Our cable and Internet are down at the house for the next couple of days, meaning that we have quaint, old-fashioned evenings of reading (just finished Jim Harrison’s *The River Swimmer*–lovely book), fireplace, and snoring dogs. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m writing this post using only my index finger and the minuscule phone screen, I’m tempted to ask myself just what cable and Internet services add to our lives. Is not it far better to have these evenings of quiet communion?

Uh, yeah. Completely. Now I just wish that I’d remembered to get more Sleepytime tea at the store and my evening would be perfect.

I’ve been thinking a lot as of late over relationships. Yes, people crave connection, community of like-minded souls. Yes, Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and everything else create a sense of community, but even if that medium serves to let you look at photos of your best friend from fourth grade’s trip to Des Moines, it seems to me to be a rather shallow sense of community. And yes, I know these are overfished waters: online relationships can be nice, but they are no substitute for bring is the same space, the same place as another person.

My point? I’m making a case for valuing the community you already have. Connect with significant other or your kids or your parents or a friend or someone you want to be your significant other by going for a walk (bonus points if that walk involves a dog or two, even if you have to borrow the dog) Or writing someone a letter that involves a stamp. I’m in my chair, under a cranberry red afghan than my cousin Sarah made for me many years ago, listening to Eleanor snore while Beatrice curls her gangly puppy body around her. I feel more rested, more peaceful doing this than I have in many a night.

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The Ever-Adorable Ivy and Some Random Cat

That’s Ivy. Ivy creates community where she finds it, which in this case happened to be a spare cat in dire need of a tummy rub and ear scratch. Smart girl, that Ivy.

The new modem should be here by Thursday, but I’m already wondering if I can put it off a bit, even if it means writing with just one finger. I had quite forgotten the peace to be found in reading at home, dogs underfoot, tea cozy at the ready.