Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Being a rural pastor's wife post #4

Today's tip is another practical one. Today I am going to discuss TV/Internet.
TV-We moved here before TV had gone digital. After living in Fort Wayne where there were a few free stations, I was surprised to move to a place where you couldn't get any stations without having cable or dish. We signed up for dish for a few years. We got tired of paying the high price each month and dropped it. We could get one station if the weather was good. Dish kept calling us and demanded to know what we had switched to. They didn't believe me that we weren't paying for any TV. We did that for about a year. Then our small town was one of the first in the area to install fiber optic TV through the phone company. We didn't sign up for it as soon as it was installed, but after a few months we did. We had that for a few years. It wasn't really that expensive to have the basic channels. But they kept increasing it a little bit until we were paying $13/month. We finally decided to give up TV for many reasons including the cost. We have been happy with this decision. We still have a TV to watch movies. We use the Internet a lot more since we don't have TV.
I post this because you know your family and if your family would be happy without TV. I also know that no TV is not the right option for most families. I want to give the advice that if you want TV, check out all your options. Do your homework-don't just sign up for dish or cable because that is what you had at your last house. I do think the fiber optic TV through the phone company is the cheapest option for where we live. Also know that your options are not as many as if you lived in a big city. Take the option that your family would be happy with and is also affordable compared to the other options you have available. Get the channels that your family "needs" at the most affordable price.
Internet-When we first moved here we had dial up. After a few years we finally switched to high speed. We still have "slow" high speed and I would recommend for rural living getting as high speed as you can afford. I do have friends that don't have any Internet at home and I'm sure they wouldn't agree with me. But I think it is almost a necessity for where we live. We were without a computer for 18 days Christmas 2009 and I really missed it. It is my communication with far away family, where I get my daily news, where I get the weather report, etc. It is not practical for me to go 7 miles to the library nor to go during library hours. There is no where I can go within at least 45 minutes besides the library to have wi-fi. We don't have a laptop so I would need to go to the library.
We also buy a lot of stuff online. Some of the things that we have bought online include laundry soap, diapers, coconut oil, vitamins, lots of things for the kitchen, lots of books, clothes and shoes for everyone in our family, and I even have bought bras for myself online. Some of those we just bought once on sale, some we buy regularly. If you watch sales or get on their e-mail mailing list you can often get free shipping. We have bought gifts for our family on the Internet and had them shipped there directly. Then I don't have to worry about wrapping/packing/shipping the gift. I just don't have stores available to shop at. There are no stores in our entire county that sell clothes (unless you count printed t-shirts or something like that). It seems like most of the time that I get to a store they don't have what I'm looking for. Plus it adds something to look forward to when our packages that we purchased arrive.
Don't be afraid to buy things online-many companies have free shipping for exchange. For example when I shop for bras-I buy 3 different styles, have them all shipped to me, try them on, choose one to keep and send the others back. It is so much easier than shopping at a mall and fighting crowds and making the Lambs wait while I try things on!
Do you have anything to add about TV or Internet when you live in a rural place?
Check back tomorrow for another practical tip for living as a rural pastor's wife.

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