By: Kim Hasty
For much of our lives, from the time my husband and I met nearly 40 years ago, disconnection rarely had been an issue. But now the signs were clearly all over the place.
“No internet connection” and “We’re sorry, something went wrong.“
“Please try again later,” “Network Error” and even “Please try to restart your Roku.”
Ordinarily, the irritation this caused could have been solved by a little cardio in the fresh air or a glass of wine on the deck. But it had been raining incessantly, making technology even more important than usual, even for two people who grew up without cellphones.
I remember once, back in my days as a sport writer, when the clutch went out in my little Datsun on my way home from covering a game in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Clutches, like life without cellphones, are another thing many young folks know little about these days. I tried my best, but you cannot make a car with a manual transmission go very far without a functioning clutch.
It was late, and I was stranded somewhere between Fuquay-Varina and Lillington on N.C. 55, which, back in those days, was the fastest route from Fayetteville to Durham. I took my chances and trudged up a hill to a farmhouse where the lights were glowing inside.
People back then were somewhat less inclined to think you were crazy for being stranded or for knocking on their door, so the kind-hearted people inside allowed
me to come inside and use their phone to call my husband so that he could come get me.
All I can think is that I’m so glad my children have cellphones, or I would be worried to death.
Anyway, to fix our recent disconnection, we called our internet provider, and it turned out that we had a weak internet signal. I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if it were the rain that had washed out whatever internet signal we might have had. A very nice technician named Vance came out one evening to fix things. Of course, it was pouring rain, but Vance nevertheless remained cheerful the entire time as he tromped around outside. He solved our disconnection, and I gave him five stars on the internet review that I could now access.
I was thinking about all that internet stuff recently when I went out to watch Madi Fulkerson work some magic at Green Biz Nursery. She’s known as the nursery nanny, and she does a good job of tending to the plants. One of her specialties, as you can read in this month’s Fascinating Fayetteville, is to create fairy gardens.
She was giving photographer Cindy Burnham and me a little demonstration, but my eyes kept fixing on a miniature garden she had already made. It’s the one pictured on this month’s cover. It’s a peaceful replica of a Japanese Zen garden, complete with a tiny Buddha, a happily rollicking panda, a string of lanterns and a cascade of blue pebbles arranged to resemble a waterfall.
Madi had even used a rake to carve ripples in the sand, a feature of real Zen gardens designed to resemble water.
Water made of pebbles and carved into the sand, yes. And in that tranquil little world, no dreadful effects of climate change, no devastating winter storms, no global pandemic.
And not a drop of rain in sight.