Sunday, July 29, 2012


Since last April we have been experiencing daily problems with the bundled services provided by our cable company.  Our phone and internet service would go out repeatedly throughout the day, requiring us to disconnect our cable line and then reconnect it again each time we experienced a loss of service.  Additionally, the "On Demand" feature on our televisions hardly ever worked or would go out in the middle of the programs you were watching. We experienced other issues, as well, but, to avoid increasing anyone else's level of frustration as much as my own, I will not belabor the point, any further.
Naturally, when we began experiencing these problems we contacted our friendly cable company. I am not being facetious when I say "our friendly cable company," because, for the most part, I have always been treated with courtesy, whenever I have called...which, obviously, was very frequently.  Because of this, I always overlooked how annoying it was to wait for lengthy periods of time before a representative was able to take my call, or how frustrating it was to repeat the same information, over and over and over and over and over, (see what I mean?) to each new individual I spoke with. Instead, I cheerfully cooperated with each representative, as they determined which day and time-frame would work best for the cable company to send someone out to take care of my problems. Unfortunately, despite numerous visits, our problems were not resolved, until last week... which brings me to my latest issue.
During the annoyingly, protracted time period required to determine that we needed a new cable line in our yard, in addition to a new modem, I had been repeatedly assured that my account would be adjusted for all the time I had been without service. It was suggested that I wait until I was positive the issues had been resolved though, to ensure that I was compensated for the entire amount.  This was to be separate from the several months of free premium channels that I had received already, after the repairmen arrived later than my scheduled appointment time, like the company "guarantees" on their commercials. Since they were so gracious about it, I didn't even mention the fact that those channels did me no good, as I couldn't ever watch them, since my service wasn't working.
Finally, after waiting several days to ensure that my service really did work, I called to request my refund.  I was asked how long I had been without service, and I replied that it had been over three months; since early in April.
I was told that I needed to be a little more specific, so I replied, "Okay...EVERYDAY, since early in April."
This was not specific enough either, so I was told that I had to provide the company with each and every time that my service wasn't working, or they would just compensate me for the times I had called them to send someone out.  I explained how great that would be, if only I had known about that system beforehand, so that I could have called them the 20 to 30 times each day that my service was interrupted, so that their assessment would be slightly more accurate.  I added that I would have had some difficulty doing that though, since I was unable to use my phone during those periods of time. I was finally asked just what sort of compensation I actually thought would be fair.
I thought about it for a minute and then said, " Well, originally I would have been happy with compensation for about one third of the time period involved, but now, after speaking with you, I have decided that I want ALL my money back, for the whole time period, instead."
He then explained to me that a decision like that was above his pay grade, so I would be hearing from his superiors, first thing in the morning.  I will let you know how that has been five days so far, and I still haven't received that call.  Blessings!!!  Amycita  :]

Monday, July 2, 2012


Throughout the years of my daughters' childhoods, the Fourth of July was always celebrated in the small town of Port Sanilac, Michigan. To me, the small town festivities, however humble they might be, somehow managed to capture best the true spirit of the holiday. Family traditions were born from those days spent together, and the memories that were made from them are ones to be cherished.
For many years, the holiday was ushered in with the unveiling of the pine tree that stood in the front of the lot which our RV rested on. With seasonal music playing softly in the background, I would decorate the pine with a different theme for each year. Twinkling lights of red, white and blue, accompanied by ribbons and tiny flags, or gold, sparkling pine cones with matching lights, emblazoned my offering of "Christmas in July." When the summer sky turned dark, I would plug in the lights to herald in the summer holiday for all to enjoy.
The next day we would attend the parade in the town; a parade so small, that the vehicles and floats that participated would, on occasion, pass twice to make the parade seem a little longer. Candy was always tossed out to all the children and sometimes, even to adults, if they could scramble quick enough to grab some. I never failed to shed a tear as I watched the parade pass by me; it always seemed to symbolize how much it meant to be born in this great country, and how appreciative we all were to be blessed to be an American.
As evening fell, we would ready the campfire and load it up with potatoes, wrapped carefully in tinfoil, for a late night snack.  Graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars were placed on the picnic table for later enjoyment, along with a roll of paper towels to clean the sticky fingers that resulted from them.  Finally, we would see our neighbors begin to pass by us, heading down towards the beach to secure the perfect spot from which to watch the fireworks.  We would grab a chair or two, but, more importantly, the blankets that were lovingly made by Grandma Maria, Dave's paternal grandma.  She crocheted them for all of us, and the fireworks were always best viewed when one was wrapped up in the warmth of those blankets.  Together with all our friends from the park, our family would sit beach-side and "ohhh and ahhh" at the magical display illuminating the night's sky.  The waves would gently wash up on the shore and nothing seemed so lovely as watching the fireworks in the harbor together, with each other.
Finally, Dave and I would watch as our girls and their friends would partake of baked potatoes and smores; laughter filling the air, along with the sparks from the campfire.  I remember telling Dave one year, to memorize the moment, for I recognized how special it was and how we would miss it when our girls were older. 
The big city's more extravagant firework displays and the crowds that attend them, mark the holiday for many, but, for me, a small town with its modest offerings, will always be remembered as the finest way to celebrate the holiday. Happy Fourth of July to you all, and, because of the freedom you have been blessed with as an American, may however you choose to celebrate it, be filled with those very special moments that you wish to memorize forever....Blessings to you all, Amycita.