern phones, getting cell reception meant automatic data reception. Through our hurricane recovery experiences, we’ve learned differently.

Let me back up a bit.

We are three weeks past Hurricane Maria now. We’ve been told that full cell reception will be restored any day. Right! Our friends, Tom and Sue, came over and told us that they were able to call out with their cells from the top of one of the tallest hills, here on the island.

Immediately we took off and found cars lined up all along the sides of the peak that I’ve named “Telephone Hill.”

We found a prime spot, parked and sure enough John was able to get through to his sister, Pat. I was not so lucky, but we were encouraged by the progress.

We returned the next day to the now infamous slope and got no signal and thus, no thrill.

The next day, on the Plaza in Isabel Segunda, I struck gold. Sitting at the base of a pillar on the Plaza’s concrete raised stage, I GOT A SIGNAL! I was able to get through to my sister, Della, and enjoyed a 10-minute conversation with her! Yay!

Everybody was trying to scoot in as close to me as possible to share my “hot spot” and a line started to form to use my phone. But, no one else got lucky. For some reason with my phone, connected to Della’s phone number, in that exact spot, with my head positioned in an exact way, the magic of the phone call happened.

Since that day our reception for calls and texts has been spotty at best. We haven’t climbed any of the few standing trees to get a signal, but we have climbed several hills, often.

So far none of our cell phone connections have hooked us up to the Internet. We’re guessing that whatever signal has been made available for phone calls is not the right kind for data or it’s not strong enough…or something! Though, at this point we’re not complaining. We’re grateful for the cell signal and to be able to text and make phone calls, on certain days, in certain places.

So far, no one has called us.

This morning, over breakfast, we were discussing what we’d do if our phones should suddenly do the unthinkable and actually ring! We’d probably be in shock. Hopefully we haven’t forgotten which button to press to answer.

So our post-hurricane cell saga tickled the creative in me and I wrote this song. It’s to be sung to the tune of Bing Crosby’s classic, “White Christmas.” Here’s a link to the karaoke version if you want to sing along.

White Christmas Karaoke

Anel’s version:

I’m dreaming of my cell phone ringing
Just like the way it used to be,
With the text inviting,
And glass front lighting
Brightly with called ID.

I’m dreaming of my cell phone dinging.
Oh please just once let me get through.
Let there be 4 bars
And hold a charge
Just the way it used to do.

I’m dreaming of my cell phone singing.
But alas no joy today.
As I climb this hill,
There’s just no thrill.
There’ll be reception soon they say.

I’m dreaming of my cell phone pinging,
With every text I want to write.
May my screen be lit up and bright,
And my gazillion voice mails be all right.

(John says I’ve gone over the edge with this one, but I sure hope it made you giggle!)

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2017,Puerto Rico

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