Now that I am retired, I miss a lot of phone calls. We no longer have a landline, just cell phones. Many of the places that I fish and hunt in Montana have poor or no cell service. At least, that is my excuse.
Back in the day, I remember coming to Montana to fish and could only make a call from a pay phone. When we camped at Raynold’s Pass, the Slide Inn had a pay phone across the parking lot. If there was not a line, you could phone home. There were often lines.
Today, cell phones have become more like a Borg Implant. The text buzzes, an instant message purrs, and a call ringtone. Trucks and cars are synced so you can’t ignore the calls. They also help you drive safely without taking your hands and eyes off the drive.
I carry my cell phone to take pictures. Todays phones are awesome cameras. You can send them immediately to share with others. My photography has greatly improved from the expensive rolls of film days. Normally, my phone is turned off until needed. Who wants to get a call in the middle of stalking an elk or landing a trout?
If the phone is not answered and I am injured, lost, or worse, they can find me using the GPS. If I were to die afield, that would be ok, better than in an Old Fart Home.
I always get the look from Millennials when the phone ringtones, buzzes, whines, barks, or whistles. They immediately answer and address the phone. Its like the world will end if they do not respond to a text or message instantly, LOL. I swear they want to answer it for me while I mute or turn my phone off.
Unknown numbers get no attention from me. If they have something important, they can leave a message. I will and do get back to messages.
When I was working as a teacher, guide, salesman, administrator, Vice President, supervisor, Manager, or whatever big title I had, I was being paid to answer the phone and stay on top of the issues. Communication was key. My priorities have changed.
Don’t be offended if I don’t pick up right away. I will text, instant message, call, once I am off the river or out of the woods. We work hard to get to this place. Independence is wonderful. The biggest deterrent is age. Our older bodies determine how many miles we trek, row, paddle, or wade.
After 40 plus years of marriage, my wife doesn’t require hourly checkups. I always come home. She has heard every excuse and no longer wastes her time trying to understand.
When my Elk Call ringtone erupts from my shirt pocket, I may pickup or not. No offense to the caller, just a focus on the pleasures of the day. One thing for sure is that every day we hunt, or fish is one less day or opportunity to do so.
Fish on! Can’t talk now!
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